A while back, I wrote a post here about feeling like I wasn't "made for this". And my "this", I mean being a mom. I shared that in a lot of ways, I'm not naturally suited for motherhood. So many parts of this gig are hard for me...and I don't always feel that innate calling towards motherhood that so many others talk about being placed on their heart.
I thought a lot about that this past Sunday as I listened to Andy Sieberhagen preach about being a willing servant. (you can check out his whole message here...) He talked a lot about calling, something I've been working through a bit in my mind recently. He was speaking mostly about missions, but of course I couldn't help but think of it in terms of motherhood as well.
I often feel pressured to find God's calling for my life. And more specifically, I feel pressure that my calling be something BIG and BOLD. I envy people that are called to live and serve in third world countries. Not because I want to live and serve in third world countries (if I'm being honest, I very much do not want to do that, actually), but because their calling, their "made for this" moment is clear. But even if I'm not being called to something dramatic, I still feel the pressure to have some specific and clear calling to the things already in my life. I like to write, so I should feel called to be a writer. I have children, so I must be called to be a mother. But often, it just doesn't feel like that. I do so many things out of a mixture of desire and duty...but far fewer things (far fewer things) out of an outright obedience to a mission that God has place before me. Am I failing to hear the call? Or answer it? Or both?
As Andy spoke though, I found myself reevaluating the meaning of call...mostly because he forced us to reevaluate it, by explaining his perspective on what it means:
"A call is not a command, a call is an invitation. When there is an invitation, there is a choice."
Hmmm. So what if God's call for me isn't a grand proclamation regarding the course my life must take? And what if God's call for me isn't a dreamy feeling of being "made for this"...my abilities perfectly matched with a task He's provided?
After all, the disciples weren't "made for this"...well, not in the traditional sense anyway. They were regular folks, with regular skills, on a regular path, through regular lives. But they were called to un-regular things, by a very un-regular God. Not demanded, not provided with some divine perfect vision that other regular folks could never dream of. They were quite simply asked by Jesus: "Will you follow me?" And they said yes.
So that's what calling looks like in my life...(well, it does if I shake off all the things I think it should look like). My calling is Jesus asking:
"Will you follow me? Not necessarily to Africa. Probably not to church planting. And maybe not to book writing. But definitely in the morning, when you want to sleep in, waste time, and all around be a self-serving crank-pot: Will you follow me? And in your job, when it's easy to get distracted by the building of empires (yours and others'): Will you follow me? In motherhood, which is in so many ways bigger than what you're capable of: Will you follow me? Will you? Not because I demand it, and not because I've created you for something special. But because I am doing the most special of things, and I'm inviting you to be a part of it."
What does God's call look like for you? Maybe it is to Africa....But maybe it's also just to patience and grace with your toddler. It might be to church planting.,,And it could also be to selflessness with a co-worker. You might be called to a million things, big and HUGE and tiny. But if you have children, your calling is most certainly to motherhood. Whether that feels natural, or tough, or like something you're still waiting to figure out. He is inviting you to go with Him through it all.