Note: So sorry for the mis-send about the sale a couple of weeks ago. Administrative error. The sale is coming on Black Friday and Saturday! More info soon.
Calling is a fraught word, isn’t it? It can seem mysterious. Or a word only meant for “special” people.
How can you really know you’re called to speak? I can’t answer that question definitely for everyone, but in the next couple of posts, I’d love to share my personal story that I recorded years ago. I hope it’s an encouragement to you and that it gives you some clarity.
I had been our church’s women’s ministry director for several years when Barry changed careers, and it looked like we’d be moving. I have to confess that I only prayer-journal sporadically, but I was writing what I was learning and hearing from God during that time. In my listening time, I believed that God was speaking to me about a speaking ministry. I wrote down everything I believed I was hearing, but I still had thoughts like,”What if this is just my own desire?” and “How would this ever come about anyway?”
After our move, I was just sure I must have been mistaken. Not only were there no opportunities to speak, no one even knew me in my new area. I started to despair of ever being used by God again. I slipped into a “funk” that was very close to full-blown depression, and I felt alone and unseen.
One day I was at a true low-point. I had never asked God for a sign before, but that morning I prayed, “God I don’t even know what to ask for, but today I need a sign. ANYTHING that shows me that You see me…that you haven’t forgotten me.” I was hoping for any little thing, like someone inviting me to lunch!
That night I cried myself to sleep, because I hadn’t received any kind of sign.
Two days later, though, I came home, and my answering machine was blinking. I rushed over, happy just to have a human voice on my phone.
The message left me stunned. A woman who I had never met from a church that I had never heard of was asking me to lead their women’s retreat. It was a good thing that I had not answered the phone in person, because I sobbed and sobbed. Not only had God not forgotten me, He was beginning to show me that He really was calling me into ministry.
The next year was full of surprises. God made it clear that my control-freak self would not be orchestrating this ministry. He would open door after door. None were related to another. None were by word-of-mouth. Because each opportunity to speak was clearing ordained by God, it was amazing and affirming.
But at the end of the year, I realized that I needed help. I had gone as far as I could without someone teaching me. My heart’s desire is to communicate God’s character and His gospel with as much clarity and passion as possible, so I began to search.
She Speaks was where I landed. God divinely provided the finances to attend, and I joyfully registered.
If you’ve been here awhile, you know the rest of the story. I applied to be part of the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker team, and my speaking ministry began to grow slooooowly. Step-by-step God has given me more as He’s equipped me.
Calling hasn’t meant giant steps for me. It has meant opening each door as God has opened them, and though sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the quick progress of those around me, I’m content with the pace of my progress.
Lessons from My Calling Story:
- Pay attention to what God’s saying, and write it down. You’ll need the reminder that it’s real when the calling gets hard. (And it definitely will!)
- In His sovereignty, God confirms His calling. Although you may be in a wait, you can be sure that He will open doors for your message in His perfect time.
What was your calling experience? Let’s encourage each other with the variety of ways that God confirms our assignment.
Note: I’m sure many of you perked up with curiosity when you read about my application to the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaker team. Unfortunately, the application process there is closed. Please let me encourage you, though. If God has called you to a speaker ministry, He will equip you to build a ministry and possibly a team. You don’t have to do it alone!