What gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it responsibility, survival? Is it family or potential success? We spend our lives chasing goals, but we still aren't satisfied when we reach the peak of our achievements. We all learn at some point that life is not like a book, where everything neatly wraps up with a final conclusion. When we complete a chapter, the next one begins. When we feel like the story is going nowhere, we still turn the page. We constantly make choices that determine our paths, but they don't determine our identities. The question we throw around as we walk these “paths" is, "what is my calling?" Well, it’s less about what you do and more about who you are. We all share the same purpose from God, and our calling is how we uniquely pursue that purpose. Our true calling is with us in every step we take.
We head into life with the idea that we need to "find ourselves," and we ignore the fact that we already have an identity to lean on.
From an early age, I was sure that writing was my calling. For years, I wanted to be a fiction author. Later, I planned to become an equine psychotherapist, which basically means I wanted to spend all my time with horses and help other people to do the same. My goals fluctuated, but I was always a writer. By the time I started my degree, I had decided to become a travel journalist. The problem was, I soon learned that the objective and competitive style of journalism killed my inspiration. I didn’t want my life to be just about deadlines, but about expressing myself along the way. I wanted to write about topics I cared about because I wanted to share my unique thoughts. That was when I started to wonder if writing really was my calling. Through the ups, downs, and sideways experiences, I've learned that writing is one tool to fulfill my goals; it is not what makes me who I am. I've had thousands of moments where I've wondered what my purpose is and how I will build my identity. The answer to those questions was within me from the moment I chose to follow Jesus.
"For all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." - John 1:12
I didn't truly know what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus until I reached a point where I completely lost trust in myself. When I didn’t know who I was or where I was going, I realized God is the one constant I can depend on. In Him, I will always have value. The truth is, we don't have one track that will derail if we make a wrong turn. God made us creative and curious, and His creation is here to inspire us. We learn as we move forward, and we don't have to go back to our same toolboxes. Our purpose is to disciple, no matter what skills we utilize. Our identity is not in our accomplishments or failures; it is in God's love. We are here to love people and love God. When we try to control every aspect of our futures, we create stress and focus on the wrong priorities. We don't always know where we will end up next, but we can ask ourselves, "what would Jesus do if He were me?"
Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that will prevail." - Proverbs 19:21
Whether you work at Taco Bell, own a business, or are a stay-at-home parent, your calling is the same: to follow Jesus and make new disciples. We each have unique gifts and passions that define how we connect with the world. At the end of the day, people are what matter most. Through the years, our interests change, and our experiences shape our ideas. The one thing that remains the same is our instinct to build relationships.
When I look at my life, I see a lot of clutter. And I'm not just talking about all the junk in my apartment. I see the time I spend on things that seem essential but have no point. All those little things add up, and I regret how I could have used that time to draw closer to God and the people in my life. When I stop the noise and focus on God, it's easier to cut out the tasks that don't support my purpose. If my whole world turned upside down tomorrow, I might not have the career path or tools I rely on now; but I would still have my calling. No matter where I am or what happens, God leads the way. Every day is a chance to help people meet, know, and follow Jesus.
If you're in a season of self-doubt, or you feel like there's never enough time, take a moment to acknowledge your identity in Jesus. You don't have to prove yourself to the world; you are worthy in your Father’s eyes.
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.