what am I supposed to be?
It took me a lot of years to know what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Like a LOT of years.
I kept asking God, what am I supposed to be? But there was never a clear response from him. Well, maybe there was, but I wasn’t a very good listener. Back in the day I didn’t spend much time in the Word or praying, so I wasn’t great at hearing his voice.
As a result, I felt lost and unguided when it came to my future.
You know what added to my frustration? The people around me all seemed so sure about their callings: teacher, coach, engineer, chiropractor…you name it, they had found their niche.
Why can’t I figure this out? Everyone else knows what they are supposed to do, I would scold myself in shame.
It was totally untrue, but it felt that way. I so badly wanted to know what my calling was!
What made it even worse was that I had zero reason to complain. I have had a really cool assortment of jobs:
- Stay-at-home mom (still rocking this gig)
- Photographer’s assistant
- Professional actress / model (pics below are from those days)
- Communications director
- Commercial real estate agent
As great as those jobs are / were, none of them seemed to be MY THING. You know, the thing I was made for, the thing that made my heart race with excitement, that thing that made me fly out bed each morning.
What am I supposed to be when I grow up?
I couldn’t figure it out.
Everything changed when I fell back in love with God (If you haven’t read my story, click here). I started reading the Word everyday and spending a significant amount of time on my knees. The more time I spent with him, the more I heard his voice, giving me direction. I began to desire God’s will for my life above my desire to find the perfect career. My question changed to:
What do you want me to be, Lord?
Proverbs 16:9 says “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
I claimed that verse daily and asked the Lord to reveal his ways.
The answer came when I did a 40-day Daniel fast: eating only veggies, fruit, nuts and water. I would spend meal times on my knees, seeking God’s will. I placed everything in my life: my kids, my job, my relationships, my pain, at his feet and asked for guidance.
And the end of the 40 days, his voice got so loud, it felt almost audible.
I remember exactly where I was kneeling and what I was wearing when he clarified my calling for me. He said: Dear Child, there is a difference between your calling and your vocation. It doesn’t matter what your job is, your calling is to chase me with reckless abandon. No matter where I take you, or what the journey entails, run after me with reckless abandon. Whether you are at home, or out in the workplace, or serving coffee, chase me. I will take care of the jobs. You are to run after me.
It sounds kind of crazy, but this was a defining moment for me. I knelt there and sobbed, released from years of pressure, unmet expectations, disappointment and confusion in a single minute.
My calling was to chase Jesus with reckless abandon and let him take care of the rest.
I had peace about my future for the first time ever.
I’ve clung to that phrase for the last 7 years…trusting and chasing with reckless abandon through adverse seasons when God asked me to:
Drop out of seminary and be home with my family (putting my dream of doing ministry on hold).
Spend a year sick and confined to a bed (wondering if I would live).
Have more kids with my adoring new husband (further putting my ministry dream on hold).
Take care of a colicky baby (losing almost all my sanity).
Through it all, I held onto reckless abandon and just kept chasing Jesus.
Then, last winter, I found myself in a season of battling depression. The combination of post-partum hormones and colic were a bit too much for me to handle, and it had taken me under. It got so bad that my hubby advocated daily for something to change, so we started to pray. Literally every time we got on our knees and prayed about what we should do to fix it, I felt this nudge that I should write.
Write? Write what? I wondered.
We kept discussing other options: a gym membership, a part-time job, a hobby, even a trip. Surely one of those things would help my depression. But every time we prayed, I heard this word: write.
I am not a writer, I argued.
I made up 1,000 reasons why I shouldn’t write: I didn’t have a computer, I didn’t have time, I didn’t have anything to write about, no one would want to read what I had to say, I would probably fail, writing doesn’t make any money, I’m not qualified.
Still I heard: write.
When chasing Jesus with reckless abandon, one can only ignore the voice of God for so long.
One night while having dinner with a good friend, I let it slip that it felt like God was asking me to write, but then I shared all the (pathetic) reasons why that wasn’t a good idea.
She paused, and then tactfully and lovingly told me that ignoring God is disobedience.
The next day, I got up at 5:00am and started to write as part of my devotional time.
It snowballed rapidly, obviously. I started writing for 30-45 minutes a day.
I loved it. So much. My depression lifted almost immediately.
I wrote about what I was learning in the Word and it brought me back to life.
I wrote about what I wished I had known before I fell off the cliff of moral failure, and it strengthened my belief and my trust in God.
I wrote about what I wanted to teach my teenagers about faith, and it increased my boldness and intentionality.
And that was all before I launched this blog.
God’s not done writing my story, this I know. I also know that during this season, running after him with reckless abandon looks like writing about my faith in a practical way.
It’s what I am supposed to be doing.
Psalm 59:16-17 “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.”
Friend, what is God calling you to do?
Have you asked him?
Let me encourage you to ask and listen for his response.
Psalm 19:21 “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”
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What I love BEST is how God told you to RUN!!! You are and always have been a physical runner it’s so appropriate that he would ask you to RUN spiritually after him. God is always beautiful in the things and ways he speaks to us.
Tanya! I never even thought of that! That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your insight. I missed that piece of it until now.
I am so enjoying your blogs. Sometimes blogs are just filled with nonsense and people who like to hear themselves talk but with nothing to say. But you have so much insight, and I feel like He talks through you. Thank you. What a blessing and a special gift you’ve been given… It would have been such a shame to not have shared with the rest of us. ♥️
Thanks Tiffany! That is really so sweet of you to say. It made me get all teary-eyed. Thank you for reading.
You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I to find this matter to be really something which I feel I might by no means understand. It seems too complex and very extensive for me. I’m taking a look ahead in your subsequent put up, I¦ll try to get the hang of it!