As another new week begins, I’ve been given more to think about through my reading of the devotional 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. My first read-through of this morning’s entry was a surface reading which brought a surface understanding. I didn’t quite know what God was trying to tell me. Then, I read it again, and understanding dawned. It reached its tendrils through all the phases of my life–through the disappointments and through the joys. Through thinking that I will never have any gifts to share with my church to thinking that my gifts from God would need to be shared elsewhere. It was an understanding I didn’t expect on this day of possible severe weather.
So, calling versus dreams. I didn’t think there was a difference, but there is, at least, according to the author. Dreams are things that might not come true. The author uses her dream of spouse, kids, and a house as an example. That makes sense to me. I’ve shared before in this space of my dream of becoming a published author, of having a bigger audience for my words than I have now. That dream might not come true either. It doesn’t mean God doesn’t want us to have the dreams. He just wants us to put them in the proper context.
Then, there’s calling. What God calls you to do with your life. Romans 11:29 in The Message says this, “God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty–never canceled, never rescinded.” But, the thing is that’s what has changed for me. When I was younger, I thought my calling was to teach school. I did that for a few years. Then, we moved, and God called me to be a full-time mom and a school volunteer. We moved again, and a year later, God called me to homeschool our sons. So, for twelve years, I have been a mom and a teacher. I guess I was fulfilling the same calling, just in different ways.
Now, my time as a teacher is almost done. My younger son graduates from high school in two months, and I have a different calling on my heart–the calling to write full-time. I’ve done a lot of that in the last few years–books, short stories, blog posts. It’s easier for me to “speak” when I write the words, and I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve written them. I’ve become stronger and surer of myself as a person. I’ve also become stronger in my faith and more in tune with the voice of my Lord and Savior. Writing is a way for me to communicate without feeling clumsy as I often do in person, and it has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I feel called to share those changes in my writing and to use my writing as an instrument of change.
What is the difference, then, between my calling and my dreams? I think it boils down to what’s under my control and what’s not. Putting pen to paper or typing to computer screen is under my control. Doing the work and putting it out there is under my control. Whether I get a publishing contract or not is under someone else’s control. God wants me to be content doing the work and sharing it even if I never see the outcome. He wants my hope to be in Him and no one else. And that’s what I want most of all–to live out my calling in His love and His grace and to see what He does with my words! May we all live in His love and grace today!
Praying God’s blessings on you all today!