Disclaimer: I wrote this post for a friend’s blog site, but I am also posting it here.
Have you ever seen that toddler toy typically shaped as a hollow cube with different shapes on each side of it? The child is supposed to put the triangle in the triangle hole, square in the square hole, circle in the circle…etc. I’ve been thinking about that toy lately as an analogy to our work—to our gifting and calling from God within the body of Christ.
A lot of times triangles try to force themselves into square holes, squares into circles, circles into triangles and so on. If I’m a triangle, and see a square being super successful, then I want to do what they’re doing too! I want to fit into that mold. So I pursue it, with all my idealistic views and zealous feelings, I WILL FIT IN. But God, fearfully and wonderfully, made me different for a purpose.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:4-8
When we are looking at their successful page on social media, reading their inspiring novel that they wrote, seeing the fruit of their ministry/career/hobby, watching them serve with deep joy, we want it! And if you’re anything like me, you pursue it. You fix your eyes on it, you dream big, and you go after it because if they can do it that well, then so can you.
But friend, God has those shoes filled for a reason. And He has created your feet to walk a different path–your own path (see Ephesians 2:10).Let amazing people inspire you! Absolutely. Yet, not to the point of envy where you forget who you are or that you are created uniquely for a certain purpose differing from someone else. Sometimes we can mistakenly make our calling more about what we do than who we are.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15
If you believe Jesus is who he says he is, then you are called as God’s chosen one, holy and beloved, to put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love. You are called to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart with thankfulness. This is central to your calling in Christ. This is central to your identity.
“And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach…” Mark 3: 13-14
Jesus called to him those whom he desired. Another significant part of our calling is to simply be desired by Jesus. Recognize that we are children of God.
We create our calling to be this big idea or expectation that we must fulfill, but I’m here to relay along with scripture that it is really quite simple.
How did He create you? Are you a teacher? Does your heart skip a beat when you encourage or give or lead? All other people aside, who are YOU?
I’ve lived in Uganda, Africa for over 5 months now next to 24 teenage boys on a compound of 144 high school students and 40 something staff members. One might think I have “found my calling”. Well, I haven’t in that “career” sense. It’s been really hard. I’m in a job that has me asking God to change me into a different person than whom He has created me to be. I’ve asked Him why He made me an introvert; please change me. Why do I care so much about personal space and people starring at me; please change me. Why can’t I come up with fun games, enjoy high energy activities, spend time with students as long as he can, handle as much as she can; please change me. With this can come shame, guilt, and brokenness. Depression and anxiety join the party. Unmet expectations crash in because it wasn’t like the book I read, pictures I saw, or same experiences as I heard about. Why?
Because I’m a triangle forcing myself into that square hole that someone has already filled. Comparison truly is the thief of joy! I’m created differently and God didn’t make a mistake. I didn’t get the short end of the stick. I’m called to let the peace of Christ, who desires me, rule in my heart and allow gratitude to overflow. I am God’s chosen one, holy and beloved.
It is possible to live outside of our comfort zone, yet within our gifting.
You don’t have to be striving and exhausted to be outside of your comfort zone.
Daily I am called to be with Jesus. That’s my priority. Secondly, I’m going to continue to learn who God has created me to be, what are my strengths that bring joy in serving Him, and how can I walk in them—walk in my own shoes and not someone else’s. And if you are joining me in this journey let our sweet reminder of truth be from Romans 8:1, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Learn about yourself. Learn your boundaries. Learn your gifts. Take those fun personality assessments and see what your strengths and weaknesses are. When you research how God made you, then you are able to put it into action that much better, and to give that much more glory to Him! What victory there is when the shape fits.
- Please pray for Ben and I to trust God in deeper ways and not to lean on our own understanding but in all of our ways submit to God that He may make our path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Please pray for me as I have really been struggling with anxiety and depression in this environment here. It’s been harder than expected and my mental health is starting to mess with my physical health.
- Pray for our boys to have an increase of humility and patience as many are getting very comfortable with one another and fights, whether verbal or physical, can come about.
- Many of our boys are learning new stories of the Bible, and how to engage with God’s word through personal quiet time and prayer.
- On our home visits before Term 2 began, the families of our boys told us how much they have changed simply after 3 months of school. They are showing to be more responsible, kind, wise, and selfless. We were blown away by the testimonies from their holiday!
- We trusted the Lord and asked for financial support as we realized our account was dwindling away. He provided above and beyond what we needed. Thank you so much to those of you who have supported us being here! It means a lot to have one less thing to worry about ❤
Thanks for following along. We have learned so much in this past year of quitting, selling, moving, trusting, asking, praying, crying, laughing, pleading, winning, losing, dancing, falling, succeeding, and failing. I wouldn’t trade a day of it.
Lots of love,
Ben & Lo