three thoughts on finding your calling
Yesterday was officially the first day of spring! You’d never know it from the torrential rain splashing down on Bay Area streets this week, but I’m not complaining one bit—I’m a rain girl through and through. Which apparently also makes me a mountain girl, as someone I know recently pointed out that people who enjoy rain generally prefer mountains over the ocean. I’d never thought of this before but it makes sense, and in my case, it’s totally true!
This past weekend was a special one, but not only because it was spent up in the mountains, my happy place. It was special because of the people I spent it with—the Soma Young Adults Community from my church.
Community is a powerful and beautiful thing. In it, we know and are known, we grow, we find healing and wholeness, and we experience Jesus. But community can be a tricky thing to find, especially in the limbo years of young #adulting as many transition out of the built-in community college offers, and into the vastly different world of 9-5’s. What I’ve found is, it takes time. May marks three years since college graduation for me, and in some ways it seems like I’ve finally felt settled and rooted in community only in the last year or so. Truth is, you aren’t going to build connections at the same pace through a few hours a week as you did through shared meals, weekends, and dorm rooms, and that’s okay. Still, it can be found—and when it is, it’s well worth the time it took to get there.
Community, however, isn’t the only C word that tends to be tricky during the young adult years. Another? Calling. We all want to know our purpose. We yearn to know that our lives count for something, and we long to discover just what that something is. The question is how. How do you know what your calling is?
This question was the theme for our session time together at retreat. It’s impossible to capture the incredible time of sharing and declaring truth over one another our gifted speaker Matt Olsen led us through, but I want to share a few encouraging thoughts that stood out from my notes pertaining to finding your calling, and the role community plays in that process.
DIRECTION FROM JESUS IS BORN OUT OF INTIMACY WITH JESUS
When we try to find our way on our own, we end up acting on our own desires and emotions, often driven by worry, discontent, or fear. When our focus is solely on finding our callings, we feel pressure to get it all figured out. Jesus asks us first to be with Him, then He asks us to obey. If we’re walking with Him, He will guide us into His plan for us. It starts with cultivating intimacy and the ability to hear His voice.
OBEDIENCE TO JESUS IN THE LITTLE MOMENTS IS YOUR CALLING
Sometimes we go chasing after this grand, singular calling. But even if our calling is something specific—like being a pastor or writer or musician or athlete—it is still lived out in moments. Responding in obedience to Jesus in the little moments He prompts you—to pray with someone, to start a conversation with a stranger, to forgive someone who hurt you—that is your calling.
WE AREN’T GIVEN A MAP, WE’RE GIVEN A GUIDE
If we had a laid out plan and knew exactly what we were supposed to do with our lives and when it was all going to happen, we wouldn’t need Jesus. In this life we were not given a map with step-by-step directions, but a Guide—because it’s not so much about “getting there” efficiently and self-sufficiently as it is about reliance, and the relationship forged through that along the way.
Personally, the heart of what I took away from this weekend when it comes to calling is, if I’m walking closely with Jesus, I truly can’t mess it up. Isn’t that encouraging? What about you—which of the three stood out to you? What are some things you’ve learned about finding and living out your calling? Let me know in the comments—I’d love to hear!
A simple blog post can't capture how wonderful this weekend was, but below are some photos to give you a glimpse. Aside from a few mixed in that were taken on my camera (the brighter, less professional-looking ones 😉), all photos were captured by the immensely talented Briano Santos of Santos 2 Photography.