At 5 am this morning, my eyes peered open with the first glimpses of daylight. Wide awake, I felt. God's presence, I sensed. Get up. Go, He said. Write.
At that, I hopped out of bed, ran over to my desk, and got straight to it! KIDDING. I wrestled with God. I tried to reason my way out of it. Oh, but it's so early... maybe I should get some more sleep! Oh, well, ya know, grace upon grace. It's fine. God doesn't REALLY expect anything from me.
And then the fight took root and the wrestling with God grew deeper. Maybe I'm not called anyway. Maybe I'm just a normal, average woman meant to live a mediocre life. Why all the struggling and pushing myself to balance so many things and work toward achieving dreams? Why do I even care? These dreams probably aren't even from God. The world doesn't need another writer. The world doesn't need anything I have to offer.
Several years ago (seriously- like almost a decade), I very clearly received the call from God to write. Literally. Not only was it something on my heart, something teachers and professors and mentors often commended me on my ability to do, and something I loved, but in one moment, at a place of darkness and desperation, I cried out to God, begging for Him to reveal some purpose for my life. Like any logical new Christian would do (I hope that you aren't offended by my multitudes of sarcasm), I opened my Bible to a random page and pointed to a section with my eyes closed. Super biblical, I know. When I opened my eyes, there at the tip of my finger in capital letters was the word, WRITE.
Now, I can't tell you now what page I found that on or what context it was even in anymore- but what I vividly remember was feeling an overwhelming flush of peace and purpose and God, as I read those words on the page. Yes, this is it! The work God has created me to do. I felt it reaffirmed over the years, as random people online and chance encounters with mentors and teachers offered bits of encouragement. When someone dear to my heart had their life taken in an unjust way, my fortune cookie (yes, I'm going there) a few days later said, "A writer's ink lasts longer than a martyrs blood." There it was again. The call.
When I wanted to be on this conference call with Emily Freeman about how to write a book proposal, but it was during the day when I'm usually at work, and God made it snow, my workday was canceled, and I listened in on the call as she spoke about writer's conferences... When I immediately wrapped up the call and went to register for the conference she spoke of... When it was much more costly than I was prepared for, yet somehow my next paycheck had a little more money than I was expecting, just enough to cover the cost... When I still wasn't sure if it was the right purpose for that money, but as I was reading my Bible that day my course led me to the story about the three servants who had been given the same amount and the one who invested it was considered blessed more so than the one who stored it away in savings (Matthew 25)... What did this all mean?
I cannot tell you. What I do want to tell you, though, is that for years I have struggled with writing off (pun intended) the idea that God has divine work for me to do. Since the days of being a small child with dreams in my heart, I have never failed to put myself down and sell myself short. I confused humility with self-degrading. I never believed I was worthy of a calling. Surely I am nothing special. Because of this, I chose to live out my adolescence serving the flesh, indulging in sin, trying to please others, and self destructing anything in me that felt worthy or honorable.
Even today, though my heart holds steadfast to the truth that God has divine plans for each and every one of us, and writing certainly plays some part in mine, I still hear he whispers that tell me my words will never matter... that I'm unworthy of a Kingdom calling, that the presence of God I claim to know really isn't God at all. All lies from the enemy, of course, but whispers I am constantly at war against, nonetheless.
(Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places")
I don't know why I'm writing this to you now. Maybe it's because when my eyes opened this morning, God had already written this on my heart. My hands needed to write it here. Maybe it's because God knew I was experiencing doubt, growing weary with this goal that had first invigorated me, and that I needed to be reminded of His call on this.
Maybe it's because YOU have something in your heart, some dream or desire to serve the Kingdom of God, and though the Lord has repeatedly revealed to you the work He has for you to do, you too are wrestling with pushing it away. Maybe you think you aren't worthy, or that the world doesn't need what you have to offer, or that you already have too much going on.
I think I'm here to tell you that you DO matter. The world needs exactly what you have to give- God has created you for a time such as this. You are worthy because you think that you aren't- God uses humble servants. And, the work you do for God's purposes is the most important work you will ever do.
On the contrary, Maybe you don't feel that you've received a call, but you want to. You want to serve God, but have no idea how he could use you. I think I'm here to tell you that He WILL reveal it to you. Hold steadfast to that desire, keeps your eyes and your ears open, and pray to ask that He shows you. It may take some time, but when it all comes together before you, you'll be pleasantly overwhelmed by the beauty of His perfectly weaved will for you.
The enemy's desire is to convince us that what God tells us isn't true. He wants us to believe that we aren't worthy or capable or required of everything God has called us to.
We wrestle with this, we wrestle with God, and we wrestle with ourselves. But our God, being the ever intuitive, loving, graceful, and romantic God that He is, woos us and draws us back to His truth in love, every time.
At the end of the day, no matter what responsibilities we struggle through or what we choose to do, He delights in us, loves us, and He reminds us of His truths.