Pursuing Career or Fulfilling a Calling

I’m behind the times. I only recently read a book called The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns, CEO of World Vision. He writes about how God pursued him, revealing His plan for Rich’s career. The book challenges Christians to put their faith in action. Reading it now was good timing considering I took a leap of faith only seven months ago to move from career to calling.

IMG_2333I can’t say I had high aspirations regarding my career. I fell into technical writing soon after landing my first job out of college. When I was offered an opportunity to leave technical phone support to work in the documentation department, I gladly took it! Little did I know that God was preparing me for my calling.

During many years of technical writing, I learned to convey information succinctly. I enjoyed writing just the facts. I’m most certainly not a novelist or a fictional story writer. I prefer simpler words, keeping things uncomplicated. My last writing job gave me some experience in marketing communications. Thankfully I was writing about a technical product that had no need for flowery nonsense. But, it was a step toward more creativity.

In the middle of my career, I became a mom. I was ecstatic that my husband’s salary allowed me to stay at home. I wasn’t concerned about the break in my career. As I said, I didn’t have ambitions to climb the ladder.

As any mom can attest, having children (I had two and stayed home for 8 ½ years) teaches one about selflessness. My heart softened because of these beautiful little ones; I learned to be more patient – a lot more patient. This was another way God was working, and continues to work in my life.

God also used short-term missions to prepare me for my calling. Earlier in life, I never imagined having the desire to embark on a mission trip to Africa. But I did – three times. And then, one trip to Haiti. These missions began to break my heart for what breaks the heart of God.

As I reflect on events that shaped me into who I am today, I see how my character required refinement so God could use me for His planned purpose. My past poor choices and my reactions to heartache were a training ground and a process that apparently had to take place. I now have a clearer view of the big picture. I know I can trust God to guide me into what’s next. I’m learning to surrender the future, trusting His vision. As a result, I stepped into His calling for me, working in ministry writing stories about the poor, suffering, and helpless. I bring awareness to their plight, and celebrate the hope they receive when we heed the command of Christ to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Thank you, God, for showing me the sweet spot where career fades and calling shines brightly.

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A Call to Unity

With controversial topics abounding these days, many Christians find themselves in the middle of heated debates. The disappointing fact is that these debates are quite often among Christians. It’s obvious there are Christians on both sides of the coin. If we are called to be unified, why are so many Christians asserting their opinions so loudly? I wonder what good it is doing to argue one stance or another. Is it that important to be “right?”

It saddens me to see God’s plan and desire so disregarded. In the midst of that, Christians are called to exhibit love, grace, and truth. And, we are to be unified in those things.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:22-23

God’s word spells out the way to have a perfect joy and peace that only He can provide. He shows us how to live. Yes, the truth is we don’t always get it right. But, instead of disputing and name calling, let’s keep our mouth shut and listen. Listen to what God expects from us. Our opinion isn’t what’s important. Our unified actions of love are of the utmost importance. This is our calling. This is how we can make a positive difference in the lives of those who don’t know the love of Christ.

I love this quote by Billy Graham:

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.

We don’t need to condemn or condone. We just need to love, and do it as one.

A New Path That’s Not So New

God is up to something. He called me to something new. He’s chosen to use my skills for a greater purpose. This calling was unexpected. I had no clue a family mission trip to Haiti would result in a radical change in how I do this thing called “work.”

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Upon returning from Haiti, I immediately felt a restlessness in my job. I enjoyed my work as a technical and marketing writer. I had no previous desire for a job change. But, the restlessness was unshakable. I felt an unmistakable need to do something of eternal consequence. I also recognized these kinds of feelings are common during the “re-entry” process after a mission trip. Even so, I began to investigate possibilities.

Being familiar with *Global Aid Network (GAiN), I started looking there. It just so happened they had an open position for a content writer in the marketing department. My entire career had been in technical writing until the last year and a half when I began doing much more marketing writing – blog posts, web site content, newsletters and brochures. Looking back, I believe this was one of many preparations God put in place to bring me to this point.

The previous few years have been an exercise in faith and obedience. Following through with a calling to my first mission trip despite the sudden onset of a chronic disease gave me confidence in God’s promise to provide power. Selling our house to be better financial stewards displayed the blessings he bestows on those who hold everything with an open hand. And, He has steadily softened my heart for the hurting and needy so I can tell their stories to those who can offer a helping hand.

So, here I am, walking what feels like a new path, but looking back, it’s not new at all. This is the path God laid out for me from the beginning.

*Global Aid Network is a ministry of Cru.