You were created for a purpose and God has a plan for your life…but what is it? These tips for finding what God has called you to do are inspired by a “She Blossoms” reader called Kelly. He wants to discern God’s call on his life, and asked what was helpful for me.
“I found your blog through an internet search on jobs for introverted people,” says Kelly on Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone. “I’m 37 and I’ve been trying to figure out what God has called me to do and to know who I truly am in Christ. I’m currently working a job that I am not crazy about at all, I feel tired frequently, because it takes me so long to regenerate after a day of work. I love music and writing, I majored in English. I compose music at home. I feel a lot of pressure at this moment in my life because I’m trying to discover my true calling. Could you share what has been helpful for you in your process?”
The first thing that stands out to me is that Kelly feels pressured to discover his true calling. This isn’t the best place to start looking for God’s call on your life, because it narrows your scope and increases your stress! So, my first tip on how to find God’s calling will focus on relaxing, loosening your grip, and allowing God to breathe fresh air into your life.
If you have any tips or advice on finding God’s calling, please share in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you — and learn how you hear from God.
How to Find God’s Calling on Your Life
Remember that Jesus speaks to us differently, because we are all different! He tailored His message to suit His audience — whether He was speaking to a crowd on the shores of the sea of Galilee, or a lone woman drawing water from a well.
I’m happy to share what helped me know God’s call on my life, but I encourage you to continue building your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Listen for His voice, ask the Holy Spirit to counsel and guide you. Allow God’s will to be done in your life, work, and relationships.
Take a deep breath
How many flowers blossom when they’re straining to grow? None. How many seeds sprout by trying really really hard to poke through the soil? Zip. How many watermelons ripen by clenching their fists and pushing out juicy red goodness? Zero.
Take a deep breath. Let go of the pressures you feel to find God’s calling on your life. If the pressure is external — from your spouse, parents, friends, colleagues — then find ways to draw your boundaries. Be assertive. Be honest. Tell them that you will figure out what to do with your life in God’s timing.
If you feel internal pressure to find God’s will for your work life, then you’re lucky! You can stop pressuring yourself right now. I give you permission to let go. You can’t drum up God’s call anymore than a seed can sprout itself. Take another deep breath, and know you’re in good hands.
Learn the difference between active and passive waiting
Here’s how I found God’s call on my work life: I started blogging because I always wanted to be a writer and I found myself living on a little island off the coast of British Columbia that had few work opportunities. I didn’t know God was calling me to work as a blogger, and nine years later I’m still amazed that I’ve been making a healthy full-time income with my She Blossoms blogs! I am on my knees every morning, in gratitude and humility for God’s gifts to me.
A few years ago, I felt restless. Blogging was going great — but it wasn’t challenging or stretching me. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I got my MSW (Master of Social Work) at UBC in Vancouver. I did two practicums through that program; they were good learning experiences, and they showed me that I definitely wanted to keep working as a blogger and writer!
You may find Should You Go to Grad School for a Master of Social Work (MSW)? if you’re considering going back to school.
If you’re searching for God’s call on your life, do NOT just sit and wait for Him to tell you what to do. That is passive, and you will find yourself celebrating your 101th birthday and still waiting for God to tell you what your work and life calling is. Instead, find active ways to find God’s calling for you.
Take the next logical step
Back to Kelly’s struggle to find God’s calling for his life: he feels unhappy and drained at work. He doesn’t like his job. Maybe that’s God telling Kelly that it’s time to move on, to quit the job, to find work that suits his personality, energy level, gifts, talents, and abilities.
Kelly — and you, dear reader — do not need to struggle and strain to find God’s call on your life, work, relationships. You ARE His will. If you are connected to Him and have a personal relationship with Jesus, then take the next practical step in your life. God will bless it.
“When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will,” says Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest on March 20. “And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit. You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint. Once he does, you must stop immediately.
Search for and be alert to the opportunities
Hmm…this may conflict with my first tip on how to find God’s calling in your life, but so be it. Sometimes life (and Jesus) gets confusing.
Look around you: what are you interested in, and how can you learn more about that thing? For example, I love blogging so I went to the Mount Herman Christian Writer’s Conference three months ago. I had no intention of talking to editors and literary agents about the possibility of writing a “She Blossoms” book series to walk alongside my “She Blossoms” blogs…but guess what? I met an acquisitions editor at FaithWords Books (a subsidiary of Hachette, who publishes Joyce Meyer and Joseph Prince) and a literary agent who is eager to represent me.
Now, I’m working on my first “She Blossoms” book. I have a literary agent. And, I believe I’ll have a book contract by the end of this year.
Take time to explore your interests, likes, dislikes
If you feel drained and tired at work, think about the activities and people that make you come alive! Maybe you can’t get paid for those things, but you can at least take a step in that direction. Prioritize those activities, find ways to do them on weekends — or even part-time.
If you want to write music, learn about writing music. Go to conferences, take a class, read music writing blogs. If you want to quit your job, research other types of job opportunities in your field.
Do you secretly dream of being a writer? Read How to Find the Courage to Write.
Write to God every night and every morning
If you have no idea what God’s call is on your life, sit down and ask Him! Take out a private journal, and write to God. Don’t just think your prayers; write them down. Writing slows you down and helps you hear His voice.
Before you fall asleep tonight, open your journal to a fresh page. Write, “God, what is your call for my life? What step should I take next?” Leave your journal open, right there on the nightstand by the side of your bed. Turn off your lamp, and close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Open your mind, meditate on your favorite verse. When your mind wanders, bring it back to God’s word.
If you wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning with ideas, write them down — no matter how zany! Just write them down. Don’t trust yourself to remember them. And, give God time to talk to you. If you haven’t been listening to Him lately, your ability to hear His voice may be rusty.
Are you looking for a new job? Read How to Find a Career – For Introverts Who Like to Work Alone.
What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts — good or bad, negative or positive — in the comments below. Have you learned anything about how to find God’s calling for your life? Write everything you think — especially if you’re confused or angry! There is something there, and the only way to dig it out is to write through it.
My Favorite Books on Finding God’s Call
Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck is an excellent book on finding your call in life. She isn’t Christian, but she does talk about God.
If you’re a believer, Jesus is your North Star. Read this book and substitute “North Star” for God or Jesus, and you will find His will for your life!
“Explorers depend on the North Star when there are no other landmarks in sight,” writes Beck. “The same relationship exists between you and your right life, the ultimate realization of your potential for happiness. I believe that a knowledge of that perfect life sits inside you just as the North Star sits in its unaltering spot.”
Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Michael Levoy is another of my most favorite books on finding God’s call for your life.
Callings was the first book to examine the many kinds of calls we receive and the great variety of channels through which they come to us. A calling may be to do something (change careers, go back to school, have a child) or to be something (more creative, less judgmental, more loving).
While honoring a calling’s essential mystery, this book also guides readers to ask and answer the fundamental questions that arise from any calling: How do we recognize it? How do we distinguish the true call from the siren song? How do we handle our resistance to a call? What happens when we say yes? What happens when we say no?
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I’ve read Callings twice; it’s densely packed with a buffet of tips for listening to your life and following your true path. Again, it’s not specifically Christian — but I don’t think it has to be. God is everywhere. Pray your way through these books, and you can’t go wrong.