The most common thing that people assume I do for a living is teach. Apparently I have that air about me. I’ll start by telling you that my degree is in legal office administration. That being said, I have been a preschool teacher, a bookstore assistant manager, a hostess at a barbecue restaurant, a nanny, a housekeeper, a secretary, a writer, a Bible study facilitator, a professional organizer, and a social media manager. I have sold scrapbooks and photo preservation products, healthy skincare products, and Bible study resources. I have been approached about taking over an in-home preschool, managing a coffeeshop, and being a children’s minister, just to name a few.
I think I’m realizing that people mean well when they are sad that I don’t stay in one particular vocation because “you’re so good at that.” But I think what they want MORE than just “someone who is good at what they do” is someone that they can trust. Someone they can trust to be reliable, dependable, integrity-driven, etc. Someone who will make smart decisions on and off the clock. They want someone who loves God. They want someone who loves people.
And when someone fits those qualifications? Honestly, they could be good at anything in the world they wanted to do.
Sadly, I’m finding, there aren’t a lot of people like that out there. There are a lot of people who think they need another degree, or more experience, or more qualifications. And while those things are helpful, what people really want is someone who will do what they say they will do.
Realizing this helps me feel like I can take pressure off myself for not pleasing everyone. I’m not missing a calling. I’m actually LIVING my calling. By God’s grace and unmerited favor, I’ve been told that I am reliable, dependable, integrity-driven, a God-lover, and a people-lover. I take NO credit for this. My parents raised me to be a leader, holding me back a year so that I started kindergarten a year older than everyone else. The Lord gave me the title “first-born”, and all the amazing (and annoying) personality traits that come with it. I was homeschooled with top-of-the-line curriculum, giving me a chance to excel. I went to a wonderful academic college, that prepared me for real life experiences. But more than anything, the Lord made me who I am.
Because of this, I could be good at most anything (except needles or anything requiring math skills.) I am trained at being a legal office assistant, and yet do everything but work in a law office. But I cannot, and I’m not supposed to, do everything, not even all the things I might want to! Right now, anything that I even might want to do that makes me unhealthy at serving God or my family is not for me.
We may be awesome at a million things. But we can’t do a million things. And we aren’t supposed to. We are supposed to do only two things: Love God and love our neighbor. Which can really be wrapped up into one large concept: We are supposed to seek first the Kingdom of God— loving Him and loving His people.
Just seek His Kingdom. And He will do the math.
He will add all the things to us that we need.
He will subtract from our lives what shouldn’t be there.
He will divide our responsibilities until they are manageable, with His help.
He will multiply our efforts and reach more people than we ever could on our own.
He will multiply our time so that there is enough time to do everything that needs to be done.
He will multiply our strength so we can rise with wings as eagles.
Maybe you have far too much on your plate. You wear too many hats. You continue to be volunteered for things. A friend of mine and I were discussing this when she was handed 26 students this year. It was an extraordinary number of kids for one teacher and an assistant to manage, to keep safe, and to succeed with increasing each of the children’s personal abilities. There just weren’t enough hours in the day. There weren’t enough hands to guide. And there were way too many mouths talking.
As we brainstormed how to make the impossible possible, I kept thinking of the boy with five loaves and two fishes. It was a laughable gesture, presenting his lunch to Jesus. It was barely worth offering. The sacrifice was meager. But God takes delight in using our weaknesses and less-thans to bring Himself glory. At the end of that day, there were so many loaves and fishes that there were TWELVE BASKETS. Not twelve baskets to feed the 5,000 people. Twelve baskets leftover, after every single mouth was fed and every belly was full. When God shows up, He doesn’t mess around. He doesn’t just fill our cup halfway. He flat-out OVERFLOWS it.
Maybe that’s the miracle He is trying to write in my friend, in her lack. Maybe the fact that the administration thought she could perform well with 26 kids was because she WAS living her calling. She was reliable, they could depend on her, and they could trust her to teach well and love those kids well.
When things get hard, let’s not immediately back out. Let’s pray and ask for wisdom to know if God is asking us to step away. But let’s also be willing to stick it out and see what He will do with it. And sometimes, living our calling will require giving up something we love, something we cherish.
Living your calling isn’t always going to be easy. But it’s always worth it in the end.
That’s the miracle He wants to write in you, too.
Bring the little time and energy and ability you have to Jesus, and just watch what He will do with it.