Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck. Your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”
We remember Van Gogh for the infamous “Starry Night”. This original painting now hangs in the Smithsonian and marks his place in history and art. A deeper look into Van Gogh’s life is eye-opening and finds him delusional. He ended his life at 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Most Americans think of callings as our jobs, or what our hands produce. Perhaps he ignored the calling on his life while he ignored his inner voice of expression. I would dare say he was closer than he realized and never discovered the “thing” within the “thing” within the “thing”. Van Gogh even turned to religion to help and at the end of his life, he sold one painting.
I once thought differently about my calling.
And then suddenly, my life goes all spiritual and God interrupts my life’s work. There’s something within ourselves that instantly rebels against it at first but over time, we come to realize that God knows what He is doing. What your life’s calling is right now could be your individual calling you to your future; from a place that looks totally different than your current work.
Call me crazy, but what I am doing now is a far cry from what I thought at age 13. I was to become a nurse someday. Then one summer I spent emptying bedpans, pouring water and passing out magazines to patients in a hospital. In doing nurse-like work, I realized I couldn’t stand the sight of blood and didn’t have the grits and the gut to pursue nursing.
Then I thought I could be the entertainment of my friends by mocking my size and weight. The best way out of a trap is to make fun of yourself right? That led to becoming an extrovert and super critical of others. Therefore, I created my own perfect prison that quickly trapped me by a performance mentality. I soon fell off the stage and crashed in pieces realizing the world didn’t revolve around me. Years later, however, as a mom of two, I still had the desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
I didn’t realize my next step meant working for free.
By volunteering at my local Christian radio station, I landed a full-time gig as morning show co-host for 13 years. I spoke life and encouragement into many. Then God’s nudged me to move on. I didn’t know what God was up to as I couldn’t even wrap my mind around His plans. All I knew at the time was that I was wanting more of Him in my daily walk.
Taking the next step was a turning point for me where my passion and my purpose collided into my calling. I still want to make a difference in the lives of others like a nurse and want to express myself publicly as if on a stage. My journey of losing weight is full God’s grace of deliverance over many pitfalls and mess ups. Now I’m writing these stories down to help the next person. Therefore, I keep following God and all that He has for me.
Our calling is WHO we are.
Welcome to my transfer from one stage of life to another. Some of you might call this a mid-life crisis. My niece said it best, “Most buy a convertible and drive coast to coast, I couldn’t afford that so I just cut my hair and dyed it a different color.” I thought she described changes in our seasons of life quite well. Do we look at our calling as a final destination or an investment in our jobs, gifts, and talents? Or some giant life shake-up or turnaround in what we choose to do? Something magical?
Your unique story is your leg up.
How do you find your calling? There’s an unwritten expectation that we arrive in life and however we get to this “place” it’s the epitome which brings meaning to life! Most people suffer the pressure to figure this whole calling “animal” out, with so many unique answers. I’ve fallen over the false assumption or expectation that your calling is discoverable. That if you search for your unique giftings, be patient with yourself, and don’t give up you too will find it!
However, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”
Van Gogh failed to see his true gifting. When I consider all the strongholds, the pits, the steps, the strides, the everyday struggles God has helped me overcome, is there really anything other than deepening your belief into the Source of all life as we know it? Overcoming life as we know it, unto maturity as sons and daughters of God is a mind-blowing calling.
It takes an extraordinary amount of discipline and maturity to live each day, walking step by step, inch by inch! Faith requires trust in God who leads and asks believers to live one-day-at-a-time. In following Him, I have to surrender and daily lay down my desperate, freakish desire for control and trust He is at work.
When you walk in step with Him every day, He can lead you to into your unique reason for living! You are closer than you think! It’s possible you are doing something big right now AND meaningful by loving the ones you are with, living intentionally, and with a purpose in your day to day. Don’t live life with a “someday” attitude, enjoy your current situation. Put one foot in front of the other, you’re going to be okay!