What did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I was growing up, I honestly don’t think I was one of those kids who had their mind made up or had a career at the fore front of their thinking, allowing it to guide their choices. Instead I was the one who ended up doing many different jobs after leaving the sixth form, with no A levels I might add (yep!), including hairdressing, holiday rep, computing and then teaching assistant. I have meandered through life taking opportunities as they have arisen. Please tell me dear reader that I am not alone?!
When I became a Christian I had already fallen into a career and have often felt sad that I didn’t give God a chance to direct me or that He might have had a different career choice for me. After turning away from God and spending 13 years wandering around in the wilderness (I wouldn’t recommend that) I came back to church and I started hearing the word ‘calling’ and it got me thinking about what my calling might be.
So, what is a ‘calling’?
A strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.
They say the things that you are passionate about are not random, but are in fact your calling!
This phrase has been going round and round in my head and I feel increasingly excited about the idea that what we are passionate about is our calling!
As a Christian, with a passion to see the kingdom break out wherever I go, I intentionally live life listening out to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and I have been on a real journey over what my calling might be.
I am currently a Primary School teacher and as I said, when I started down that road I was far from God and He certainly wasn’t involved in any of my decision making. Now you might be thinking, hold on you didn’t get any A levels, so how did you get a degree? Well, I did a 2 year foundation degree and then the Registered Teacher Programme which involved completing a full degree whilst undertaking a 2 year teacher placement (in the school I worked at) to enable me to achieve qualified teacher status.
For me, getting a degree was a really big deal as I completely messed up my A levels, through making unwise lifestyle choices! I never saw myself as someone who could write and the essays I wrote obviously proved that (although with hindsight I have realised that it was more about my lifestyle choices and my work ethic than my writing ability, but obviously I didn’t see that at the time). So, I was left thinking I would never be able to get a degree!
Have you ever written yourself off?
Thankfully God never writes us off and what seems impossible, unsolvable, beyond reach, too far gone to us, is not for the God who created the universe and flung the stars into space.
Matt 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Well to cut a very long story short, I found my way back to God and truly believe in that time that God’s hand had been on my life, unbeknown to me and that He was working all things out for my good. Through the teaching job in that school and by a series of Godincidencies (yes it’s a real word, I think) I came to visit Kings Church London and the rest, as they say, is history!
Roms 8:28 and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I will be honest and say I started to question why I was teaching and questioning whether I had made the choices God wanted for me? Had I missed it? Did God want me to be doing something else with my life and I just hadn’t been aware? These were real questions I wrestled with when I came back to God.
One day on the way home from work I felt God drop the idea of moving to a school I drove past into my thoughts. That very night I had a message from a friend who worked at this school asking me if I was looking for a job!!!!! What!!!! I remember being utterly flabbergasted at this and that God was intervening in my life like this. So, I said yes to my friend and I am currently at that school and believe it’s the next part of God’s plan for me. I felt I should start a prayer group there and have seen such fruit for the kingdom coming from this and the prayer network that I set up-hallelujah! All it took was me saying yes in that moment when God set it all up, even though it wasn’t on my radar at the time, but I listened and was obedient and the doors opened, as it were!
At the same time as starting at this new school I started down another route that would completely change my life for ever and that was becoming a student on TSM (Training for Supernatural Ministry). Something came alive in me that would set me on fire for seeing God’s kingdom break out wherever I went and to see other people grow in the understanding of their identity, the Father’s heart for them and to see the supernatural as an everyday occurrence. During the course. I had a directional word over my life that I would write and teach on the stuff I was learning on TSM, which at the time didn’t seem at all possible!!
I have come to realise that God has been setting me up all along for where He wants me to go and in fact, my calling includes teaching but ultimately writing about and teaching on the Kingdom. So, all this time I had been wondering why I had gone down the teaching route as it was never in my sights and even though I felt I had fallen into it the whole time Papa was moving things around behind the scenes setting things in motion to bring me to the place I am today. All along God has had me in training, learning the skills I will need and a teaching style that He will use to glorify Himself.
For such a long time I worried about missing it whilst God was stirring my heart and a growing passion and hunger for all things prophetic, seeing people walk in freedom and getting ‘to do the stuff’ (to quote the late, great John Wimber, the founding father of the Vineyard church movement). Recognising this call from God (who puts the desire in us to start with) has radically changed my life. I am a work in progress and on a journey like we all are but as I look back I can see where God has been guiding and shaping me to be all He wants me to be and living a life that I have been called to as he unveils it to me bit by bit, so that I can’t get ahead of myself or God for that matter and I have to keep leaning into Him.
When God thought of you and me before the beginning of time He had the best plans for our lives and we don’t have to worry about missing it, even when we mess things up because He works all things for good and nothing is impossible for Him to turn around.
I hope you are encouraged by this scripture as I am,
So, what are you passionate about?
Have you ever stopped to think that it could be your calling?