*Five Minute Friday is an initiative set up by Lisa-Jo Baker over at Surprised by Motherhood. It has now been taken over by Kate over at Heading Home. The basic premise is to take the word Kate gives and write, non-stop for 5 minutes. Then you stop and post. Read more about it here. This October, I am taking part in a series based on this called “31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes”, in which we commit to writing from the prompt as usual, but everyday rather than just on a Friday. Read more here.
So here I am. Day One. Coffee in hand, toddler sleeping peacefully, dishwasher purring away in the background. Here is where my 31 days begin. And what a word to start with!
Calling. It’s what most of us Christians spend large amounts of time worrying about and stressing over. Particularly those of us who are Catholic.
Am I called to single or married life? To be a nun/monk/priest/deacon/wife/husband/consecrated single?
And even beyond that, what specifically am I called to within that vocation? Who will be my husband/wife? Where will God call me to? Who should I serve? What should be my mission?
These questions buzz in the heads of many young committed Catholics and Christians semi-permanently. It can cause a lot of pain, a lot of heartbreak, a lot of anguish. I know it did for me.
Until one day, it didn’t.
Because I started to get it. I delved into God’s word and found stories time and time again of people crying out for God’s guidance and, just when they needed it most, He provided. I discovered that sometimes the best thing you can do when it comes to discerning is wait…
And that’s tough.
And sometimes, He asks us to make choices. Discernment always ends in decision. We can agonise over our callings forever, or we can be still, listen, and choose.
It’s amazing how God blesses that.
There was a time in my life when God stripped me bare and asked me to give up my heart’s desires and to simply trust and wait. I walked through cancer with Him by my side, and I waited. I wish I could say I did it patiently. I didn’t. But I did it. He asked me to give Him my heart, the heart of a wife and mother, to trust Him with it, and to know that if He never returned it, it would be enough. Because He was all I needed. He is all I need.
So as I approach my third wedding anniversary, and prepare for the birth of my second child, struggling through the strange and beautiful and difficult time that is being pregnant with a toddler, I bless the Lord even on the tough days. Because He blessed my patience. He blessed my surrender.
He called. I answered. And He asks me to answer again and again everyday.
Because calling is not some big grand gesture that happens once in your life. Your calling is your life. And your life is your calling.