Because of the nature of my role at 4word (a ministry to professional women), I spend a lot of time speaking to women about their calling. What I’ve discovered over the years is that many women have an incredibly difficult time discerning what that calling is. For these struggling women, certain myths about calling are getting in the way of discovering what God truly has for them. In order to move forward in one’s calling, it’s important to identify and remove those myths from the discernment process.
If you’re feeling lost trying to discern God’s calling for your life, consider these myths that may be tripping you up.
Myth #1: It’s About You
The process of discovering your calling may necessitate some serious self-reflection, but make no mistake: It’s not really about you. Calling is not about self-fulfillment. Calling is submission to and fulfillment of God’s will for your life. Many people experience a special sense of satisfaction that comes from exercising their God-given gifts, talents, and passions, but that sense of fulfillment is a byproduct of being in God’s will, not the goal.
To discern what God’s will may be, you do need to look inward. You must seek to “know yourself” in order to discover God’s unique creation in you. But you are not a perfect interpreter of God’s work. And so you must also look outward, pouring into your relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and communion with other believers. You need to cultivate deep relationships with peers and mentors who can enter into prayer with you and speak truth into your life.
Myth #2: If It’s Uncomfortable, It Can’t Be Your Calling
Figuring out your calling isn’t an instant ticket to a smooth life and career. Knowing what you are meant to be doing is really just the beginning of what may be a long and arduous journey of hardship and defeat. Some of the most successful, inspired people throughout history have weathered crushing failures in pursuit of their paths.
For most of my career, I was called to the business world. I felt confident about that calling, but certainly not always comfortable. I faced plenty of hardships and failures at work and in my personal life. These challenges helped me grow and learn more about God and more about how God created me to serve him, eventually leading me to start 4word for working Christian women. And even in this season, God continues to challenge me and stretch me beyond my comfort zone.
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For Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper
- Carolyn Custis James: What It Means to Be a Woman in MinistryeBook Format Available! Author and speaker Carolyn Custis James offers leadership insights for women.