I’m so grateful for the gifts God has given me. I’m adept in a multitude of areas and there honestly isn’t much I cannot master on my own. For example, school always came easy to me. I love the ingestion of new material and the way that knowledge enriches my life for others. I’m competitive when it comes to education and learning, though. I want to be the best, know the most, and be able to apply it in the grandest of forms. This is a struggle I have to understand and figure out how not to succumb to the temptations to be the smartest or be able to recall and apply the most information from a class.
Athleticism seems to come easily to me. When I was young I played basketball, beginning with Saturday Morning basketball (my fellow Cougars know what I’m talking about). In that program, I learned how important fundamentals were to sports. I also played softball and volleyball in school. The competition was fierce. I was able to give of myself in a different form, express myself and release the stress of the day. Yes, I’ve always been a high stress person. I loved every bit of it.
Then I went to college. I loved college and was so fortunate to attend a school that focused on the student as a whole. My professors knew my name. They genuinely struck up conversations in the hallways outside of class hours. Nothing changed much while in college except my hunger for knowledge grew even more. It was nearly insatiable. When I entered into the College of Education, I felt powerful because I was capable. I was one that they (and I) knew would be great at this teaching career.
My teaching career started. I was offered teaching jobs on the spot during my student teaching semester. It was a huge boost to my ego…. Not sure if that was great or not, but it did. I thrived off of the high stress and high stakes of the students in my classroom. Those students were as my own. I was capable of teaching the subject, but even more so I was capable of reaching the students right where they were. It all came easy.
But there came a day when I learned the hard way that while my flesh may be quick to learn and quick to achieve, I am not the Creator and I am not in charge. I won’t go into the details right now, but I left teaching in the classroom to raise my children. It wasn’t my choice. In fact I fought it tooth and nail.
At first I didn’t understand this track God put me on, but I decided to obey. As much as I thrive and love teaching middle schoolers, I am currently receiving the most joy I’ve ever experienced in my life. The joy in the faces I get to see in front of me every day and all day. The sounds of laughter, the screams, the sibling rivalry, it’s my new normal. Teaching my son that words like “stupid” and “shut up” aren’t appropriate to use, finding adjectives to take their places.
One of the best gifts I’ve seen is my son choosing to seek Jesus on his knees. My eyes well up as I type. He prays to Him and knows that’s where he should go first before Mommy and Daddy.
As great as this all is, there are some setbacks. God has me in a place of ministry. He’s holding my hand as I enter into the world of what He wants me to do. Those times He wants me to go further, yeah, those are super challenging for this girl who can do nearly everything well in her own flesh. So imagine when God calls me out of that comfort and how it might look or feel. Imagine what temptations satan may try.
I don’t want to tell God no, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I have arguments with Him or will shut Him out because I don’t want to do what He has asked of me. I’ll say, “Who am I, Lord, that you’d call me to do this?”
Or there are other times that I will put the block up because I know that my obedience will cost me something. My friend Paulette and I were talking about this yesterday. I never knew how much it would cost me to obey God and the calling He has on my life. While the cost may be refining, rewarding, and glorifying to God, it is also painful. And seriously, who wants to accept a task when you know it will cause pain?
Some costs I’ve incurred:
- The career I so esteemed to have.
- Time away from the television
- Financial constraints
- Massive student loan debt
- Buying a dream home that we could afford at one time
Even though I’ve lost a lot in order to be refined, I’ve also had blessings bestowed upon me because of my obedience:
- Watching two beautiful children grow up in front of me
- Holy routines–healthy spiritual life
- Running–I now release stress through running.
- Recognizing a need for a healthy lifestyle
- Discipling my children and husband
- IgniteWomen–God showing little snippets of being on the right track. We will change the world!
- Crossing paths with amazing women of Truth who will speak truth into my life
- Control–I don’t have to have control over everything, especially when it is stripped of me through extenuating circumstances.
- Desires to further the Kingdom and not just selfish desires
There are many more freedoms I experience by being obedient, of course. Just because I say yes, doesn’t mean it will be easy. Obedience to our callings have a cost. Am I willing to accept it? Am I willing to give up on my fleshly desires in order to further God’s Kingdom? Once thing’s for sure, following our callings isn’t for the faint of heart–No room for selfish desires.
I now ask you, what’s your calling? Are you actively choosing to be obedient to it? What costs have you incurred? What are the blessings that you’ve experienced because of obedience to God?