3 Questions to Help You Identify Your Calling
Are you currently wondering if there is more to your life that what meets the eye? Do you have an inkling that you may be here on the earth for a purpose yet undiscovered? Read on for 3 questions and a free worksheet to help you find your calling.
WHY CALLING MATTERS
Excuse me while I drop a tiny bit of science and talk about the brain for a second (#homeschoolmom). The prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain (in the frontal lobe) that keeps you on the level. It also affects personality and impacts your decision-making. One of the most important decisions a person can make is what to do with his/her life.
We as a society have become increasingly interested in the idea of a life calling, or a specific (career) path that one would choose based on strengths, talents, and personality.
As a child raised by baby boomers, I was certain that there was one perfect job in the world for me to do. As I grew older and my interests multiplied, I became less sure.
In college, I wondered how so many of my friends could be so certain of their life’s purpose at such a young age. Like, how in the world do you choose a whole profession before you’re old enough to rent a car?
LIFE LESSONS LEARNED
Little did I know then what I now know–that jobs, even careers, are not necessarily permanent. Go figure. The concept of vocation is far less complicated than I anticipated. Considering how expensive a college education can be–I wanted to have at least a faint idea of how I would use said education.
I chose to major in something interesting and versatile–Psychology–finishing my degree in 3.5 years. After graduation, I worked a few admin jobs until I landed a job in Human Resources at a government agency. Each job taught me a lesson about people, life, and how to relate to the world around me. But I never experienced my “aha!” moment. I concluded that my calling was still waiting to be discovered.
A RENEWED PERSPECTIVE
Somewhere along the way, I realized that the idea of calling isn’t the same for everyone. You may have been called to one career, one job, one path. For me, however, the journey has been winding and full of detours. I realized that a calling isn’t necessarily a destination–it’s more or less like a vehicle. Some of us get plenty of mileage before it’s time to trade in. Others change vehicles much more often. In fact, your calling may not be your job or career, but the latter can prepare you for the former.
When I quit my job to stay home nearly four years ago, I deeply struggled with my sense of purpose. Yep. Even with a home, husband, and kids to care for–which is easily a full-time job and then some–I felt utterly lost for a period of time. I scrolled around social media and observed my friends full-time momming and hustling like the rock stars they are, and felt like I could be–should be–doing more.
I left ten years in the workforce, and everything I knew, for a world less familiar. I felt like I was missing out. I went back and forth with God, wondering if He intended for me to use my gifts and talents during this season of SAHMhood, or if I was to put them to rest for another time.
WHAT IS MY CALLING?
After a season of prayer and reading, I learned that I have one main calling [as a believer] above all others–to honor Jesus with my life, no matter what I am doing. I also have several “sub-callings” that stem from that main purpose. First and foremost, I am a wife and a mother. Currently, I am a homemaker, a homeschooler, an artist, and a writer.
When I surrendered my ideas and life plans to God, He opened my eyes to the many opportunities around me. I no longer worry that I’m missing out on anything. I have peace for the moment, because I know that where I am today is where I am supposed to be. If He moves me to do something new tomorrow, then I will follow His lead.
Maybe you are like I was–drifting, living day to day, wondering if I was made for more than the grind. If you are searching for greater purpose and fulfillment, let these three questions nudge you in the right direction.
3 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR CALLING:
1) What do you know?
In other words, where have you been, and what is right in front of you? Your past and current seasons of life are rich with clues pointing to your calling.
In my past jobs, I have learned:
- the importance of serving a cause and investing in people rather than just my own ambition.
- how to (mostly how not to) deal with difficult people.
- how to ask for what I wanted.
As a stay-at-home mom, the learning opportunities are endless. Budgeting, organizing, conflict resolution, meal planning, all the things are shaping and preparing me for the next season.
2) What are you naturally interested in?
Make a list of all the things you can remember ever being interested in. Did you play sports? Are you into fashion? Do you love to write, re-organize, sing? What could you spend a good chunk of time on without keeping track of time?
As a child, I was sure I would become a doctor, until I realized how much I dislike blood. Bleh. I loved school, though. Pretty sure I was the only person in my class crying tears of sadness on the last day of school. I lined up my little sister and stuffed animals to “teach” them during summer vacation. Never would have guessed that would lead to me homeschooling my own kids–but it makes total sense now.
I also loved to write–hence, the blog.
3) What are you known for being really good at?
If you are unsure of what you are good at, ask family and close friends. Are people always asking you for fashion advice? Do your chocolate chip cookies make people want to [inadvisably] slap their grannies? Are you really easy to talk to? Can you break down complicated topics like it’s nothing?
Need More Insight?
Take time to pray about and explore the answers to these questions. Ask God for guidance and to show you who you are called to be. If you need to talk it out, bounce your ideas and questions off of a close friend, spouse, family member, or therapist. If you’re an internal processor, a journal may prove useful here.
I have found this personality test extremely helpful for even more insight. It is heavily based on the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and is useful for getting an overview of how your specific personality affects your career, relationships, and parenting.
Finally, when I lose my way (or when I just feel lost), these scriptures have encouraged me:
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
Great, so now what?
After you have taken some time to reflect and answer these questions, ask God for guidance. You are either walking in your calling or about to step into it. Trust the process.