[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] D[/dropcap]uring my 20s, I felt like I was plagued with the question of what is my calling? I prayed, sought God, traveled the globe, went to school, did more school, worked in ministry, worked in the hi-tech industry, worked for non-profit charities, and moved around. It wasn’t an easy time in life, but I learned a lot. I figured out what I was good at, what I longed to do, and what was certainly not me. And in the midst of all of that, I finally just leaned into God and stopped asking. I also happened to meet my husband, and life took me to another continent with a whole new set of questions.
Fast forward 6+ years to who I am now as a 35 year old mother of two, with #3 on the way, and I’ve settled into a pattern of life. I get up around 7am every single day, talk with my firstborn, help my husband rush out the door, get breakfast and lunches made, get boys dressed, get myself dressed and get us all to where we’re going for the day, which is always work, preschool, and to a babysitter. Saturdays are our one day off, so they’re family day/housework day. Sundays are made up of church, coffee with my mom and sister while Mark heads to the cleaning jobs, and then the boys and I do our grocery shopping and head home to prepare for Monday. Do I love my life? I love parts of it, but not all of it. Do I have complaints? A few. Am I grateful for my life? Yes, absolutely. In general, my only complaint is our lack of family time, free time, and time to do what we really love. There is so much that I want to do, but I’m not able to do because of the lack of funds and time. I have dreams that I want to see fulfilled. My husband has talents that sit by the wayside as he has absolutely zero free time, and that hurts my heart. It’s a struggle at times to do jobs that we have the skills for, but not the desire or calling for. Yet it’s a season. In this season, this is our life. So we’re thankful for all that we do have, jobs included, and we make the most of it.
Yet . . . . the longing for something more never leaves.
Two Sundays ago, my dad was out of town and asked one of the members of our church to preach instead. And the message that was delivered was all about encouraging the gifts within each other. Bringing out the callings, the giftedness that God has placed in each of us. That as a body we need one another. I need you to be a properly working foot as much as you need me to be a properly working arm. Yet we need to help each other realize our giftings, encourage one another to walk them out, and then flow together in unity. It was a good sermon. And my dad continued it this past Sunday. It’s had me thinking a lot. It’s had me weighing things in my mind, wondering who I can encourage in giftings, and considering what small areas I can step out in with the small amount of resources that I have.
And for some reason, as I consider all of it, I keep thinking back to the most significant moment that I experienced while we were in Paris this past Fall. It wasn’t significant in any way that was obvious, but the significance occurred because of the effect that such a small moment had on my heart. It was our last morning in Paris, we were getting ready to leave the city, and yet we decided to walk along the canals, where playgrounds were located. We wanted our boys to get a chance to run, play, slide, and do all that boys do before another long day of trains and train stations. Yet as we walked around, we also realized that the homeless had spent the night in the same area. Evidence of them was everywhere, and it was an odd combo of feelings. Humanity in the midst of the history and beauty of such a city brings different emotions. And I’m not remotely put off by homeless people; it’s more the opposite as my heart goes into immediate prayer/how can I help mode. Yet we had a language barrier and nothing on us to give them. So we just enjoyed walking around and letting the boys play. And I realized that one man was getting as much joy from watching us as we were in playing together as a family. He was loving the joy and laughter that radiated from my kids. When we had finished and we walked by him, he exhuberantly began speaking in French and gesturing towards the boys. It was clear that he had received much joy. We smiled and laughed (having no clue what he said), and told him in our rough French to have a great day. And as we walked off, I knew that man’s face would stick with me forever. I knew that something about the moment was to be imprinted on my heart. I realized that there are so many small things we can do to bring joy to others. This man obviously had little joy in his life as he sat on a park bench, blearly eyed, with a bottle of liquor at 8am. And we shared a few moments of our lives with that man, yet it brought so much joy.
So I may not love this town that we live in. I definitely don’t love how many hours my husband works. And I have unfulfilled desires and longings of things that I want to do in this life to make a difference. I so long to see my husband in a job that utilizes all that he is; I want that so much for him and for our family. Yet all I can do now, in this season, is make the most of the seed that I can sow. I can step out in the smallest of areas to do something to help someone else have a good day. I can give of my time, even if it’s only two hours on one Sunday every three months. I can be a friend who’s available by phone or email at all times. I can find ways to compliment the girl at the register who is working in the grocery store. And I most definitely can encourage two small boys and one big man to be all that God created them to be. I can find ways to encourage my husband every single day. There are plenty of things I can do from where I’m at, even if it doesn’t feel like it contributes much to the big picture. It sure does more than nothing . . . and I could write a million more words beyond this. But this is good enough for today.
In conclusion, I just want everyone who may read this to remember that you are a unique, gifted person no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do. And if you know Jesus, you are a walking, talking, breathing, bearer of Christ who attracts those who have eyes and hearts sensitive to know Him. Never let the devil or this world tell you that you have nothing to offer or are not needed. God thinks you are valuable enough that He willingly gave up His only Son to redeem you. He created you and knit you together in your mother’s womb with gifts and talents unlike any other. He has a good purpose for your life. You just have to walk it out, and He is with you every step of the way.