Now that we are closer to being settled in our new home I’ve got some time to really sit and reflect on the LifeWay Significant Conference I attended back in February.
The first session was hosted by Rebekah Lyons. The theme verse was from Esther 4:14 “For Such A Time As This” and Rebekah’s talk set the stage for a weekend of learning. The intro showed a few video segments from her amazing book and Bible Study Freefall and to Fly. She said, “Women fade when we don’t know who we are.” “We will never see the fullness of what God intended if we stay safe. We all need a free fall to allow God to teach us to fly.”
Rebekah shared some of her story from Free Fall to Fly and along the way she continued to speak words of scripture and truth over the students at the conference. She asked questions like “What is we go through life and go through the steps of Christianity but forget what God’s voice sounds like?”
Near the end of her sermon, Rebekah broke down the definition of calling. It was stated in a way I don’t remember ever hearing before. Calling is our talents and burdens combined. Talents are things we are naturally gifted at. A natural bend. Whether that be art or speaking or dance or something else. Burdens are the things that break our hearts. Calling is the use of the gifts God gave you to redeem and restore.
For me, this was incredibly affirming. God has broken my heart for college students. Their lives at the ages of 17-23 are so terribly messy. They are learning real independence. They are seeking to make their faith their own and learn to live it out when their parents aren’t around. They are exploring different church denominations and discovering what their life plans are all about. They are learning the importance of words and actions matching.
I seem to be talented at loving others and asking questions that allow people to enter into an in-depth discussion. I also appear to be able to look into someone’s life and encourage thinking outside the box. I have the spiritual gift of hospitality and am energized by students hanging out in our home.
I’ve wrestled with whether taking on-campus women’s ministries is in conflict with the hectic college football life we live. I’ve considered quitting many times as schedule conflicts arise. As things feel overwhelming and I desire to run, I always come back to thinking this thing just seems like God is calling me to it. Listening to Rebekah Lyons talk about calling confirmed that for right now I’m doing exactly what I should be. It also helped me see that women’s ministry is not in conflict with anything football related. They are all college students, all wrestling with the same things.
The quotes from Free Fall to Fly have been absolutely true for me. Our life in the cornfields was full of people telling me I wasn’t good enough to lead college students. It was hard to see my passions as a calling when no one around me seemed to agree. Ordell has said more than once I’m flourishing in the mountains, and the truth is, I feel alive here. I’m no longer fading. As life in the mountains has allowed for a fruitful season of ministry I have felt as if I’m in a continual free fall and for the most part it has been amazing. Knowing anything that happens is because God has allowed it is humbling. There is also safety in this knowledge for me. I seek to hear God’s voice and see His direction, and he responds.
So, taking the above definitions into consideration, what is your calling?