We can either be passive in the things that happen to us or we can actively search for meaning in our ‘happenings.’ We can simply exist in our circumstances or claim them for the Lord’s will. We can either toss and bob in the waves of the storm, struggling to stay afloat or we can paddle in the direction of the Lord and his shore.
My story is not a spectacular one. There is nothing glittery or particularly behooving about the circumstances that have made me who I am today. I think back though, and the thrill of my life has been my pursuit of the Lord’s calling on my life. That’s where the adventure and mystery lurks. That’s where we see friend and foe face each other. That’s where my plans collide with reality and divinity. That’s where I pull the Lord’s word out of it sheath and slay the distractions that interrupt my quest.
This calling was well out of my grasp and comprehension until a map to it was stamped on my heart. My calling was never really revealed to me like a little league soccer trophy was at Chucky Cheese. Instead, I felt that my calling was on a slender rock podium with a miraculous, golden light shining down on it, twinkling at me to take it.
I rather haphazardly exchanged my well-thought-out plans for my life for a much simpler plan. I remember tiptoeing up to the podium. Gulping down my anxiety, because all I had to offer where the hopes and dreams of an impostor, I reach for this new calling. I squinted at the podium that now highlights the bag of unremarkable sand that my old life was. Clutching the new calling against my chest like a gold coin, I knew I my entire worth amounted nowhere near this calling’s worth. This calling would cost a life.
I dashed away from my old life and plans that I left in a crumbling temple. I felt the weight of this calling in my hands and heart. It was if it was literally engraved with ‘lay down your life and take up my cross.’ Fear pricked me from all angles. I knew this was the cost. My old life was laid to rest in that old, crumbling temple. There was and is no turning back. I hoisted my satchel up higher on my shoulder and embarked through the dense jungle of life with my new calling reminding me of its weight almost every step.
I knew what the calling was but did not know what my calling would look like day to day. Turns out; laying down my life and taking up my cross rarely looks the same each time. One day, it is denying the things I want to do in my free time, to pour into a life that needs it. Another day, it is simply not complaining. Two days before, it look like extending grace to a repeat offender. Next week, it will probably be keeping my flesh out of the way of the Lord’s will.
Today, my calling looks like accepting that my road to being a mother will look drastically different than any road I could have imagined a few years ago. When my husband asked me to marry him, after saying ‘yes,’ I immediately began to picture the life we would create together. I knew kids were at least three years off, but I let myself dream this dream. Maybe our kids would have thick hair and tan skin like their dad. Maybe they would have my hazel and yellow eyes and my pug nose.
Friends, we tried for two years to see this dream realized. All the while, begging God that this was in His will. Begging Him to erase the facts and hurt. Even with fertility treatment and the top doctors, Baby Madole never came. Lying in bed late into the night with a mixture of anger, loss, sadness, hopeless, fear and shame, my calling was coaxed open like an early spring flower in an April rainstorm. The Lord whispered to my wayward heart that my calling is to lay down my life. To release the reigns. To let the carefully laid out plans for my life be whisked out the open window by a phantom breeze.
Every time I submitted to the Lord suddenly seemed like practice for this moment. Like the Lord was calling my bluff. I was quick to submit in certain areas of my life, but the most cherished desire of my heart, I clung tightly to. The Lord reminded me that the scared calling I accepted from Him, was worth so much more than the small-minded plans I could scribble out on a restaurant napkin. If the Lord overrules the plans I have for my life, that is because He has masterfully-crafted a better story for me.
My calling right now is to set out of the way of the Lord and let Him fulfill my deepest desire to be a mom through Adoption.
Baby Madole’s story is just a part of my calling. And in an effort to be 100% transparent, if you are a Christ Follower, this is your calling too. To lay down your life and the plans that seem so magnificently masterminded by you and cling tightly to the cross that He gives you. I desperately wish I could feel Baby Madole kick in my stomach and that Baby Madole would reflect my husband’s face. For the time being, that plan that I carefully polished all these years is laid among the dust and remains of my old life. I know God is very capable of orchestrating pregnancy for us, but obviously He has a better story written for us.
Today, I am reminding myself to claim my calling. Can you claim yours?