I don’t belong here, at HOPE. Oh, I am supposed to be here for a time but this isn’t where I’m supposed to settle. It is not that I don’t firmly believe in the vision of this organization. On the contrary I believe it is intricately linked to my own passions and purpose. That being said I struggle with the knowledge that the organization itself isn’t truly answering the biblical call to do justice. It is doing justice…it does bolster its cause with the use of scripture… but it is not an entity driven by a love for Christ and by extension a need to see his kingdom brought to earth. There is a lack of people doing this with the fervor I would expect from followers of Jesus. It is sometimes as if the word of God is a secondary consideration next to man’s agenda; albeit a worthwhile and admirable agenda. I came into this field knowing I would be working with people of mixed faiths and that was an exciting and welcomed challenge. Still, I had thought that challenge would be tempered by the presence of Christians that I had been longing to meet. God has undoubtedly written a call to do justice on my heart. In ministry I had felt like the odd woman out and was so anxious to meet Christians who shared the same burden. I have found people who share that fiery passion for justice but I had hoped it would be matched… no… exceeded by a passion for Jesus.
I would not be so presumptuous as to say I have no colleagues like this. Of course I do and they bless me. I had just had such hopes for a community (as spread out as we are) of believers whom I could strengthen and who could strengthen me not only in our work but also in our faith. It could simply be circumstance that prevents me from seeing the full extent of their faith. Perhaps with more conversation and more time it would become clear how they love the Lord. But if you live for him shouldn’t that be as obvious a part of you as the color of your skin? Then again, they could have been looking at me this past year and harboring the same concern. Do I clearly live for him?
For those organizers who do not follow Jesus I have no criticism. My faith is not their faith and I have no place judging. I am simply honored to watch them exercise a passion to see justice done. I believe that the Lord lovingly placed that passion in them and that what they do now is a glimpse of whom God desires for them to be but that is for them to work out and decide in their own time. It doesn’t diminish the impact their efforts have on our community. They are a gift to the cities they live and work in.
It is not without reservation that I continue to come to work each morning. My insides recoil at the idea of doing this work day in and day out for years to come. Not because I am sorry to be doing it now but because this is not what I envision for myself. I still crave adventure, and movement, and to be great. When I look ahead I see so much more than what I am doing at this very moment but I suppose that is a natural desire. Some of my peers in this field have or will commit their lives to this work. They thrive on it, are good at it, and some go as far as to be defined by it. Sometimes I feel guilty for not being that committed; not being that certain. I see it as a stepping-stone to the next phase in my life. I respect the work and want to honor a field that I see as crucial to our city’s well-being but it would be a lie to say this is where I want it to end.
Am I not meant for more than this? Am I standing in the way of my own calling or am I yearning for an excellence that was never reserved for me?
I have known I was called to missions since I was eighteen years old. I spent several years following that waiting for God to show me where. Where would I live? Who would I serve? I knew little of missions but what I did know was everyone got “called” somewhere. Would it be India? Africa? For a while I was certain it was Haiti. I was mistaken. How could I be so certain I was called to missions and not know where? Was wrong about everything?
A few years ago Wesley (campus ministry) had a Prophetic ministry weekend. Our pastor challenged us to intercede and pray into each other’s lives, to exercise the gift of prophecy and be bold enough to share words with each other. When it came time for me to be prayed over I was given an answer. Several people spoke such an affirming truth into my life. “Your feet will constantly be moving.” “ You are to go from place to place as God decides where and when he needs you”
Of course! It is how I spent my entire childhood. Constantly being moved around. Never having a home. It wasn’t ideal but it also made it so that I became a natural at assimilating myself into any environment and creating a “home” for however long I was there. It would make sense for the Lord to redeem that aspect of childhood by making it a strength in my adult life. It was so comforting to hear that from friends. I am called to the nations. I love that God made me this way. I love that he trusts me.
The reason I mention this now is I’m struggling with whether I am creating truths to simplify my life or if God is using this time to unfold another part of his plan for me. I’m jumping ahead though.
The potential “truths” I am referring to is the recent nagging feeling that perhaps I’m not only meant to wander in terms of where I’m called but also in how I’m called. I’m been carrying that weight around for months. Am I supposed to master one thing/career and pour myself into it for the rest of my life or commit myself wholeheartedly to a multitude of things until God calls me onto the next task.
Every time that thought creeps in I chalk it up to weakness and a lack of fortitude. Every responsible adult picks a path and maintains it. You rise in the ranks of your given field and you establish yourself in one community. Is it just immaturity that makes that concept seem so wrong to me? Should I have stuck it out with law, or ministry, or now with organizing? I never felt as though I was quitting. These all seemed like seamless transitions I was meant to make and continuing to live my life that way seems so right.
What are your thoughts? Are you where you belong? Are you doing the one thing you are meant to do? Does everyone have only ONE thing they are called too?