I think I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, perhaps not openly, but I can’t remember a time when I haven’t quietly pushed back against “norms,” or “traditions,” or the culture. Long before I knew Jesus, I balked at convention and questioned authority. None of that stopped after I met Him either. If anything, the questions grew larger, but so did my God.
However, I quickly learned that the church, as a whole, has little room and virtually no tolerance for a “trouble maker,” let alone a young female one. You can be a zealot for Jesus, of course, but when that zeal questions the manner and the means by which so many choose to follow Him, well then, they’d prefer if you kept that to yourself. Or left. Or both.
Which, as one can image, left me feeling misunderstood and isolated–the antithesis of how the church, our very life-giving Body, should lead us to feel.
Then, I responded in a way that, at the time, seemed like the sensible thing to do. I began praying and asking that God change me and transform my mind.
“Oh, Lord! I don’t want to be rebellious. I don’t want to ask so many questions and question so many people. Please help me to submit to authority and to put aside the thoughts and ideas that are counter to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
And then I waited and hoped and figured that at some point, as I submitted to Christ and as I walked in step with the Holy Spirit, I would stop questioning–that my natural curiosity, my need to challenge, and my desire to question the status quo would fade…
But, they never did…
And they weren’t meant to…
Because what I did not know for so long was that I was created to be a rebel. I was a born boat-rocker. Jesus made me a button-pusher. I wasn’t some purely rebellious, incendiary loud-mouthed girl. I was designed by God to ask questions and challenge traditional thinking in order to glorify My God and bring about freedom. Ushering in freedom to others became my calling. The act of rebellion against the traditions of man and the church became the means.
Because I had inadvertently stumbled into my calling, even though I didn’t know it. My calling had found me even when I had tried to pray it away.
My calling called me, as it were. And I eventually listened, even if I went kicking and screaming along the way.
I read a passage the other day and was reminded of God’s eternal purpose in calling each of us:
“God did not seem too worried about what the people in Scripture thought about their callings; He handed them out even if they felt reluctant or unsure about their assignments. Moses and Jonah and Esther all wished their callings away. But in their obedience, God was changing the world and building His stories.” – Jennie Allen
God calls us and invites us into His story whether we are unsure or steady, frightened or confident, because it is our obedience that allows Him to move. Our calling is simply the means by which He moves, the means by which He chooses to love us and to show His love to others.
We can throw up our fists, raise our objections, reject His offer, and even run like Jonah, but if not you, who? If you don’t allow Jesus to use you in your tailor-made, unique, and beautiful calling then whom shall He send?
You cannot outrun your calling. You cannot wish it away. You can simply submit it to the Lord, step forward in obedience, and watch Him unfold more of His glorious story…one page at a time.
I want to go. I want Him to call me. I want to respond with anticipation and confidence, remembering that my calling is simply the vehicle with which Jesus will reach those He longs to find, be it through–
A Rebel. Dissident. Lover. Fighter…or an Obedient daughter.
Have you ever felt like your calling didn’t “fit?” Have you resisted what God has called you into? What did He do and how did you respond?