3 Things I Learned from Struggling to Find My Calling

3 Things I Learned from Struggling to Find My Calling

Struggles come in all shapes and size some big, some small, but everyone has struggles unique to them. However, there are common struggles we all share. For instance, my youngest son graduates next year from high school and is thinking about his future. What he should do for work, where he should go to school, should he go to community college or go off to a University? When we have conversations with him about this it usually ends with us telling him to pray about and seek God. The truth is he may plan to go in one direction, but God may lead him in a completely different direction.
 
This week on the podcast I interviewed Eric Nevins host of the Halfway There Podcast: Eric Nevins: Struggle to Find Your Calling We talked about the struggle to find your calling, how God sometimes plants you somewhere that doesn’t make sense, and His grace to not waste that time. Today Eric shares his wisdom with us on the blog. Please welcome Eric Nevins.
 

 
3 Things I Learned from Struggling to Find My Calling
by Eric Nevins
 
“Well, I’m off to waste another day of my life,” I thought as I rumbled down the road to my office. Nine years after graduating with a seminary degree and trying multiple avenues to enter various other professions, I was still working at a bank doing work that felt meaningless. Wasn’t there more to life than this, especially if I felt called to ministry? Turns out the answer was yes, and for the time being no.
 
Here are three things I learned to do from a twenty-year struggle to find my calling:
 

Cultivate contentment

 
It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that the first step to struggling with your calling well is to cultivate contentment but I’m here to tell you it’s true. A lack of contentedness will rob you of the opportunity to enjoy the season of life you are in.
 
For example, I once had the best job in the world and didn’t know it. In college, I worked as an in house security guard at a small benefits firm. This place was amazing. We had 24-hour access to all the soda, juice, and yogurt you could ask for. Lunches were free and leftovers plentiful. Any time of day you wanted food, it was not far off. The work required me to be available at the door to let the appropriate people in and to make a check of the doors every so often. That was it! The rest of our time was spent on the internet, reading books for school, and wading knee deep in theological waters with my coworkers.
 
When they outsourced our jobs I raged but really I was mourning. You never know what you had until it’s gone especially if you do not actively appreciate what you have at the time. Wherever you are, even if you feel hopelessly stuck, look for one good thing every day and let them build up to increase your contentment.
 
 

Get great at whatever you can

 
Work habits have a tendency to build on one another and develop into skills. For example, I spent over 10 years in the abyss known as customer service. Yes, I worked in a call center for over a decade. I still cannot believe it myself. Many days were full of boredom while saying the same thing over and over again. I started to think of my job like Name That Tune and go so good at it that I could tell what the customer needed within a few words. I never imagined that I was developing a skill of listening behind the words, developing an ear for tones that told me more was going on. I couldn’t have known that later I would use this skill to create a podcast that I love and has helped many. But it has.
 
 

Keep an eye toward the future

 
This one is so important. Even if you don’t know what your calling is or had some failures in what you thought was your calling, keep dreaming. Why? Because you never know what will catch on and capture your heart.
 
After graduating from seminary, I started a blog about Christians and politics, everything you’re not supposed to talk about. I quickly realized that I didn’t have as much to say as I thought but was able to get books from publishers. One of those books changed my life and convinced me that telling stories was more powerful than telling people what to think about complex issues. Years later, that conviction would lead me to start a little podcast called Halfway There that now has hundreds of thousands of downloads.
 
Life is a series of events and experiences that all stack on one another. If you’re having a hard time finding your calling ask the Lord, try everything, and don’t give up.
 
Eric Nevins is the host of Halfway There, founder of Christian Podcasters Association and author of 8 Day Experience, a collection of short, contemplative Bible studies design to go deeper with the Lord.
 

Thanks for visiting By His Grace today! You also enjoy posts from other recent guests like Cheyenne BellKatie M. Reid, or Kate Battistelli. If you are struggling to make sense out of life you may want to check out my newly released best selling Bible Study.

The Struggle is Real: But so is God Bible Study is a 6-week journey through the Bible that will:

Equip you with empowering wisdom.

Help you grow spiritually by claiming God’s promises as your own.

Teach you how to declare scripture over yourself to strengthen your inner being.

Show you how to conquer challenges by activating God’s Word in your life. 

Grab your copy of The Struggle Is Real: But So is God Bible Study. Perfect for a summer or fall Bible Study. For personal study or with a small group.

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

Eric Nevins: Struggle to Find Your Calling

Eric Nevins: Struggle to Find Your Calling

On this episode of By His Grace Eric Nevins and I have a conversation about struggling to find your calling. We talk about the difference between a job and a calling, and how God uses everything in our lives. We discuss our callings as the place where our passions intersect, and how we are all created by God for a purpose.

Eric Nevins is the host of a spiritual formation podcast entitled Halfway There where he talks to everyday Christians about their journey in faith. https://ericnevins.com/

Celebrating Father’s Day When Dad’s Not There

Celebrating Father’s Day When Dad’s Not There

Dealing with the sudden loss of your spouse can be tricky, especially when you have small children. On episode 22 of By His Grace  Podcast, I interviewed Cheyenne Bell about coping with the unexpected loss of her husband.

Listen to that episode By His Grace Podcast: Cheyenne Bell.

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day, and today Cheyenne shares some practical ways to celebrate Father’s Day with your children after your husband is gone. Please welcome Cheyenne Bell to By His Grace.


Celebrating Father’s Day When Dad’s Not There

by Cheyenne Bell

After losing my husband suddenly in October of 2017, one of the hardest truths to swallow is the knowledge that my kids will grow up without such a beloved and important figure in their lives. That burden is even more heavy on my heart as my little family came up on our first Father’s Day without their daddy. I began to dread a day that used to bring us joy as we showered my husband with love and gifts, but now, even though we still had all this love to give him, he was no longer here to receive it. I realized I had to be proactive about making Father’s Day a day of joy, despite our loss…but how?

My kids are not the only children in the world without a father to celebrate on Father’s Day. Whether a child has lost their dad through death, divorce, or abandonment, Father’s Day can be hard on many kids and their moms or guardians. I don’t believe that ignoring the day is the right answer. For me, I chose to celebrate the day by honoring my husband’s memory and his legacy of love and reminding my kids daily of what a treasure they were to him. Here are some ways that I found can help kids honor their daddies, even in their absence.

Whether a child has lost their dad through death, divorce, or abandonment, Father's Day can be hard on many kids and their moms or guardians. Click To Tweet

Activities Dad Would Have Loved. Take your kids out for a day filled with “daddy activities.” For us, I take my kids to a movie, or grab dinner at Chipotle, then have ice cream for a treat. Their dad would’ve loved all of these things! You don’t have to go out or spend money to engage in “daddy activities,” though. You can easily have fun at home doing things your kid’s dad would have loved: puzzles, video games, grilling, building something, cooking. Talk about their dad a lot while you do all of these things. Keep his spirit front and center throughout these fun activities!

Celebrate Other Father Figures. My children are extremely lucky to have awesome uncles (actual and designated) and two amazing grandfathers in their life. Even though they are not a replacement for their dad, these men have stepped into Daddy’s shoes with grace and strength of character. They deserve to be recognized as father figures in my kids’ lives and we will celebrate them as much as we would have celebrated Daddy on Father’s Day.

Write Letters to Dad. While my kids are not quite old enough to write a letter to Daddy yet, this is a great way for older kids to honor their absent dad. Not only will this activity give kids an opportunity to express their love for their dad, it will also give them a chance to process feelings they have been experiencing since the loss of their father. Assure your child that you will not read the letter if that is their wish, but encourage them to “speak” freely to their Dad and tell him how much he’s missed. Follow up with lots of snuggles and encouragement.

Visit Dad’s Resting Place. If your child’s father has a final resting place, Father’s Day might be a good day to visit. Bring flowers, a letter for Daddy, or just yourselves. Spend time talking about their dad and remembering him, or telling them about him if they never had the opportunity to know him themselves.

Volunteer. Father’s Day would also be a good day to give of your time and energy for those less fortunate. If your kid’s dad had a favorite charity or a cause dear to his heart, find a way to get your kids involved with that cause for the day.

Grieve Together. Despite the way you decide to honor the absent dad in your kid’s life on Father’s Day, it will likely be an emotionally trying day for you and for your kid. Allow yourself and your child to grieve freely. There is nothing wrong with allowing your child to see your sadness. In fact, it may help your kid process his own grief by watching you process yours. Give yourself and your child permission to feel the sadness of the day, but also encourage him to remember the good times as well. Grieving together will be a source of healing and comfort for you both.

Father’s Day will never be the same for our family, nor should it be. There will always be a hole where there was once an amazing, loving, gregarious, kind, thoughtful man who loved us more than his own life. As much as we wish we still had him in our lives, we know that he is rejoicing in Heaven and we will see him again someday. Until then, we will honor him and his life whenever we can, especially on Father’s Day.

Cheyenne is a writer and blogger with a slight obsession for old homes and good coffee. Cheyenne’s blog, Sense & Serendipity, focuses on inspiring others to create a home well loved and a life well lived. Cheyenne lives in Buda, Texas with her amazing children, Aislin and Hawkins.

 
 

Thank you for visiting By His Grace today! While you are here be sure to check out other By His Grace Podcast episodes that help bring hope to the struggles we face in this life.

 
Much Love, 
 

Misty Phillip

Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

Please welcome Katie M. Reid to By His Grace this week. On the podcast, we discussed the struggle between Law vs. Grace. As a Martha type-A get it done kinda gal, Katie has had a life-long struggle with law vs. grace. After spending years of trying to earn her place with God, Katie learned to enjoy her place in God’s Kingdom, as a daughter, not a slave.

You can listen to that episode here Katie Reid: Law vs. Grace.


Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

by Katie M Reid

I am not a quitter. By God’s grace, I have been called a finisher. 

But, I’m done. This get-it-done gal is giving up spiritual gymnastics.

To explain further, tag along with the Ghost of Sixth Grade Past, and enter the bustling gym, packed with girls sporting a colorful array of leotards—a gymnastic meet is in full swing. A lean gymnast is in the middle of a compelling floor exercise, her choreography synced to the latest 80’s pop song. Now, divert your eyes away from the natural talent to the pear-shaped sixth grader, in the wedgie-inducing leotard (okay don’t think too much about that last part).

What I lack in talent, I make up for in determination. Inspired by Mary Lou Retton, my 12-year-old self approaches the balance beam, for a springboard spilt mount to start things off and….I fall off the beam, again and again. I try so hard to nail a flawless routine that I topple under the pressure. 

It was my first and last gymnastic meet. 

Dismounting the Beam

I asked Jesus into my heart when I was four, pumping my little legs on the swing, declaring my faith to the heavens with a simple melody. But as I grew, my childlike faith morphed into try-hard faith, where I worked to keep up appearances and avoid missteps and embarrassing situations, like ill-fitting leotards. 

I knew I was saved by grace, yet I acted like it was all up to me to earn a perfect score. When I failed to live up to my holier-than-thou standard, I felt like God was distant and angry. When I felt good about my efforts, I stood tall—puffed up and pleased with myself for hitting the mark. 

This tiring ping pong match of discouragement and pride did a number on me. 

Then, a few months before my 40th birthday, God invited me to quit what I had worked so hard to grasp. 

He showed me that I didn’t have to perform for His love, it was already mine, in Christ. I didn’t have to leap and twist my way into His favor, because Christ had died to gift it to me. Click To Tweet

I could get off the balance beam and stop trying to measure up because Jesus had made a way when I felt short.

 

Call It Quits

Friend, you are invited to call it quits too. You are invited to exchange your sin for Jesus’ sufficiency, your legalism for His lavish grace. Stop wearing yourself out trying to prove yourself, and instead, run into His loving arms that were outstretched on the cross to prove His love for you, once and for all.

Spiritual contortions are not required to wow this judge. Jesus already earned the perfect score, so whether you fall or fly, you are a champion. The gift of grace isn’t like getting a participation ribbon for showing up, this is like getting an Olympic gold medal for existing. 

You receive what you don’t deserve and it seems unbelievable. You receive pardon for guilt, favor for failures, forgiveness for sins. On one hand it’s ludicrous and the other it is overwhelmingly good news. 

It’s like offering a lump of coal at a gift exchange and receiving a ten-carat diamond ring in return. Although the ring is valuable and breathtakingly beautiful, you are embarrassed to take it. It is so lavish and you feel so lacking. Yet there is nothing left to do but allow yourself to enjoy the gift. And sometimes doing so is the hardest “to do” of all. 

If you have accepted the gift of salvation then relish in what is true:

•Jesus’ performance determines your worth.

•His good work leads you to right standing with God.

•God’s pleasure with you is directly correlated to His Son’s finished work on the cross.

God, help us not to add to or take away from that which is perfectly wrapped in human flesh, provided by You, with love. 

Jesus: Grace Incarnate.

We don’t have to strive to receive that which has been gifted. We receive salvation, through faith, and we enjoy it. We don’t have to earn it, pay it back, or promise to be flawless. Click To Tweet

The beam of Jesus’ love supports us. His grace is strong enough to hold us. His open arms offer what we can’t ever obtain on our own. 

Grace is not just a pleasantry. Once grasped, it is truly a lasting motivator to live set apart—pure and holy, for the Lord’s glory. It doesn’t mean we will never struggle or sin after receiving it, but we are changed by it, and we are freed from legalism, through it.

Consider yourself invited to quit spiritual gymnastics too. Get off the balance beam and sync up to God’s love, as you leap and twirl to some fantastic 80’s music. 

 

Katie M. Reid is a speaker, singer/songwriter, and author of Made Like Martha. She holds a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and has been published on: Focus on the Family, LightWorkers, Proverbs 31, TODAY’s Parenting Team Blog, and For Every Mom. Katie is a fan of musicals and cut-to-the-chase conversations over tea. Katie lives with her husband and five children in the middle of Michigan. She and her husband host “Stop! Hammock Time” on Facebook, to encourages couples to get closer and grow deeper. Subscribe to katiemreid.com to receive resources to help you walk free and live out your God-given purpose.

 

 


This week I kicked off the online study for The Struggle is Real: But So is God. I am so excited to gather with women from across the country to dig into God’s Word online and declare truth over ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom of Jesus! There is still time to join us. We meet at 8 PM CST on Tuesday evenings in The Struggle is Real Online Bible Study Group for a Facebook Live.

So excited to gather women from across the country to dig into God’s Word and declare truth over ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom of Jesus! Grab your copy of The Struggle is Real: But So is God on Amazon today and come join the fun!

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

Katie M. Reid: Law vs. Grace

Katie M. Reid: Law vs. Grace

Katie M. Reid, author of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done and I have a great conversation about the battle between law and grace. As a Martha type-A get it done kinda gal, Katie has had a life-long struggle with law vs. grace. After spending years of trying to earn her place with God instead of enjoying the place, He had already given her as a daughter. Listen in to hear about Katie’s encounter with grace that prompted her to write Made Like Martha.

To learn more about Katie you can find her at the following. Website: KatieMReid.com Facebook:@KatieMReidWriter

 

 

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