I told God I wasn’t called to be a minister’s wife. Two times to be exact.
I can still remember precisely where I was when I said those prayers. Once I was in church, when I had the strangest feeling wash over me that I was going to marry this minister, a man I knew but certainly not well. Where did that thought come from, I wondered to myself. And then, as if to be on the safe side, I silently prayed telling God, “I’m not marrying a preacher, God. That’s crazy! I’m simply not called to be a minister’s wife.”
I heard no reply.
A few weeks later, I was in the car on my way home from work. I’d had a few more opportunities to be around this man, but nothing more than casual encounters. Once more, the feeling that I was going to marry this minister flooded my mind. A bit flummoxed, I began to pray once more; this time aloud as I was driving along that winding road. “God, I don’t know where these crazy thoughts are coming from, but I’m not marrying a minister! First of all, I barely know this person, and secondly, I’m just not meant to be a preachers’ wife.”
That settles that.
Many years later, I began to feel the urge to write. I didn’t understand it. I’d never written anything other than journals, letters, and personal things for myself and my family. To write something for others to read was out of the question. I’m much too private for that. I hold my heart close and don’t share its deepest joys or brokenness with many. However, the desire to write became stronger and stronger, so I began to pray about it. “I’m not called to write God. What would I even say? I don’t know how to write. I don’t share my heart openly with just anyone…you know this. You know how private I am, God.”
That’s when that preacher I wasn’t called to marry suggested that perhaps I was called to write.
Funny how things work when you start telling God what you are and aren’t called to do.
When I was younger, I had a lot of things figured out. Of course, I understood there were no guarantees in life, but there was still a part of me that thought I knew, at least in general, the course my life would take. Boy, was I mistaken.
Life is a puzzle with so many pieces, and there was a time I thought I knew how best to put it together. I knew to add the corner pieces first, followed by those with straight edges, and then fill it in with lots of beauty, laughter, hard work, and a bit of assurance nothing would go wrong.
I still see life as a puzzle. But I view it now as a cacophony of people, places, ideas, purpose, and calling that only God knows how to fit together perfectly. Oh, I try some days. Actually, I try a lot of days to make pieces fit where I want them. But it never works. And since I’m a few decades into this life now, I can honestly look back and see that the parts of the puzzle I never felt good enough for, those that seemed the most strange, the ones I felt just wouldn’t “fit,” the ones where I questioned the “calling,” are the ones that have become the most beautiful.
Friends, I don’t know what you’re called to do. But you are called to something.
Do you hear a whisper in your soul? Do you feel the nudge to step out in a different direction? Do you feel a desire to start something new?
The key to finding the answer to your calling and your purpose is finding the courage to lay the puzzle pieces down and simply say, “Here I am God. I’m done trying to fit them all together perfectly. They are yours to do with as you see fit.”
And then let go, trusting that what God has in store is the perfect plan.
It may not always be easy. It most probably won’t look the way you’ve always expected it to look. It may even feel or seem incredibly strange. But if you can trust, God will show you that His plans are perfect, and His ways are always good.
His pieces fit together beautifully every time.
Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”