Maybe you can relate to this one.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God led you to something; that it was your calling?
How about this: have you ever been all-in fully committed to that calling and God came in and led you to something else instead? Like, He straight up changes the playbook mid game?
I remember this one time I was talking out of the boy’s house at the residential facility I used to work at. I was off and about to go to Starbucks for some rest and relaxation. Suddenly, it was like I heard this whispering in the back of my mind saying “Go to the schoolhouse. *Insert kid’s name* isn’t doing ok.”
Without hesitation, I turned around and walked directly to the school. As I turned the corner, I saw him just moments after being put into a restraint for raging out in class. Another staff member and I walked him back to the house and into a secure room. I sat down in a chair and waited in silence.
A couple minutes passed and I heard that whispering in the back of my mind again. I expected to receive words of wisdom or a question that would start a conversation, etc.
Instead, the voice said, “ok, now leave.”
I was upset! I had a hardcore “WTF?!” moment with God and couldn’t believe it but I knew it was Him…so, begrudgingly, left. I protested all the way to the car. “Why did you waste my time?” “Why did you take me through that just to do nothing?!” and then I doubted myself “did I really hear Him? Was I wring the second time? Was I wrong the FIRST time???”
No. I heard correctly. It was just hard for me to accept my level of involvement and that God would be so directly involved in, what appeared to be, a meaningless action. I found out later that the moment the door clicked behind me that the student burst into tears and expressed sadness that so many students treated me terribly and he wished he could do something. He would soon become my closest student and a much-needed friend.
On a bigger scale, I knew that God called me to work at Shelterwood and to be a mentor to teens. I was good at it and I loved it despite all of its stress and hardship. So when it came time to leave I found myself hurt, angry, and full of self-shame. I felt like I let God and all of my friends and students down. I felt like God was telling me to leave because I failed to do what He had called me to.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Since my departure, God has taken me on a crazy journey of self-discovery and healing. It has been very clearly interwoven with His providence and He has awoken me to my love for photography and artistic expression. He has very clearly been guiding me towards a vocation in those fields.
I experienced two completely different callings in a 4-year span, and the hardest part has been humbling myself when the second calling didn’t come with the accolades of caring for very difficult people and didn’t demand every drop of energy from me.
I had to learn to be faithful to God “re”calling and know that it doesn’t mean I failed. I also learned that just because it looks like you left without accomplishing anything, doesn’t mean it’s true. Every move God makes is loaded with purpose. We simply don’t always get to see what that purpose is.