2016-06-01 12.31.59

I’m going to be really honest with y’all right now. I’m feeling attacked at the moment. I’ve dealt with anxiety for probably longer than I realize, but it became very apparent after I had my second baby. During that time, I dealt with postpartum depression and then, slightly due to some hormone issues, I had anxiety attacks on a nearly daily basis. Since that time I’ve grown a lot spiritually and understand fully that our God is not a God of anxiety (something I knew before but never really stood on the promise). If I’m feeling anxious (in a negative, take over my mood and my day kind of way) that is NOT from God—it is an attack.

We live in a world that has more than one reality. I’m not talking about moral relativism, though a vast majority of the world live in that. What I am talking about is the very real spiritual realm that can directly affect each of us. Satan is not sitting back and accepting his predetermined defeat. He is going out swinging and trying to take as many of us with him as possible. I have come to recognize that if I evaluate what it is that is causing me anxiety, it is more often than not a direct attack against my identity and calling. That is what’s happening today.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve never been very consistent with my quiet times. I’ve learned to take time with God in other forms, but I know I need to be more consistent on starting my day in the Word to get myself pointed in the right direction. To help with that I utilize short one-week study devotionals that are built into my Bible app. It’s easy. It’s convenient. There is really no excuse for me to not take the 5-10 minutes required to read through the brief thought and a verse or two. I can then think and pray on it through the rest of my day, allowing God to use even just a few minutes to bring me closer to Him and His truth.

It never occurred to me (again, even though I technically know it) that those few minutes I use to calibrate my day would be used to completely derail me. But that’s what brought on today’s bout of anxiety.

If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written or even spoken with me for five minutes, you know that I am actually pretty clear on my calling. God has spoken into my heart and I feel confident in saying that I am called to encourage women in their identity as daughters of God. But both short devotionals I read this morning brought forth guilt about claiming that so confidently. One spoke about the privileged mentality that we approach this idea of callings. The other seemed to challenge that telling God what I want is a personal hindrance for God to fully use me how He wants.

Now you may read both of those thoughts in the way they were intended: God has given each of us a purpose and a calling but we don’t need to have special circumstances for it to come to fruition. It can be a straightforward as providing for my family and teaching them God’s love for them. Or it can be more extensive as to be called to be a professor of Biblical studies, requiring a lot of schooling and constant hard work to adequately teach those in my tutelage. Some are called to be missionaries in a different country. Some called to be a missionary in the American public school system. But when I read them this morning, I felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt like my asking God to clarify His timing was demanding. I felt like asking God to confirm this calling daily in my life was selfish. But neither of these things is true. God wants to be in conversation with us. He wants us to continually seek Him and His timing and His direction.

It is not surprising that there is so much emphasis on seeking purpose and identity. We all long to know that we know what we are supposed to do with our lives. We want direction and a clearly marked destination. We want to not only pretend to be confident and have it all together—we really want to reach a point where it is true.

One of my favorite verses is found in Ephesians 1, “even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” (Ephesians 1:4, NLV)

One of my Bibles has this really nice graphic that lists 24 different verses that speak to our true identity in Christ.

2016-06-01 12.50.06

We are chosen. We are loved. We are masterpieces. We are given a life to live to bring God glory.

Asking for clarity is not wrong, in fact it is encouraged. God’s plan doesn’t hiccup because I ask a question. In fact, what I do—what each of us does—is done in the authority of Jesus Christ for the glory of God alone. No matter if I’m writing, speaking, parenting, leading a small group, or greeting people at the door on the weekends, if that is what I have been called to do in that moment, Jesus has given me the authority to do it for God’s glory.

Beautiful, you have been chosen. You are loved. You are a masterpiece. God has a calling for each of us and sometimes it looks like playing in the backyard with little kids, that doesn’t make it any less of a calling.

I pray that you hear clear direction on your calling today. I pray that God speaks to the intricacies of who He made you to be. Be confident in who you are His beloved daughter—called and chosen.

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