Friday, August 29, 2014

Eleven Ways To Identify Your Life's Calling (& Update on Max & Makeya)

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5,6
(KJV)


I believe God has a specific plan for every person He creates.
I don't believe any one of us are here by accident or coincidence.
At the onset of the conception of a life, 
I believe God already knows the course He intends for that life,
and His specific thoughts concerning its path are already in place.

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;
and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,
and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5

"Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother's womb He has spoken my name."
Isaiah 49:1 (NIV)

I also believe that the way to true happiness, contentment, and fulfillment
is by coming in line with God's intentions and following them in obedience.
When one is out of God's will and purpose, there is an underlying restlessness
and lack of contentment that cannot be satisfied by any other means.

He created us with a free will, so we do not always follow His intended path 
or adhere to the direction and individual plans He has set in place for us.

It is up to us.

I find it sad that there are people who go through their whole life
never really living up to their full potential or finding that unique path God has chosen for them to walk.
They never feel quite fulfilled,
even though they may find success in many facets of life.
At the end of the day, there is always that deep-down stirring that tells them that they are not quite
doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing.

I think we have all felt this and can relate to what I am trying to say.

True wholeness comes when we have surrendered what we think is best for us to God
and when we have whole-heartedly decided to relinquish control and allow Him to lead.

It isn't easy turning loose of the reins.
We think we know best.
We think we know what we do best,
when all along God sees our full potential capacity
and parts of us that can expand and grow in ways we would never have dreamed.

In seeking God's will for my own life and in finding myself in very perplexing circumstances,
He has opened my eyes to things I never saw before.
I wanted to share some of those thoughts here, in hopes they might help someone else who is standing at the crossroads or feeling there is more to their life's picture than they have yet begun to see.

What are you called to do?
Why are you here?
What is your purpose?
Your life's calling?
God's rationale in creating you at exactly the time He did?
Your unique, individual reason for being brought to the Kingdom, "for such a time as this"?  (Esther 4:14)

It is my hope and prayer that answering these eleven questions will help
you identify what it is that God may be calling you to do
and help direct your thinking towards His perfect will and the life plan He has carved out for you.

1.  What type of work do you like to do?
You know...the work that just lights you up and makes you come to life.
The task that makes you feel great and stokes a deep-down passion inside of you.
The duty that you are most zealous about and can't seem to get enough of.
The work that you need no compensation for doing...
that the actual doing is its own reward.
Consider the thought that God may have placed those likes in your heart for a reason.


2.  What task(s) are you good at doing?
What comes easiest to you?
What seems to flow from you effortlessly?
If it comes that naturally, it is an inborn, God-given talent.
An innate gift that He instilled in you at birth.
He specifically gave it to you to set you on the right path.
The ease with which you accomplish this is a sure-fire sign that this is something you need to consider.
This is the thing you are supposed to be doing.
This is where your true beauty shines through...
it is the purpose for which you were born.


3.  What kind of work earns you the most compliments?
Sometimes, other people can recognize our calling before we can.
They can see things we fail to notice about ourselves.
We would be wise to listen to their input and take heed to their praise,
not becoming proud or puffed up over it,
but using it to open our eyes to what God may be trying to tell us through them.


4.  What gives you the most peace?
At the end of the day, as you reflect over things you have done,
what kind of work made you feel most at one with God?
What gave you the deepest sense of having pleased Him?
What task(s) drew you closest and most widely into His presence?


5.  What are you most comfortable doing?
Let's face it.
If it tears up your nerves every, single time you do it,
if you are continually feeling sick to your stomach before doing it,
it is more than likely not what God is calling you to do.
I'm not talking about normal "stage-fright" or expected, natural pre-jitters.
I am talking about walking around under an oppressive cloud that completely robs the joy
from every other single element of your life.
I am talking about it consuming your every thought and making you perpetually unhappy.
This is not what being in the center of God's perfect will feels like.
Believe me, if you are there...in this miserable place,
He is trying to tell you something.
It is time to take notice and get alone with Him,
seeking Him with your whole heart for an escape route and re-direction.
I am not saying you will always feel comfortable doing what God is asking you to do.
There will be trepidation, and you will be stretched and asked to leave your comfort zone.
But, it should be a "healthy" fear of failing Him and a sense of respect for Him,
reliance and dependence upon Him,
and a desire to please and satisfy Him....
not an overwhelming sense of never-ending misery and constant dread.


6.  What do you dream of doing?
Did you ever think that God may have placed the seeds of those dreams in your heart
in the first place?
Did you ever consider that maybe those dreams were actually and purposely put there
for the sole purpose of directing your life steps?
Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
If you are 100% into serving God, if pleasing Him brings delight to your inmost being,
did you ever stop and wonder if maybe He put those desires there?
That maybe they are not self-driven desires, but God-planted dreams to point you in the right direction
of His perfect will for you?
It is a beautiful thing when God's plans and your dreams completely agree.



7.  What have you wanted to do for the longest time?
I'm not talking about your bucket list of things you want to accomplish before you die.
I'm talking about those childhood aspirations....as far back as you can remember.
What was it back then that you admired the most?
We all take rides on ships in the night...
passing fantasies that quickly lose their appeal
and trial runs that soon reveal we aren't cut out for the long haul.
But, dig deep.
What is that nagging thing that keeps coming back to you over and over...
that thing that came to you longest ago and still brings a sense of excitement
every time you think about taking a step in that direction?
If it has lingered and simmered in the back of your mind for this long,
there may be something to it, and it is worth seeking God's will about, at the very least.


8.  What fulfills you most?
Fulfill means:  to measure up to...to satisfy.
What satisfies your need for feeling you have measured up to your potential?
Think about it.
The task that makes you feel most fulfilled when you are finished....
that convinces you that you have done something that really mattered...
that made a difference....
that satisfied your need to feel useful and necessary and even important.
Everyone needs to feel that they are making the contribution they were put on this earth to make.
Until you do that, nothing else will quite fill that longing deep inside for accomplishment.


9.  Who do you most admire?
Not saying that all of us can be a Billy Graham or reach the stature of the ones we most admire.
But, what is it about that person that you find so admirable?
Is it what they do?
Is it a characteristic?
What draws you to them?
Why do you look up to and respect them?
Give it some thought and ask God to show you if there is a Divinely-appointed reason
for your esteem for and regard of them.
He may be calling you to follow a similar course.
He may have placed that person in your life to serve as an example
and light a fire in you in order to set your thoughts towards a particular path.
The idea is worth exploring with Him alone in prayer.


10.  When have you felt most sincerely respected by others?
You know...those moments when it wasn't about self-glory,
but about earning the true appreciation of someone else for the selfless effort you had put into something.
It is important that our life work be valued by at least one other person beside ourselves.
To earn that, is an immeasurable gift.
Think back over your life and try to recall a moment you felt that something you did
gleaned genuine validation from another person.
Chances are, God permitted the right person to be there at the right time
to bestow affirmation that we did the right thing and were walking His designated path.
Not that we should do what we do with the sole purpose of pleasing other people.
That will never happen all the time and is a fickle, unreliable, untrustworthy, inaccurate gauge.
Mom used to tell me that you can please some of the people some of the time,
but you will never please all of the people all of the time.
To try is a senseless, exhausting, disappointing endeavor and a complete waste of time and energy.
But, there is within the heart of every one of us, the need to feel at least one other person's respect.
It is important.


11.  What most builds your self esteem?
Not your pride, not your ego, but your true sense of valuing yourself
as an important part of God's grand design.
What makes you feel most a part of that design?
What makes you feel that you really matter?
That your life is important?
What contributions have you made that convinced you that only you could have filled that particular need?
Let's face it, we need to feel good inside...about ourselves.
If the whole world applauds our efforts and accomplishments,
it won't matter if we do not have within a sense of self-worth
and the sweet assurance that we are indeed doing His will and fulfilling our life's mission.

Look for the clues, my friend.
God has a particular purpose for your life.
There is a Divinely-appointed reason that you are here...right now...
right where you are.
You may look around upon your current circumstances and feel you are on a dead-end street.
That there is no way out....no path available to reach your full potential for God.
I beg to differ with you.
Where this is GOD, there is a way.
And God is everywhere, even in the darkest, most impossible dungeons of hopelessness and despair.
He wants to use you....
your life,
your past experiences...the good, the bad, the ugly, and the unmentionable,
your talents...yes, you have them,
your skills...He has enabled you to develop them to this point,
and your uniqueness....there is no one else quite like you.
No one else can fulfill your purpose.
No one else can reach your inner circle...not in the way you can.
No one else will do.
Only you.

Life is short.
Way too short to sell yourself short.
To settle for less than God's best for your life.
To drift along, aimlessly, then pass off the scene, never having reached your full potential,
never having accomplished God's intentions for you,
and never having found the deepest sense of the joy in knowing
you lived out your whole reason for being on planet earth.

If you are on the wrong path, turn around.
You are allowed, you know.
God allows U-turns...at any and all points along the way.
All you have to do is follow His lead.
Get quiet.
Shut out the noise, and listen to His still, small voice.
Watch the signs He places in your path.
Be aware of His presence.
Make necessary adjustments as He points them out and at every given opportunity.
Do what you need to do to search for Him with all your heart.
Discover His perfect will for you,
then take the necessary steps to bring yourself in complete alignment with it.
Then, stay the course, my friend.

He will walk with you every step of the way,
He will never leave you,
and He will, at life's end, lead you ever safely to the other side...
fulfilled and happy in knowing you fulfilled His reason for creating you in the first place.



If video doesn't load, click here.
(Again, I apologize for any offensive images or advertising.)

God bless you as you search for His perfect will.
May you find it, follow it, and completely fulfill it.


*******************************************
Please continue to pray for 2 year old, Max Brown.


They have not yet been able to insert the trach,
due to chronic ups and downs in his body temperature.
Yesterday, his fever stayed down,
and they have scheduled him for surgery on Tuesday, September 2nd.
Please especially pray for him on that date.
6 year old, Makeya is doing SO well!
She is learning new things every day and continues to improve, PRAISE GOD!
Even though the doctors say neither of these children will ever walk again,
we are still believing God for a Divine-intervention miracle for both of them.

If  anyone would like to send the Brown family a card of encouragement,
please contact me, and I will provide the mailing address to you, individually.

If anyone would like to make a monetary donation to this family,
there are two ways to donate.
1.  An account has been set up for this purpose at a local bank.

Please mail donations to:

Citizen's Deposit Bank & Trust
P. O. Box 9
Vanceburg, KY  41179
Please write "For Brown Family" on the memo line of check.
OR
2.  You may donate online by clicking HERE.

Most of all, please continue to lift them to our Heavenly Father in prayer.

(To read previous posts about the Brown Family,
click ORIGINAL POST,
and 1ST UPDATE,
and 2ND UPDATE,
 and 3RD UPDATE,
and 4TH UPDATE,
and 5TH UPDATE,
and 6TH UPDATE,
and 7TH UPDATE,
and 8TH UPDATE,
and 9TH UPDATE.)

24 comments:

  1. I have found, at least for me, that whenever I am called to do something, I just KNOW it. I can't even explain it in words. I can feel it and it is so peaceful and I just know. Of course there was prayer involved and such, but when God directs you, it's a peaceful feeling. I have only ever felt it 3 times. The first was when we decided we would homeschool. There was never another option for us. We just knew. The second was when I got my CDL to drive tractor-trailers. I have NEVER used this, but despite every obstacle in my way, the Lord provided this to me and I have yet to know why. But I maintain it, because I know I have to. The last is so silly, but just recently I bought a book, knowing that somehow, it will change our lives. That is very vague; but it's a very personal issue. But with all 3 things, I just KNEW. And they all brought me peace, and fell together very well.

    Also, I finally posted a photo of that rainbow I told you about a couple weeks ago. :)

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    1. You are so right...there is a definite peace that settles when we are walking dead-center of God's perfect will. I just wonder what God is going to do in your life with that CDL license?? That is such a neat thing! I completely understand about the book issue. I am coming over to see your rainbow picture right now...I'm sorry I haven't had time to visit with you there much lately. Thank you ever so much for your consistent encouragement to me...you are a blessing in my life. :)

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  2. Thank you so much for keeping us updated.
    The Brown family is continually in my prayers.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. They surely need your continued prayers. God bless you!

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  3. What a beautiful post, my friend! I felt such peace as I read it: I think God has you right where He wants you. You blessed me. Thank you for the prayer updates too. God bless you and your family. Love, Debby

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    1. Oh, Debby! Thank you so much for saying that. We are experiencing so much right now,...it is hard sometimes to decipher it all and know exactly what God is doing. His thoughts are so far above ours. God bless you and your family, too, sweet friend. Much love to you, Cheryl

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  4. Thankful for God's healing on these children. Continuing to pray! Love you, sister!

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    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet friend! I love you, too!! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and concern for these dear children. God bless you!

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  5. Aww poor little Max! I constantly look for new updates on your page in hopes that he has a miraculous turn around. Hopefully a miracle will happen for this poor baby as he and his family have been through so much. I wish this nightmare their enduring would stop so they could just take both their babies (Makeya and Max) back home with them and get back to their normal life. Glad to hear Makeya is improving. Our Saviour will heal both of these precious children and in his time He will make them walk again. My prayers and love for this family always. Thanks Cheryl for the continuous updates on the The Browns. Such a wonderful woman you are. God Bless

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    1. Bless your dear heart, Carol! You are such a dear, sweet person. I always look forward to comments from you. Thank you so very much for your kind words and for your continued prayers for the Brown family. May God richly bless you for all you do and for who you are. :)

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  6. Thanks so much for writing such a powerful post. I am constantly wondering what it is that I am meant to do, since I am home sick with chronic illness. I need to keep seeking God's will, and answer some of these questions that you wrote. Thanks so much! Blessings

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    1. Oh, I was so encouraged and touched by your sweet words, Michelle! I am so sorry you are home sick with chronic illness...my heart truly goes out to you. I am so grateful to the dear Lord if this was of any help to you. God bless you richly. Thank you for being such a dear blessing and encourager to me...much love to you. :)

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  7. These questions are thought-provoking, Cheryl. While I've asked myself these questions, in some form or another, many times, your qualifying questions beneath each one helped dig deeper, explore more facets, and look at the questions from different angles. Thank you for taking the time to unpack these for us. And thank you for the continued updates on the kids. Praying, right now. xoxoxo

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    1. Thank you so much for your dear, sweet encouragement, Amber. So very grateful for the blessing you are to me! And thank you for your continued prayers for the Brown children. Much love to you. :)

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  8. This is such a wonderful list of questions to consider when trying to identify what it is we were created to do! Thank you so much for this post!

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    1. And thank you so much for your dear, sweet encouragement, Heather! May God bless you richly, in return. :)

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  9. Dear Cheryl,

    I always know that your homespun devotions which find their way to my inbox each week are blessed by heartfelt encouragement. Thanks for being such an encourager.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Bless your dear heart, Dawn! You will never know how much I appreciated getting your sweet, encouraging comment tonight. God bless you richly!

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  10. Thank you so much for this practical blog!

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    1. Thank you, Rita, for your sweet visit today. Your words meant so much to me!! God bless you. :)

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  11. Popping over from
    http://glowacademy2015.wordpress.com/
    Any news on the children? I just found your blog,and am now a follower.
    I will be praying for them...
    Blessings,Renee

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    1. Yes, I was actually able to SEE them on Wednesday! I am posting an update soon, Lord willing. :) I am so thankful to have you as a follower. Thank you so much for your faithfulness and prayers! God bless you.

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  12. I LOVE this. Sometimes I think we need to realize we just need to DO something for the kingdom and God wants us to use the gifts He has given us to do it!
    Thanks for linking up with WYWW! :)

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    1. YES, how very true!! So happy you stopped by, Stasia. I always enjoy your weekly link-up. God bless you and your sweet family. :)

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