Excerpt from Chapter 8 of the Journey of Your Calling: How To Be Who You Were Made To Be

Hey girlfriends, today I’m sharing an excerpt from a draft of my very first book. The style is poetic, deep and full of storytelling based on biblical truths. I wrote it during a season of suffering and transition in my own life. My hope is for women to be inspired to follow God’s call over their lives.

Belinda, The Image Bearer

There is another sister I want to be like. Belinda was a candle maker for the temple. Candles were more like torches in her time. Her hands originated the light for the daily worship and teachings in the temple. I imagine she created some candles that glowed warm, low ambient light; and others that fired up and convicted the temple worshipers. Belinda was so good at creating light that some say her husband was nicknamed Torch as a compliment to her handiwork.  

I want to be like Belinda because I think she understood mindfulness. I see her melting wax over a fire, pouring in essential oils, taking in the warmth and smell as the wax became liquid. I imagine she laid the wick into the mold and poured. I think she prayed and meditated on the Word as she melted and poured and waited. She waited in stillness for the wax to cool. She did not check her texts or respond to email. She didn’t chuck another load in the laundry because she had a moment. Be still and know that I am God.  Belinda knew how important it was to be still. I admire Belinda for this.

Father, as the candle brings light in the temple, please let it bring about a spirit of conviction that leads to repentance. God, it is your kindness that leads us to repentance. Let Your Light shine among men so that they will see again your good works and glorify you in heaven. 

We know from experience that God doesn’t usually move when we are behaving frantically or running from rest. He usually moves when we are still. He usually moves when we make time for our friend and master Jesus. Belinda understood the importance of still. Daily, she met her God in the stillness of her handiwork. In the stillness, she could hear the voice of God moving in her heart. The Potter does not forget the destiny of any of His children. In His faithfulness, He began to whisper Belinda’s deep side destiny to her. 

Belinda’s destiny was to minister to her people, save her people from their enemies and to lead them home to the God that loves them so. Belinda reminds me of the cousin of Jesus. She was burdened by the evil taking place in her generation, by her brothers and sisters. God led Belinda into nature where her people would be outside of their comfort zones, with hearts a little more open than closed. God made her a voice crying out under the palm tree.  

Belinda, I know you are a woman and you may feel limited in your culture. But, I have heard you as you melted wax and prayed for the repentance of your people. I have heard your prayers as you breathed in the oils and tossed up your faith to me. Belinda, to the Palm Tree. Your people will come.

Belinda began her public ministry at the palm tree. It was under the palm tree that her brothers and sisters came to her for wisdom, for the settlement of disputes and for a word from God. She would go on to far surpass the expectations of women of her time. She would eventually be so burdened by the oppression of her people that she would successfully lead her region to battle for its freedom. Belinda’s still spirit – – our modern day understanding of mindfulness – – led her from candle making in quiet places; to ministry under to palm tree; to leader in a battle that freed her people from two decades of enemy oppression.     

Be Honest

If we are honest with ourselves, Belinda’s linear life should not have lent itself to leader, judge and prophet.  Belinda created handiwork that was delivered by her life partner Torch. My soul sister created light for a temple she was not able to enter. Her husband’s nickname tells us that Belinda’s reputation was well known at the city gates. I suspect that her culture honored her for living out Proverbs 31. Frankly, Belinda didn’t really need to do anything else according to her culture and time. But. The Potter does not forget the destiny of any of His children.

God is not concerned about cultural norms or labels. He is not convinced to stay within the lines of humanly possible by conflicting voices in your head or in your community. He doesn’t worry about what you were not able to do yesterday or get held hostage by the memory of repeated failures. He did not create you or Belinda with limitations in mind. He created Belinda to be a leader, judge and prophet.  He created you to be something too.

God formed Belinda to do the work of her hands in the candle shop, the work of her heart under the palm tree and the work of freedom on the battlefield. He planned for her to be a catalyst for change. She obediently did the work she was given to do. In the candle shop. Under the Palm Tree. On the battlefield. At just the right time. In the fullness of who she was. At just the right time. Under the wings of the shadow of who He is. God led Belinda in the stillness that she offered Him on a daily basis. Belinda gave what she had until it was time to give in another role. Faithful Belinda.  Faithful God.

You go where you’re sent and you stay where you’re put and you give what you’ve got.  -Jill Briscoe.

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The No Pressure Path to Following Your Call

Women don’t need more on their plate. They usually need less. So, why even consider following your call? 

The truth is that the inner peace and freedom that women desire is very much wrapped in the gift of our calling. Receiving the gift and acting upon its treasure opens the door to what we want most.

The path of calling isn’t more pressure, burden or a distraction. It is setting out to be the woman you were made to be in a way that blesses others on your path. As you live and breathe and move in the center of who you are, inner peace and freedom enters your heart and flows into the lives of others.

If that description feels too vague or hard to put your finger on, here are a few guideposts that will take the pressure off.

Our calling doesn’t depend on us.

You don’t have to think it up or create it. Calling is a revelation from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will lead and direct you to exactly where peace and freedom reign. Calling will roll itself out as you listen and take your next steps with intention.

Calling doesn’t pull you away from your current life.

Following your calling empowers you to live your current life with more excitement, energy and joy than you had before you followed God in this way. In fact, the roles and responsibilities that you may be frustrated with or grumbling about just might lighten up when you are following your calling.

Following your call allows the people you love the most to see more of the treasure inside of you.

Living out your calling invites your friends, kids and husband (if you have one) to see Christ active and alive in you. Not only that, calling empowers your loved ones to take brave steps to live out the best that God has for them too.

Calling sets your imagination free to do the good work you were made to do.

There is no greater way to put your mind to work for good than designing a plan to follow your call. Our minds were made to think, create and connect ideas to action. Calling engages our mind for good.

Calling doesn’t blow up your schedule.

Knowing your calling helps you make life giving decisions with your time. Calling helps you revisit in a positive way your current schedule, commitments and responsibilities. The journey of calling doesn’t lead you to exhaustion and burn out. It empowers you to be the woman God intended you to be.

Following your call is not another pressure or problem for you to tackle. Calling brings energy and new wisdom into to all areas of your life. It is the path to bring you the inner peace and freedom that so many women deeply desire.

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Five Truths About Following Your Calling

1. There is no such thing as 100% confidence.

In my world, I want to know how everything is going to work out at the time of taking the first step. I’ve had to change my thinking on this. If you’ve done the legwork and the door is open, it’s probably time to walk through the door. Although the effort and preparation may belong to us, the outcome does not. If the arrows are pointing in the same direction, just start walking.

2. All good things require some risk.

Stepping into your calling is not safe. Safe is where you are right now. As long as your dreams stay dormant and your life risk free, you won’t have the thrill of knowing what you are capable of. You won’t know how much the world needs to see your dream in motion. Acknowledge upfront that risk will be part of your journey. It may just be the motivation that keeps you moving and growing towards your calling.

3. A little nausea goes a long way.

My brother who has taken several positive career risks says, “Feeling like you’re going to throw up is a sign you’re on the right path.” Often, the most meaningful decisions we make cause some internal ruckus. If we seek to stay continuously calm, we won’t have the adrenaline we need at just the right time. When you are stepping out, take the internal “crazy” you are feeling as a sign of the importance of what you are stepping into.

4. Bring a friend who believes in you.

In our highly individualistic, competitive world, it’s easy to undervalue our need for others to walk with us on our personal journeys. We need encouragement from trusted friends and family. We need advice when deciding next steps. We need a springboard for our thoughts and ideas. If we are functioning from a place where we believe that this world has space for all of our gifts and talents, we will let people in. 

5. Don’t avoid the F word. 

The only way to improve and grow is to try and try again. I personally hope that my failures are on a small scale, but we will all face them when we try new things. Don’t allow your fear of failure to immobilize you. Simply accept that failures will happen. If you bring a friend with you, you won’t have to recover and learn from failure alone. That same person or community will be there to help you process and gain confidence to keep stepping out and into your calling.

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