“Called to Create”

Emily McCaul | Tuesday, November 14, 2017

“I’m still trying to find my … calling.”

The words caught in my throat as I rambled on about the woes of my life as a college senior. Sprawled on the floor of my poorly lit apartment, phone in one hand, peanut butter-pretzels in the other, I sobbed into the receiver.

“I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing after December anymore … how do people figure this out?”

It wasn’t that long ago that this scene on the phone unfolded—I’m still searching to find that “comfortable place of belonging” … if not for myself, at least for some potential employers.

I’ve heard that looks good on a cover letter.

Though in all seriousness, I think many can relate to those longings for a “comfortable” place of security, but the thing about the future is that sometimes it feels uncomfortable.

When we try to prepare ourselves for the unknown, nothing really “feels right,” because we’re uncertain of what we’re walking into … and when we find ourselves faced with that pressure, sometimes we end up on the floor of our apartments eating unhealthy amounts of salt.

Life can be rough.

Although my future and my “calling” appear uncertain from this vantage point, one thing I am certain of is this: with Jesus, the pressure’s off to figure it out on my own. It’s easy to lose sight of this truth amid the pressures of graduation and job searching.

Though with that in mind, Jesus has been nudging me to look at things from a different perspective lately. He’s been teaching me that there’s a greater freedom to be found beyond this season of searching (WHOO! Praise the Lord, right? I mean, that kind of pressure is exhausting).

Through a few unexpected lessons, He’s reminded me that my greatest encounters with freedom have been realized after admitting to myself (+ Him) that I’m not capable of handling everything on my own … a bit of a plot twist, I know. It’s nothing new, nothing I haven’t already been told—and still—I have a hard time saying the words out loud.

“I need help with this, God … ”

He’s reminded me that once I verbalize my need for a savior (+ my inability to serve in the role for myself), I’m able to find fulfillment in every response He provides afterward … in regards to my future, my calling and my desire for rest.

How refreshing is that? Freedom follows surrender.

When I say, “Jesus, I can’t carry this anymore—the pressure is too much,” He rescues me with kindness, immediately lifting the burden from my back, replacing it with a blanket of truths instead.

(Psalm 25:9) (Psalm 32:8-9) (John 16:13): these are all promises that have been made to us by the creator of the universe. These are the reasons I’m able to rise up from discomfort, put away the pretzels, and praise my Heavenly Father with joy—real joy. Jordan Raynor, author of Called to Create describes this feeling well in his new book on serving the Lord with our creative gifts—

“As we’ll see, our work can only be a calling if someone calls us to it and we work for their sake and not our own.”

Jordan Raynor, Author of Called to Creat

Jesus provides more than just contentment—He provides a route to fulfillment.

All this to say, if you find yourself meandering through a similar season right now—don’t lose hope. Ask Jesus to carry the burden for you. Ask for help. Say His name aloud. Choose to rest in His truths even when you’re uncomfortable, searching for clarity.

My calling isn’t about my comfort; it isn’t about me at all—it’s about trusting in Jesus, and that revelation is one of life’s sweetest gifts. All pressure off, all labels aside—my performance and my calling do not affect my being known and being loved by God. //

If you’d like to read the book that inspired these thoughts (+ experience some encouragement for your own creative heart), take a look at Jordan Raynor’s new book, Called to Create.

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