I'm way beyond my 20's and wondering what the trajectory of my life might be (hello, 8 children!), but I now have the majority of those kids in that stage of talking through, wondering about, and praying over their calling. Their purpose. What the heck they're supposed to be doing with the rest of their lives.

I triple love my adult kids. They are the most fun stage of parenting so far! 

Within a typical week, I have texted and/or talked to every one of my adult kids at some point, and on every topic from cultural memes to theology to finances (read: They need money.) I love technology.

This one came to me from our 18-year-old at a university in Southern California one morning in April, and I loved her honest questions and the ensuing discussion:

I was thinking, "What happened to asking why the sky is blue?". Phew, huh? But these deeper discussions are why I am so loving these young adult kids. And the part about understanding her better than google? Oh gosh. Insert the heart-eyed emoji here because this is the girl who told me when she left home that if she ever needed to know how to do something, she could just look up a tutorial online. Kinda crushed my mama heart, TBH.

How to Know What Your Calling Is

We have to tread carefully into this topic because no one can lead you to this path other than God. Yes, he uses people in our lives and circumstances, but he really is the only one who can give us peace and certainty about what he has for us. In short, I can't tell you what your calling is. No one else should venture there, either. Turn off the voices that are so sure they know what you should be doing with your life. Listen to the voices that point you back to God.

What Every Calling Boils Down To

Every calling, every life's purpose, every dream and goal and desire and life plan boils down to two things:

Love God.

Love people.

Both can be unimpressive. Both are usually extremely untidy. Both can be discouraging at times. Both are often hidden from the applause of the world. 

Both bring peace and joy and actual, authentic fulfillment, but not if we're constantly looking for our calling to be extraordinary.

The Truth About Most People's Callings (and Most People Is Probably You)

We should all be following what God has for us, but the truth is, most of us are called to the mundane: going to work, feeding our children, getting up each day and doing the same thing over and over. . .

In short, callings can be certain from God, but they are rarely flashy and exciting. Usually, we're called to do the hard thing. The unselfish thing. The sacrificial thing.

Sometimes the calling is to homeschool kids for two decades and then last week have the 6th grader announce he wants to be homeschooled through high school, which means your mundane homeschooling calling that started with great trepidation in 1997 won't be finished until 2025. (That's me, if you hadn't guessed.)

When Your "Calling" Gets Ripped Out From Underneath You

This is where the whole thing gets dicey. 

When we are sure about that thing we are supposed to be doing, that career we're supposed to pursue, that "best life now" that we know we should be living and it all gets ripped out from underneath us, it can be a whopping blow. I can name a hundred women who watched their callings sink to the bottom of the sea as they suddenly found themselves with an extremely needy baby, an unexpected loss of income, a debilitating illness, and any number of other detours.

A road block like that doesn't necessarily mean your life is over. I wrote about having everything but not all at the same time in this post: Yes, Young Woman, You Can Have It All. Sometimes our callings are just put on hold and the new calling takes over for a time.

And sometimes, we learn that God had that thing for us temporarily, or that he really didn't have it for us at all. 

Come to Terms With Your Calling

I don't want to kill your dreams. That's not what this post has been about. In fact, the role I have most adored over the past 25 years has been that of cheerleader. If you need someone to brainstorm and help you chart a path to your dreams, I'm your girl.

But as you're praying through what God might have for your life, I want you to consider one crucial question:

Am I adding something to Jesus?

Are you? It's a trap, and one every single follower of Jesus falls into regularly. None of us is immune. It's the classic case of an idolatrous heart that believes the lie that we can be greater than if only we have Jesus plus {fill in the blank}. 

As you consider that your calling is simply an outflow of two things (loving God and loving people), ask yourself if you're adding to it a hope to be something more because it feeds your ego or pride or simply makes you believe you'll ultimately have some sort of fulfillment through that career that really, only God can supply.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

— Deuteronomy 31:8

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