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Three Tools to See Your Calling

Ten years ago, I started feeling a tug on my heart for the justice of the unborn.

I wouldn’t have said it that way then. I just thought I was more interested in the miracle of birth than my friends. I shrugged it off as an extension of my love for all things miniature: little hands and feet and noses.

But as I grew older, patterns emerged.

Tears welled any time I’d hear or see or read stories about the value of human life. All the injustices of the world seemed to pale in comparison.

My tears and tenderness were little messengers, sent to say something about what God was sowing in my heart.

***

When we moved back to North Carolina, the puzzle of my schedule came together with ease. But something was missing.

And then I realized it: Our house is five minutes from the local pregnancy center.

I can’t pinpoint what got me to their office that day. Whether it was a burst of bravery or a need for novelty or a curiosity about what went on inside those walls, I’ll never know. But God stamped a firm affirmation in my soul when the Executive Director looked at me and said:

“Whatever you end up doing here, Natalie, God will grab your heart.”

Perhaps the emphasis added by her Australian accent made the words seem profound. Or perhaps it was the Holy Spirit.

I’ll choose to believe the latter.

***

Why are the causes that move us deeply often the hardest to act on?

Perhaps they seem too big. Too immovable. That we could have an impact is unthinkable.

Or maybe it’s the opposite. We know we’re called. We sense the heaviness of it. And we fear what God might do in us when we obey.

He might make us tender. He could deepen the ache. Or cause us to care to the point where it’s grievous.

He just might change us forever.

***

I sat at our wooden table last Tuesday after my first volunteer training, spooning takeout Japanese and recalling what we’d learned at the center. And I asked my husband, “Have you ever had something that’s crystal clear? That’s exactly what God is calling you to and there’s no doubt about it?”

In this season of fog, where friends are transitioning and we are too, where we’re both entrepreneurs and dating this city we once called home to see if things might last, God has given me this clear thing. This sure call to which I can be obedient.

And yet I know clarity doesn’t always come this easy.

***

The bible isn’t shy in letting us know that we are created with specific gifts and that God has prepared good works for us in advance, but figuring out what they are makes new Christians and veterans alike scratch their heads.

I don’t have all the answers, but these are three keys I’ve consistently seen taught on how to uncover God’s call for your life or for a season:

 

1) Look Inward: Spiritual Gifts

God isn’t calling you to do something he hasn’t gifted you to do. John Piper puts it like this: “A spiritual gift is an ability given by the Holy Spirit to express our faith effectively (in word or deed) for the strengthening of someone else’s faith.” Can you think of ways you’ve strengthened or helped other people whose faith was in jeopardy? You might be onto something. For example, I can think of quite a few times in my life when my verbal encouragement to or counsel for someone in hardship has been helpful.

 

2) Look Outward: The World’s Needs

Take special notice of what moves you deeply on a consistent basis and where this intersects with the world’s (or your community’s) needs. What makes you cry? Our tears are tiny messengers, sent to tell us something about our souls. What topics do you read about over and over? What movies and artwork compel you? Are there systemic problems in your community or state that need redeeming? Are there projects on a smaller scale (in your church, at local ministries, at your office) that no one else seems interested in? For me, I’ve been consistently moved by movies, books, and artwork that tell the story of justice for the unjustly treated or echo the value of every human life. The community need happened to be at my local pregnancy center.

 

3) Look Backward: Acquired Skills

What have you done or worked with in the past that you can utilize for the Kingdom? Think about practical skills like finances, writing, administration, or organization that could be put to use in a ministry context. For example, I’ve taken several online courses in biblical counseling that will help me when counseling women at the center.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Lauren

    God doesn’t want His plans for us to be a mystery or something we spend our whole life trying to figure it out. People try to overcomplicate it but I love how you brought this down to such a simplistic level. I, too, have a heart for the unborn and have been praying about ways to make a difference. So awesome you’re getting involved and letting God work through you to help these girls!

    May 10, 2017 at 12:29 PM
    • Reply Natalie Yerger

      Thank you, Lauren! Getting involved has been such a sweet decision. It’s amazing what God does when we take that first step of faith.

      May 12, 2017 at 11:32 AM
  • Reply Erin Marie

    This post was such an encouragement to me! Thank you, Natalie! You are so right. Rather, Abba-Yahweh (Daddy-God in you)! Thank you for being a vessel of His goodness, edification and direction for this “veteran” who is still a work in progress (as are we all). ?✝️??

    May 20, 2017 at 6:00 PM
    • Reply Natalie Yerger

      I’m so glad to hear that, Erin! I really appreciate your encouragement.

      May 26, 2017 at 8:39 AM
  • Reply Fran

    I also love avocado toast with (unhealthy in my case) amounts of Himalayan sea salt. Thank you for this post Natalie. It’s is lovely and well written. I think so often we are moved for an issues but we struggle to know how to practically do something about the urging. It’s so great that you have done something, please let us know how things progress.

    May 21, 2017 at 2:17 PM
    • Reply Natalie Yerger

      Thank you, Fran! I’m so glad it encouraged you. I hope you’ll come back and keep reading!

      May 26, 2017 at 8:37 AM

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