Have you ever felt like God was calling you to do something; He gave you the desire, some gifts to help you with it but it feels like He forgot to give you the map to get there?
This is the space I have been in lately.
And by lately, I really mean the last four years.
It has me completely restless because I feel like I was made for more (which is pretty much the title and subtitle of the book, Restless).
This “normal” western life is not the kind of life I feel called to live.
I feel as though I am supposed to make a difference somewhere else but I don’t know where.
Don’t take this as me saying “so I’m not going to do anything here” – it’s not that at all, I’m just talking about more than that.
Last month I re-read the book of James for the fifty-bazillionth time (approximately) and like all the times I’ve read it before James 1:22 hits me in the heart:
Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only.
If I’ve talked to you at all this winter you’ve probably heard me say this winter has been hard and you’ve probably assumed it’s because it was a frigid cold winter (or because I hid behind that excuse) and while that definitely has played a factor, the majority of the difficulty for me this winter has been this feeling of restlessness, this desire to not just be a hearer of the Word.
BLOGGING AS THERAPY
I used to use this space to share the restlessness of my soul and I found it very therapeutic, this post may be me bringing that practice back.
The last thing I want is for this space to look or sound like I’ve got it all together, I think sharing honest posts like this will help keep any thoughts of that sort in check!
While I am an introvert and live in my head a lot I also do find it necessary to talk or write out my thoughts so I can comprehend them better – there are so many thought bubbles bouncing around in my brain and it’s nice to be able to pull a few out and put the words down. (And it’s a great excuse to share random, non-related recent photos to break up long winded posts.)
THOUGHT BUBBLES OF MY INTERESTS AND GIFTS
Some of the thought bubbles bouncing around these days are the different areas, interests, passions, gifts, etc. God has given me. When I think about this restlessness I am feeling there is no one defining answer. I am Jack-of-all-trades and dabble in a lot of things. I wish I had one overwhelming gift or passion that I could point to and say that is what I am supposed to do.
I used to have one specific passion: orphans in Africa. But after returning home from South Africa with Ephraim it felt like God took that passion away.
Now my vision is not as clear, but I do have a few things I have been thinking about. I thought writing them out may help me process my thoughts and there is always the hope that someone out there will come across this who has a specific need that matches.
After drafting most of this post I picked up the book An Intentional Life to start reading – I’ll admit I totally picked it up based on the title, I had no idea it was being written but it came out three months after I started this blog and don’t feel like it’s a coincidence that it has the same name as my blog and the subtitle is: A Life-Giving Invitation to Uncover Your Passions and Unlock Your Purpose. I’m not very far into it yet (30-ish pages) but this paragraph jumped out at me since I had just written most of this post:
Your passion? That thing that echoes through your mind and is constantly drawing you in? Relentlessly? It may not even have a point or a destination, or any real mission that you can make sense of in the beginning. But still, you can’t seem to go against the grain of your own heart and resist it. Whatever it may be.
We need to trust that our tears mean something. That God put them there for a reason and is pressing His finger harder and harder on that sweet spot until we wake up and give it the attention He wants it to have.
We need to press into it.
To do something.
Because chances are high that someone out there is waiting for you to step out, to start. To share your story, or come up with a solution or create a place for them to belong.
Here are four different things/areas I’ve been thinking of lately:
#1 MISSIONAL JOURNALIST
I’m honestly not sure if this is an actual term, to my knowledge I completely made it up. This idea combines my love for travel, photography, missions and writing all neatly in one package. This idea is just to travel to different places and help raise awareness about different mission organizations. This is similar to what we did when we went to Uganda though I didn’t go into that trip with this intention, that’s just what it sorta ended up as.
I would love to document stories of what different small ministries are doing and share their stories with the world to help raise awareness, build a praying community and monetary support – things most small ministries need. Plus, if they need a website, I know a guy . . .
This idea is similar to what they are doing over at The Archibald Project though they specifically share about the orphan crisis and adoption stories and I’m open to a broader range of Christ-based ministries.
I know this is a thing within many bigger organizations, they have people in journalist roles, but I think I would like to do this on a smaller scale, not under a bigger organization.
This idea has been brewing in me for a long time but I don’t even know where to begin. How does one find small ministries
a) if they need help raising awareness they aren’t easy to find online
b) if they are easy to find online they generally don’t need help raising awareness.
Oh the conundrum.
#2 PARTNERING WITH AN ORGANIZATION AS A FAMILY
One thing we’ve talked about doing lately is partnering with a small organization as a family. I would love for us to regularly be able to go out and see/help out with on a regular basis and also do something in regards to it when we are at home (fundraising, raising awareness, something tangible, etc).
In talking with Raeca she said she would like it to be something with orphans. She mentioned working with an orphanage which is fine but I think there also needs to be the other side – doing something to help keep children with their families.
Once again, my problem is that I don’t know any small organizations like this!
#3 WHAT GOD THROWS AT US
Kay, I don’t really have much else for skills/interests but I want to be open to whatever else God has in store for us, especially if it is something, I much prefer that to nothing.
My word for the year is adventure and I’m open for God to throw one at me.
#4 A ONE DAY DREAM
I’m not sure I’ve ever written this before but this kind of falls in this category: one day I would like to write a book. Like a legit, hold in your hands, highlight the lines, dog-ear the pages kind of book. I do feel like I need to follow what God has in store for me for the next few years before really thinking about this dream but it’s there in the back burner of my brain on a low simmer until I can bring it to the front and start the full boil.
Ahh, it felt good to write like this again! I think I am going to try to make writing here, like this, a weekly discipline.
Thanks for reading all the thought bubbles I took the time to write out today. If you have any suggestions or connections with small ministries I would love to hear about them!