Sunday, May 20, 2012

When God Affirms Your Internal Call

Today has been a crazy series of events that led to a crazy God confirmation in my life. As I think about my day, it's so clear that none of it is coincidence.

I volunteer a lot at my church. I lead a parking team, which serves every third week, and I'm also a lighting volunteer every third week. Today was one of the days when I wasn't volunteering, and I decided to try something a little different. The campus where I usually attend had to switch locations for the late service, so I though I'd sleep in and visit the SLP campus, where I'd never been. I also thought it would be neat to check out the lighting booth, since SLP is the only campus at which I have not run lighting.

It felt a little funny to have the visitor jitters going to my own church, but everyone at SLP was so nice. The service was great, and a friend steered me in the direction of the staircase to the media booth (thanks, Dale!). Will and Josh gave the grand tour, and then they asked if I was attending the Intern Q & A tonight. I hadn't even known about the Q & A, but since I had no interest in being an intern, I declined. Without being obnoxiously pushy, Will and Josh both encouraged me to come anyway, because at least it was free food. I said I probably wouldn't, then headed home, but the idea stuck with me. I actually had two other friends tell me I should go, so I decided that if nothing else, I'd get to support my media intern friends.

The Q & A was about as I expected it to be. Honestly, as I listened, I knew that there was no way I was going to apply for an internship. Besides a bunch of logistical reasons, I knew my heart wasn't in the right place, and I definitely wouldn't want to waste time and resources and commit to something so big if I didn't mean it. I actually spent part of my afternoon rehearsing the bullet points of why I wasn't going to apply so that I wouldn't freeze in conversation when I was inevitably asked about applying. After the Q & A officially ended, I hung around and talked with a few people. I talked to Josh about why I wasn't applying, and then I talked to Tabi. While I talked to Tabi, I got to talk about all the things I love about where I'm at right now. I love being a part of my parking team. I love running the lighting. I've especially loved running the lighting for The Well (our women's ministry) the last few months, because I've really gotten to be creative and do things without a lot of restrictions.

I have had quite a few people tell me they think I should do X or that I'd be good at Z. And mostly I've found it frustrating because I feel like they're pushing me in a direction I'm not comfortable with. As I talked with Tabi and explained lots of the reasons about why I don't want to change what I'm doing now, she affirmed that there was a lot of wisdom in knowing myself well enough to say no to certain things. Having someone finally listen to the things I've been thinking about a lot over the past several months was such a relief. As I walked back to my car, I felt so light. I started to cry on my way home, because I felt like God was telling me that right now I am in a season of rest, restoration, and celebration and that it's OK to not take on anything else right now. I also felt, for the first time, like maybe it's OK that other people see something in me that I don't, because that's something that will happen in the future. I'm even a little excited at the thought that maybe down the line God has something big for me, whereas before I'd just feel scared and anxious. I think God affirmed that for now, I'm correct with my internal call of supporting those around me and serving as I have been, but the external call I've been getting from others isn't wrong, either. It's just not now. I have felt such tension over the difference between what I feel I'm called to do (internal call), and what others have been telling me they think I should do (external call). Pastor Peter even preached about internal and external calling this morning.

I want to remember today. I want to remember how I drove home and felt like God was telling me that He knows I've been through a lot, and it's OK to enjoy a time of peace and stability. I want to remember how I felt something stir within me at the idea of serving on a larger scale, even though I knew I'm not at the point yet. I want to remember how people encouraged me, told me things that made me feel valued and loved. And I want to remember how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends and a wonderful church. Three and a half years ago I was in a hospital because I was suicidal. Now I can't believe (in a good way) that this is my life. Today is a day to remember God's faithfulness. I'm so thankful.