Tired, frustrated, over-worked and underpaid – these were words that often described my life as a young mom. Being a stay at home mom came with a unique set of emotional challenges. I liken it to pulling a little red wagon uphill.
As with all adventures, mine started with great anticipation and eagerness. My wagon was light when I began my journey. Along the way, some rocks wheedled their way into the cart. The weight of the wagon felt increasingly more oppressive with each step. Wondering why it was so heavy, I looked inside and realized that somehow bricks had lodged themselves into the mix. If that was not enough, boulders covertly dropped into the wagon almost destroying it as well as my treasured passengers. Pulling the wagon was now toilsome and grueling; the weight had become too much to bear.
Just when I felt I couldn’t take another step, something supernatural happened:
I caught a warm smile from one of my passengers
A second passenger handed me a dirt-covered rock shaped like a heart
I received a tender hug from passenger number 3
Passenger number 4 whispered the words, “I love you, Mommy.”
Instantly, the weight of the wagon miraculously lifted and I heard a small voice inside of me say, “Keep going.” Filled with hope and vibrancy, I had the energy to resume my journey, pulling the little red wagon up the steep hill now felt effortless.
When the world says, ‘Give up,’ hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’ – Unknown
That was my first calling in life – being a stay at home mom and impacting the lives of 4 remarkable human beings – my children.
What is the small voice inside of you expressing?
Webster defines a calling as a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction or divine influence.
Your calling is something you are drawn to; it is woven into the fabric of your purpose. A high calling is who you are; not something that you achieve. It is a treasured gift that brings both:
- Fulfillment and Frustration
- Joy and Heartache
- Exhilaration and Disappointment
Don’t be discouraged by the conflicts found within the gift; the more difficult the path, the higher the calling.
Let’s look at three key concepts you can focus on to help better identify your calling and purpose.
1. Listen to your Intuition
Listening is a learned skill that can be honed; if you want to discover your calling in life, you must become an active listener. Quiet your heart so as to train yourself to hear the inner voice that whispers to you. This voice is not to be confused with your inner critic.
The voice of the inner critic is full of judgment and criticism. It uses a belittling tone and shouts words like: should, must, impossible, and can’t. Your intuition, on the other hand, is your inner wisdom- your inner knowing. Your intuition is gentle and unbiased. Your inner wisdom does not give you an attitude; it is a soft voice usually heard in whispers.
The more you practice listening to your intuition, the greater the likelihood of you becoming deeply aware of its leading.
2. Revisit Childhood Desires
There are seeds of purpose deposited in you from birth. Thinking back to what you loved as a child often triggers subconscious beliefs and brings them to a surface level. These memories just might be a key to your calling. Let’s turn back the hands of time and return to your childhood, ask yourself the following questions:
- What did you love?
- What did you spend hours doing?
- Who did you dream of becoming?
As you reflect back over your life, oftentimes the clues to your calling are revealed in patterns, themes, and synchronicities; be attentive to them.
“The way to find your calling is to look at the way you were created. Your gifts have not emerged by accident.” – Timothy Keller
3. Write a Mission Statement
A mission statement is discovered, not invented. To write your mission statement, first ask yourself the following questions:
- What were some of the unique themes or resolves you had as a child?
- What do you love to do now?
- What solutions do you have for problems you see in the world?
The world’s most profound needs are met by people just like you. Your calling is designed to make a difference in the world. As you observe humanity, what issues tug at your heart? What solutions can you offer to help solve these difficulties?
As a child, all I ever wanted to do was help people: I longed to make a difference in the world. When I was a stay at home mom, there were times when I battled feelings of insignificance. I constantly questioned my calling. These thoughts were heightened by the cultural norms. People looked at me strangely when they found out I chose to stay home with my kids rather than pursuing a career. I was judged, questioned, and made to feel like a second-class citizen because I didn’t have a “real” job.
Little did I know that those years were precious times of preparation for my future work. The gift of motherhood prepared me for my current calling: empowering others to rise up and make a difference in the world.
Little Red Wagon of Purpose
On your personal journey, what’s inside your little red wagon? Occasionally your wagon, as mine did, may also get loaded with rocks, bricks, and boulders. Remain confident knowing that the path you’re on is one that was divinely given to you from birth; you’re more than equipped to fulfill it. Be still enough to listen to the voice of your inner wisdom – it’s whispering to you and leading you to your calling. And that will make all the difference in the world.
“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your calling.” – Aristotle