I heard an incredibly impactful message today by John Bevere. He spoke about the calling on a believer. The calling only given by the Almighty. We all have one. We all have a purpose in this life that if lived out to its fullest potential will impact future generations in ways only God knows. Are you living out your calling?
I was born into a family that believed in Christ. We attended church every Sunday in my childhood. In my early teens I mostly attended church of my own will. I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit when I was about 13 years old on a youth trip that sticks with me to this day. I continued for a few years seeking Jesus on and off, all the while flirting with things of this world. Eventually, I found myself in a relationship much too mature for my age.
The relationship with that young man opened doors in my life that should never have been opened. I loved him deeply. At least the only way I knew how. He loved me equally, the way he knew how. But we were both broken people. And as young kids often do, we hurt each other, and only deepened the lies we already believed about ourselves.
Because of the pain inflicted on me due to that relationship, I began to believe the lie “I am not enough”. I believed that no one else would protect and care for me, but me. I believed in a counterfeit god, a false protector, instead of trusting the one true God to protect me. It wasn’t the first time the false protector showed himself, and it wouldn’t be the last.
I was in and out of that relationship into my young adult years. Around 20 years old I got so tired of trying to keep the relationship going, I radically turned my life over to the Lord. I spent 2 years in a school of ministry and had almost daily encounters with the Holy Spirit that are difficult to describe to those who have never experienced the supernatural. The Lord called me. He called me to minister to young women and to impact this generation for the Kingdom. I didn’t know what my calling looked like. But Christ began to reveal pieces of the puzzle slowly, as he often does.
I began to learn to hear the Lord’s voice and to prophesy. I began ministry in inner healing and deliverance. (The process of un-learning lies, and learning truths about identity as a believer in Christ) I felt empowered to do things that I never felt confident to do before. I felt like the bumbling coward Peter, being transformed into a powerful minister! I wasn’t there yet, but I was transforming.
Unfortunately, my roots didn’t go deep, and when rough seas came, I couldn’t endure the storm. I experienced hurt again, but this time through the church. My church father and mother abandoned me. But the false protector came knocking on my door again. That familiar counterfeit god felt comfortable to me and I ran back to the world. I sought the ways of the world for 7 long and tumultuous years.
I dabbled in sin I never imagined I could participate in. All the while comfortably confident and proud of how well I took care of myself. I didn’t need God’s help (at least for a while), I could take care of myself. I played, I partied, and I marched on. I was strong and independent. But I soon found myself in another destructive relationship. Neither of these relationships started out that way, but again over time my expectations weren’t met. Why? Because deep inside I knew I was a daughter of God and desired much more for my life.
I finally succumbed to my pain. I’m not sure if I really missed Jesus at that point to be frank. But I missed the peace that he brought. The shalom. I cried out to God for deliverance from my own choices. A way out of my pain. And He delivered.
It’s been a steady uphill climb out of that place ever since. I say uphill, because I didn’t receive instantaneous inner healing. God can and does provide that kind of healing. But I didn’t receive my healing that way. God required me to put in some effort.
I met my amazing husband in the early hour of my return to Christ. He has been a great source of strength and encouragement. We fell in love and fast. It was the love fairy tales are made of with one big difference, we’ve made a choice to love each other everyday since.
I’d like to say I was this really whole person when we met and before we got married, but that’s just not true. We met and married at the beginning of my uphill climb. We both have wounds that have caused us to doubt our sonship in the Kingdom. But we are claiming our freedom and healing. My husband has loved me well through this process and I don’t deserve him. It’s only by the grace of God that I have such an amazing man to lead me in this life.
It’s been almost 8 years since God pulled me out of that pit. One thing that has troubled me ever since: What’s my calling now? Did it ever change? How do I pick up where I left off? I’ve had to pursue wholeness from all the messy choices I’ve made over the years. I’m still pursuing wholeness. It’s been a challenge to not have regrets, to not feel condemned for all the years lost.
When I heard this message, “Steward Your Life for Eternity” by John Bevere I felt empowered in a way I haven’t felt since my school of ministry days. I have a whole life ahead to live out my calling. I don’t want to waste the life I have been blessed with. I want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And be rewarded accordingly, as a daughter of God. It’s not about works, but truly living out my purpose, what I was created to do. No regrets. I’m still pressing in for direction, and little by little I’m seeing more of what God has in store.
Have you messed up in this life? Taken a few wrong turns? It’s not over. Many of “The Greats” didn’t start their ministry until late in life. Here are 5 practical ways to pursue your purpose and let go of the past. Don’t let your past dictate your future too.
1. Accept- Accept the past for what it is, the past. Leave it there. Realize the past is part of your redemptive story. There is someone going through what you experienced and they need to see you on the other side.
2. Forgive Yourself- Forgive yourself for making poor choices. Choices that weren’t God’s perfect plan for you. Actually verbalize, “I forgive myself for ______ ” And go through as many things as necessary to release it all to the Father.
3. Forgive Others- Forgive and release the people who hurt you. Walk through each name and feel the pain. If there is still pain there, then there is still a need for freedom in that area. “I forgive John for _____.” Feel the pain, and then release it.
4. Forgive God- I realize God can’t and didn’t sin against you. But you are the prisoner of your own anger and bitterness toward God. Release forgiveness so you don’t stay prisoner. (For me, I felt as though God didn’t protect me at certain times in my life when I was vulnerable).
5. Dream-Give yourself permission to dream again. Allow the story of your life to unfold. Be a carefree young adult again dreaming of how you’re going to change the world for the Kingdom of God. What does that look like for you? Ask God.
I encourage you to listened to John Bevere’s message here, and get with God. Seek Him and ask if you are fulfilling your purpose. It doesn’t matter if you are supposed to evangelize the nations or evangelize your babies at home, do what God purposed you to do. And do it with your whole heart and soul.