If you follow me on social media then you know that at the beginning of this month, I was licensed as a minister. It was actually one of the best moments of my life for several reasons:
Over my lifetime I’ve celebrated many accomplishments. This blog isn't about me not being able to find a place and something to do in the world because I've been able to do that in several ways but the one thing that I had not been able to do, was find my place in the world and feel complete and total satisfaction once there.
With all the degrees, wonderful friendships I've maintained, good church attendance I've claimed, nothing gave me the lasting satisfaction I didn't even realize I was searching for like that day.
Why? Because I know that what I'm doing now is what I’ve been purposed and anointed to do for God. Not what others desired for me, not what everyone was pushing me to go into, not even what I wanted to be doing because it was safe. It's quite the opposite actually and has been met with much opposition but it has never felt so right. Even with all the wrong going on =)
You know you're passionate about something and purposed to do something when you are okay without the titles, without the paycheck, without the exposure, without the recognition, without fully knowing the
outcome, without fully seeing all the steps and cliffs on the path, without receiving the benefits that most would demand from it...
That's passion, that's purpose and when it's fulfilled, not in its entirety, but simply by taking steps in it daily, that's where I find the relief that I didn't find in my 2.5 higher ed degrees (which I've paid hundreds of thousands for), licensure as a therapist, starting businesses and non profits, even volunteering. It came when I found my place and stood firm in it in spite of the challenges that come up even when I'm just trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Don't get me wrong, my degrees and expertise in clinical therapy definitely help me to deal with people on a different level and for sure help me with ministry, the successes and countless failures of entrepreneurship have taught me humility, volunteering has expanded my worldview, and I was happy to do them while I did and am still excited when new things happen. None of that experience is lost. In fact, I truly believe I needed it to be where I am today. God uses all things for the good. Who knows I probably wouldn’t have made it here without being there. I’m learning to respect the process.
But I am saying that I never felt a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction until I got to this point. Not on any graduation days, any days of passing my licensure exams, anytime I got a raise at work, or even promotions.
Happiness? Yes. Relief that I didn't fail? Yes. Pride in being acknowledged? No doubt! But never a sense of contentment and assurance that I'm right where I'm supposed to be and now can just build from here. And although I know there’s more, there is the feeling that if it stopped right here, it’d be okay. No more seeking, no more chasing
after what others say I should be...I found it and it was always in me...The ministry I've been called to, writing and teaching, I've been doing since I could talk and write...How I got away from it? No time to discuss here, this post is already too long, but I'm glad to be back to it and confident that this is the call for me and that's final =)
[Don’t mistake this with me becoming complacent and not open to God expanding my horizons…I just have internal proof that I’m right where I’m supposed to be and that He will build from here.]
Today I encourage you to go with your gut! That Holy Spirit led intention that tugs at you constantly. The thing you think about but seems too crazy and out of your comfort zone.
If you’ve been following me for a while you might be thinking you’re not trying to follow my path! Good! Because you have your own! And please understand, not everyone is called to do what I've done the last four years. Believe me, it ain't for the weak and sho nuff ain't for the people that need material wealth to feel validated. I repeat don't just up and leave your job and proclaim you're not working anymore. Pray, pray, and pray. Because I promise you this was not my prompting...my choice to be obedient but I definitely didn't plead for this. I had something tooootally different in mind when I put in my four week termination notice. Lol
So even if you aren't called to do what I've done in the same manner, you are called to trust God and step into what He's calling your heart to do deep down inside. That thing that tugs on you no matter how much you ignore it. That thing that no one around you will want to support but you just can't shake. The thing that after 13 years you come back to and say, “wow I'm still good at this? I still enjoy this?” That thing everyone tells you, you need to give up because it's not happening quick enough—for them anyways.
Do you know how many times I've been called dumb, lectured, ridiculed, and pow wowed about? Neither do I, but it's been a countless number and when I finally was able to get past it (not stop caring because I actually care about what the people I love and trust think) God was able to start blessing and showing me more. And this was only recently. I wasted like 3.5 years letting opinions make this process almost unbearable (read Proverbs 29:25 MSG).
While getting licensed and having the recognition of the title minister is not the core of my validation of who I am in God or in this world, salvation did that for me, it did let me know all the other stuff I was chasing to please everyone else and tricked myself into believing I needed...I don't need or want anymore. Unless it's God inspired, because then I'll know it's good.
1 John 2:15-17 NLT states...
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
We chase a lot of things that aren't truly fulfilling our deepest spiritual craving. Whether our parents drilled it in us, our teachers or mentors told us it was what's best, social media made us covet it, or reality shows showed us it was how to truly live. We get, get, get and all we want is more, constantly searching for the next high point. The high fades and then we find ourselves addicted to things that can never fully give us what we actually need. What did God say about your life? What did the One who created you have to say about what you as a unique individual actually need?
If we seek God and find out His will for our lives our motives, actions, and desires change. I honestly believe that when you're walking in God's will for your life and you seek Him daily you find that craving satisfied and your creativity intensifies! And when new desires enter your heart, because God is perfectly fine with increase and the desire for more, those desires will more than likely be matched to God's and we will see the promise of Psalm 37:4-5 manifest a lot more often. Maybe not more quickly, but more often lol.
Today, I challenge you to go for it! Whatever it is! It’s not always easy but take the step towards freedom from striving for things that won't last. Get in your word and spend time with God daily to see what He's already placed inside you for use in His kingdom. It could be to tutor, use your impeccable cleaning skills to polish off homes, start a business, write, volunteer, go into a subset of ministry, teach, sell cars or real estate, work in customer service, go to school, I don't know...whatever God has placed on your heart, start doing it now! What are you waiting for? People to support you? The extra finances? The perfect time? Man look, just start and God will make provision. Might not look like you want it to but things will definitely be taken care of.
In this place that God has called you to serve and be yourself is where you'll find true fulfillment and satisfaction. Peace and joy is in His will. It won't be perfect but you'll know it's right so the negative you face will be easier to face head on. It’s not always easy but the pure peace and encouragement that God gives you from the inside out??? I say is worth it! We’re all different though, you try it out and let me know how it works for you ;)
Love and all that stuff!
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Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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