Calling

old-door-handleWriter Elisabeth Elliot has said God’s NO is His mercy.  In this posture of trust I have tasted the goodness of God. Hindsight faithfully reveals that the doors that had shut on me were pointing to portals that would swing wide with blessing.

I had always felt barred from overseas missionary work. The door to service abroad that I tried and tried wouldn’t budge. In 1996, I set foot in California for the first time on a working vacation as a guest contributor to a Wycliffe Bible Translators magazine called The Sower. Through the research and writing, I was in part scouting the missionary landscape and tapping possibilities for my place in it.

Fast-forward about ten years to the night a church leader came over for dinner. I had felt judged by this man who was passionate for overseas missions. I got the sense that he, knowing nothing of the many challenges I’d faced until then, thought me complacent in my little world. He never cared to probe, to discover anything of the work abroad I had pursued but that had never panned out for me. That night, he picked up the copy of The Sower that happened to lie on the coffee table, and flipping through, caught my byline. Taken aback, he seemed to see me in a new light.

A deep, sweet realization emerged in a talk with a friend last week. When she expressed pleasure over my writing, I pointed out that my hands don’t have the creative touch of hers and that I lack the verve and strength to serve people in the way she does.

I suddenly got chills.

I saw, after all these years, that anything I arguably could have accomplished as a missionary would have remained limited in scope. But the words I have put down, here and in global publications, reach more people than I would teaching English or laboring to build a hut somewhere. I heard God’s answer to the misperceptions of the man who had wanted more…activity out of me. I don’t always have to be talking faith. My writing is my art and the art, my worship.

My worship, my calling.

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. Revelations 3:7

147 thoughts on “Calling

  1. Yes D, you are so very gifted in your writing, I’m always encouraged and entertained by the way your words flow out of you, on to the computer screen. God knows and uses us just as we need to be used. This one’s going on my page later today if that’s ok? Shazza

    • You know you never need to ask. All I can say is thank you for the generous encouragement, S. Remember, the post is (never) not just about me. =) I hope you are blessed to remember His no is His mercy.

      Love,
      me

  2. Years ago, D, I read Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist. His words: “Follow your bliss and doors will open.” Discover what you love to do, what you are good at doing, and do it. That seems to be the path you have chosen. –Curt

  3. What a potent testimonial this post is, Diana! We must all find our own best ways to serve, to grow, to Be. And if we are fortunate, they find us! For you, the art of your writing is clearly your mission and your strength, and I know I’m not alone among your readers here in thinking that when you share these gifts with us we are all enriched and changed. Thank you.
    xoxo

    • You’re too much, K. I love this: “We must all find our own best ways to serve, to grow, to Be. And if we are fortunate, they find us!” I wish I were multitalented like you. I just don’t see lines and colors as you do. I think you are home in both your writing and visual art….?

      • Yes, both writing and visual media have been my refuge and restoration, at times. 🙂 Now, whether that serves any larger purpose than making me a bit less difficult for those around me to handle is best assessed by *them*, but it certainly makes *me* feel more whole, centered and contented. 😉 ❤

      • When I briefly considered the career of a music therapist in college, I didn’t know of art therapy. You’d be fabulous as a therapist in that realm. =)

        And you know that when we feel more whole, centered, and content – people will jolly be gladder for our company! LOL

  4. Beautiful. I couldn’t believe it when I came across this page, because just the other day I’d been Googling something along these lines, about how to handle times when a door closes on us in a certain area of life. This is the confirmation I was looking for; there is always a higher purpose and better way than we know in the moment. Thank you!

  5. I’ve copied this to send to my brother. He has spend the last25 years with Wycliffe translating the Bible for Torres Strait islands and he is a bit despondent that he has not accomplished much. Thank you.

  6. I simply “happened” upon your blog. Perused a few posts, read your “About me” section. I just want to say, thanks! Thanks for what you do; thanks for your pursuit of God, your pursuit of life, and just simply your pursuit. Thank you for taking the time to share your life, your passion, your joys, your highs and lows. I am glad and amazed at what God does…and how well He does it! And this comment may not mean much in the slew of comments you get, but I simply wanted to say thanks. I just feel like God is pleased….whatever that means to you. Thank you.

    • I am grateful for the time you took with the reading and feedback, JW. Of course it means a lot to me. =) Your gracious encouragement only shames me at an ironic moment, as I just yelled at my boy and played out a drama any mother would not want the neighbors to see. Sigh. God was definitely not pleased. But here I am in my humanity. I am simply in awe that He could eke out any ray of light and hope from me, this sinner. Thank you greatly for this precious gift you leave me today. I am bowled over by your kindness.

      Diana

  7. Thank-you for reading and liking one of my posts. I’m glad that led me to look at your blog. It’s very inspiring and encouraging! I have been contemplating a lot this month about focus. I appreciate how you expressed here about how you did not become a missionary per se, but are using words to reach people. I too wish to bring God’s boundless love into people’s sight lines. You might also like this quote I have taped to my monitor, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew 13:52). He gives us many treasures to share! God bless you! 🙂

  8. Another excellent post, and comment section to match. Thank-you very much for all the encouragement that has helped me to maintain when so often I would have fallen, and to succeed where so often I could have failed.

  9. This struck a deep chord. Others’ expectations of us — even our expectations of ourselves — can be so far off the mark. Yet God knows the direction we are to go.

My Two Gold Cents in the Holistic Treasury

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