God Callings

In the LDS church, members are given “callings” -volunteer positions to keep the church functioning in an organized manner.
It’s a great system that doesn’t always work perfectly -just like life -and it gives members the opportunity to serve in a variety of ways. The callings I’ve held in the church have always challenged me… they don’t exactly always tailor your calling to your natural inclinations. Sometimes you’re put substantially outside of your comfort zone, which we all know is usually a healthy opportunity for growth.
I’ve served as a teacher, a leader, a pianist… I’ve given talks, treats, time, projects! I’ve only ever hated ONE calling. I was called as the “compassionate service leader” and it made me physically ill to call and ask people to help other people. I agonized over who to bother LESS with casserole-making.
“Hi, um, this is Alicia… Sister So-and-So just had a baby and I’m wondering if you’d be able to make dinner for her on Thursday?”
Sometimes (most times) I would just make the meals myself because asking people to help was so sickeningly difficult for me.

It still is. I almost cried with happiness when they released me.

We are asked to magnify the callings we receive… to prayerfully work at our task and endeavor to hold and perform the calling in the same way Christ himself might… whatever that looks like for us.

“Magnify your calling” is a phrase I’m familiar with, and sometimes it brings a lot of shame unto me. Because I suffer from an ailment I like to call “spiritual perfectionism” which means if I don’t feel like I’m earning my own salvation THE BEST I ABSOLUTELY CAN, I am worthless. A failure.
Yes, I REALLY struggle with pride.

I also recognize now that it’s a faulty way of living -that God never EVER wanted me to earn my salvation because He gave His Son so for my salvation. And He only needs ONE Jesus. He doesn’t need a million SAVIORS, but I felt I truly was my own Savior. I didn’t SEE it quite like that, but look back on it… yeah. That’s exactly what I was doing.

Letting go of that line has been a progressive thing for me. As I let go of that belief, a new FREE world opened up to me. As I let go of performance-based living, it opened up more time. It opened more space in my soul for compassion. I found peace and serenity coming in.

And then, one day, the phrase, “Magnify your Calling” hit me in a completely different way.

I believe -so strongly, so so deeply -that God has inherently called each of us to God Callings.

Each Child of God is sent to earth endowed with gifts to help them magnify their God Calling: teacher, athlete, scientist, musician, healer, preacher!

So many callings!
Working recovery has helped me to find and define what my own personal callings are. When I quit trying to perform up to my own impossible ideals of what I feel is required of me, God is able to more full unveil His ideals of who I am. God wants me to use my voice: teach, write, laugh, share! God wants me to tell stories, to find metaphors in BASICALLY EVERYTHING. He wants me to reach out and share my life with others in order to bring light and connection where there once was darkness and loneliness.
God wants me to be a free spirit -He wants me to keep my feet off the ground, my wild hair around my face… He does NOT want me to be controlled by fear or another person (or fear of another person). God trusts me with children -my own and those scuttling around my ankles in the supermarket.
God wants me to give of what I have, no matter how meager it may seem in my eyes… for my eyes are not God’s eyes.

Right now, I am magnifying my callings by FINDING THEM OUT through recovery, and God is giving me strength to simply carry on with my church callings.

I complete them well enough for now, and when the time is right and in God’s timing, I will find that my NEXT RIGHT THING is working harder to magnify them.

But that’s not what He wants right now.

I can magnify my God Callings today by doing what I’m doing right now: writing, and magnifying my God calling is more important, more vital, more life-giving than anything else.

I am filled with gratitude at God’s perfect plan -the way he seamlessly sews us all together in a puzzle of community perfection. Where there is a healer needed, a healer is found. Where there is a nurturer, a nurturer is found. There’s a mechanic and an organizer. There’s someone who is completely fulfilled by bringing beauty to bodies, spaces and faces. There’s someone who knows their way around mechanics and chainsaws… someone who makes desk living look attractive. There’s someone with a lush garden and someone with homemade breads and pies.

When we dive deep into our divine center and give ourselves the respect we’d give any other person we know to have GOD within them, WE FIND OUR CALLING.

A family or any kind of community knit together in mutual love, appreciation and respect for individuality and God Callings is HEAVEN ON EARTH.

Danny’s addiction twisted this truth -wrenched it out of control.

I felt I knew what was best for Danny.
In many ways, Danny felt he knew what was best for me.

As we take a step back and try to find ourselves, we stand in awe of each other… we begin to respect the God Callings in each other instead of trying to morph them into our own ideals of what we think each other SHOULD BE.

Danny is a leader -he has a passion for justice that is brought out magnificently in his job. Danny loves music -it speaks to him, and he uses his own musical voice to speak to others.
So often I’ve tried to force a love of literature on him. So often, I’ve tried to get him to STOP GETTING WORKED UP over justice issues beyond his control.

But I’m coming around to just watching Danny dive inside of himself.
I’m an observer on his individual journey to God -not an active participant. In the end, it’s ONLY about Danny and God.
The same is true for myself.

It’s bumpy, but the rewards of uncovering and magnifying my God Callings? WORTH IT.

The best part? I love my callings. God generously attaches passion to each of his God Callings, so that what He calls His children to do is fulfilling and pleasing unto them!

The same isn’t QUITE as true for church-given callings.
There are women who are called by God to be compassionate service leaders, and I’m not one of them. But in doing that calling, I gained a GIGANTIC appreciation for women who are naturals.

Thank you for them.
Thank you for the engineers, the athletes, the painters. Thank you for the beautiful voices, the crafters, the brainy business ones.
Your children are brilliantly magnificent.
You must be so proud.


PS: Thank you for sending me a few. They are brilliantly magnificent.

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