Eagerly awaiting a response to an email I had zipped off a few days before, I hurried to log on to my computer. I had shared an idea, a next project, one that I felt was a God idea, so I was anxiously awaiting a response. I held my breath as I began to scroll through the emails in my inbox, at the moment, my eyes were only scanning for one. There it was, the response I was waiting for. I opened the email and read the response. As my eyes scanned the brief message, my heart sank, not exactly what I was hoping for. It wasn’t an outright rejection, but it also wasn’t a confirmation or commitment either. Exhaling, fighting back tears, I slowly shut the laptop and walked away.
The insecurities, fears, and doubt began to rise up inside me. The questions began taunting me, mocking me and echoing in my mind.
- What did you expect?
- Who do you think you are?
- What were you thinking?
- They don’t think your good enough.
- You’re not good enough.
- They don’t think your called to do this either.
- Why did I ever think I could do this?
- This is a lot tougher than I thought it would be.
- What will others think of me now?
- Maybe this isn’t what I am called to do.
- Maybe I should just walk away now before it gets worse.
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you were excited to step out in the very thing your heart had longed to do, when all of a sudden out of nowhere, you began to question the call on your life?
Was this really God’s plan for you?
Maybe this wasn’t what you were supposed to be doing.
4 Steps to Help you Decide
It could just be me, but on more than one occasion I have doubted the call on my life, whether it is in being a wife, mom, writer, speaker or pastor. Thankfully Jesus doesn’t let me dwell on the insecurities and doubt for too long, before He turned the thinking around. Quitting may be the easy option but is it the right one? Here are 4 steps to help you decide what to do when you begin to question your calling.
1. Recognize the source
When you begin to question the call of God on your life, you first need to find out the source of the insecurities and doubt. Just because you are questioning your calling, it doesn’t mean it isn’t something you should be doing. We have an enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy us. (John 10:10 & 1 Peter 5:8) My pastor used to say, “The enemy doesn’t care if you are a Christian or if you go to church, he only cares if you do something with what you believe. You see, it’s when we start to do something with who God has called us to be that the enemy begins to care. Why? Because when we are walking in our Kingdom purpose, lives are changed, including our own and people are set free.
My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me (John 10:27 TPT).
We need to ask ourselves where is this doubt and insecurity coming from? Did something happen to trigger it? Why all of a sudden am I beginning to question my calling? Is it coming from God, the enemy or myself?
2. Stop and Go back to What you know
We often need to stop the doubt and insecurity train before it gets too far from the station. We need to go back to what we know. What’s the truth about the situation? Not the perceived truth, or the truth our emotions and feelings are giving us. Sometimes, we just need to stop and go back to before we stepped into the calling or ministry. Did God speak something to us? Did He release a promise, prophetic word, a Scripture, or plant a dream into our hearts? Did you receive confirmation from others?
Before releasing people into ministry, I ask them to seek God and ask for a personal word or Scripture for this season of ministry they are stepping in to. Something that they can cling to when times are difficult.
Another pastor used to tell me, “if you don’t know, you don’t go!” I will admit, this has stopped me from quitting my calling and hitting the road so many times I’ve lost count. When the going get toughs it is natural tendency to want to hit the road and never look back. However, that is not always the best solution, instead, seek out wise counsel and people whom you trust to speak into your life. Ask them to pray with you and for you. By seeking the counsel of others, they can help us process the truth with emotions removed.
For with wise guidance, you can wage a successful war, and with a council of many advisors, you will be victorious! (Proverbs 24:6 The Voice)
3. Be in Community
Surround yourself with like-minded people who have a similar calling to your own. When we are in the heat of battle, we need to know we are not alone. We need the experience and testimonies of others to know what is possible in difficult situations. Be purposefully to surround yourself with trusted advisors, but also people who are called to do the same thing you are. We are not called to do life alone, or be in competition with one another, there is plenty of Kingdom work to go around. We do need to have other people who are on the same journey that we can confide in, talk to and relate too. This will help us when the times get tough.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24–25 NIV)
4. Take Action
Taking action means we make a choice to move forward and can be one of the hardest steps in the process. We choose to move forward whether our emotions feel like it or not. Once we know the source and have gone back to what God has already spoken to us about our calling, we have to do something with it, or we will remain stuck. Sometimes, the action may be to dig deeper and forge ahead. It may require readjusting but not quitting. It might mean taking a break or transitioning out. We won’t know until we work through the other steps in the process, but when we know, we make the necessary adjustments, we choose, and we act.
As we move forward in God’s plan and walk in our calling we must be prepared for opposition and resistance to come our way, but that doesn’t mean we give in to it or turn tail and run away. Keep in front of you the things God speaks to you through the Scriptures, His promises and the prophecies He spoken over your life. We must choose to be unstoppable as we passionately pursue the plans God has for us.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:1-8 NIV)
Last weeks Top Clicked Post:
This weeks top clicked post is from Kris over at Christian Mom’s Fellowship.
“So, when I’m tired and the enemy is whispering in my ear that I don’t have what it takes, I remind him that I don’t have to have what it takes. I just need Jesus.“
Amen, Kris, we do just need Jesus. He is more than enough. These lines from her post really stood out to me, and I thought it went will with the theme of my post for today. Thank you Kris for your words and linking up.
Again Welcome and Thank you for joining me for #TuneInThursday it is an honor to have you here!
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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com
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So true, Debbie, that it’s easy to become overwhelmed in the midst of a season of ministry. Your thoughts here are ministering to me today!
Yes, it is so easy to become overwhelmed in the seasons. I am glad my words were ministering to you- so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
You have given me a lot to think about as I’ve been questioning what I’m supposed to be doing right now. laurensparks.net
Oh Lauren, I am so sorry that you have been questioning your what you are supposed to be doing right now – I hope that my words help you as your process and pray through what you are to do. Also, sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Well here we go. Day 1 of 31 Days. I haven’t had time to join any link ups while I’ve been writing this series – except yours – maybe once. I feel so happy and free to be finished!
Thanks for hosting my friend. See ya’ in a few days 🙂
YOu’ve been so busy writing that you didn’t have time to link up? Well, at least I was getting your emails so I was able to stay on top of each day. Great job in seeing it all the way through. You did a great job. so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking but NOW I am on my way to see you – woo hoo
This spoke right to me this morning! Thank-you!
You are most welcome Katrina. thanks for letting me know it spoke to you and I am so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
I want to know what happened with the project that wasn’t quite rejected or approved. Did it ever get off the ground? I can’t imagine you giving up on a God-inspired idea! 🙂
Oh Laurie, I wish I had closer on that project but sadly, it is still in limbo – waiting for a few things to fall into place and then I guess they will make a decision, but either way – I will trust God and I do believe I will be moving forward even thouhg I am limbo. so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Debbie, #2 really seems to work well for me. You are spot on with your suggestions! Thanks!
I often remind myself to not follow my feelings off the cliff, but to go back and review what I already know. It’s been an important step for me not walking away several times. so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Thank you for hosting. I love sharing with your readers and always find inspiration here. Have a blessed week! #OverTheMoon #ThursdayFavoriteThings
you are most welcome Marilyn 🙂
Yes, these are such good thoughts and Scriptures to hold onto when we are unsure of going or staying. Thank you for the encouragement that you offer to us!
Thanks BettieG and You are most welcome for the encouragement too, I needed the reminder myself and the Scriptures to hold onto. sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
This is something that I have lived. Thanks for sharing this. It is so powerful. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.
You are most welcome Patrick and I am glad you think it is powerful as well. Blessings and so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
I needed this post to help me in an evaluation process. Great reminder to follow God’s voice and leading and not our feelings.
Bev, I am so glad that God knew the timing you needed to find and read this post as you are evaluating some things. Praying you receive clear direction.
It can be so discouraging when we are excited about something, put our idea into action, and then seems to fall flat! Staying in God’s word and very present to the tasks I’m already doing is helpful to not get discouraged. And of course community around us that encourages, uplifts, and understands the journey! Thanks for taking steps to discern and follow your calling Debbie!
Oh Lynn, you are so right, it can be so discouraging. Stying in God’s word and remembering His promises and having great people around me to remind me of what I am supposed to be doing are what help me not run I agree with you that community is so important as well to help keep us encourage and stay the course. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me and for encouraging me as well. Blessings and sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
A great approach to a universal feeling! Should I quit? Would it matter? Thanks, deb
thanks Sue, I am surprised at how often lately, I have heard people talk about wanting to quit or even unsure of if they should stat or go. Thanks for your thoughts. Also, sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
deb – you never need to apologize about not responding – we do well to blog in the first place, i’m thinking. (: xoxo
thanks Sue 🙂
Great advice. I don’t click to tweet a lot but I did for two of these because they are spot on.
Thank you Calleen. It means the world to me that you would tweet when you don’t normally do so. Thank you Blessing and sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Debbie, thank you for this post. If we sense the enemy acting against us, perhaps we’re doing something right for the kingdom. “The enemy doesn’t care if you are a Christian or if you go to church, he only cares if you do something with what you believe.”
Oh Tammy, you are most welcome! I am so glad you enjoyed the post, and yes, I believe it is so true that if we have some opposition then we must be going in the right direction. Jesus never promised easy, He promised to be with us always. Opposition is part of the journey. Blessings to you and I am so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Thanks for such a wonderfully encouraging post, Debbie! I love the practicality and wisdom of the four steps.
You are most welcome Carlie and thank you for sharing with me how much you liked it. Blessings and sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Thank you for this post!
you are most welcome Elizabeth so sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
I think that’s such a crucial point to understand. Opposition doesn’t mean we’re not being called in a certain direction. Sometimes that very opposition is proof that we’re moving in a way that glorifies God and threatens the enemy! Thanks for this encouraging word!
Liz, you are so right – opposition can be positive proof that we are indeed walking and moving in the very direction we need to be going ! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Blessings and sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Such a wonderful post and so what I needed to hear! I get discouraged in what I feel is my calling when I am not seeing results. Then I feel like I must not really be doing what God has called me to do. Then I slack off. It is such a hard thing, especially when you are not seeing any fruit, but your words were such an encouragement to me! Thank you!
Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!
Thank you Amy and I am glad that it was something you needed to read at this time. I too can get discouraged, especially when I am not seeing results, or if they ar slow in coming. I am so glad that my words were an encouragement to you and thank you for sharing your thoughts with me as well. Blessings to you and thanks for hosting #LiveLifeWeLl… and sorry for my delay in responding it has been a crazy week of ministry and speaking
Your neighbor at Gracefull Tuesdays. Good points to take into consideration. Getting discouraged and giving up is exactly what Satan wants us to do. Thank you for sharing this encouragement!
Thanks Cheryl and yes, I agree that is exactly satans plan to stop us from moving in God’s plans for our lives. so glad to have you as my neighbor 🙂
This is good advice thanks. I’ve had these doubts too as I’m sure we all have. We should never make quick decisions just because of a few doubts.
Thank you Kathleen 🙂
Very good words to consider. Thanks for helping me pause to think today!
thanks Karen 🙂
Excellent insights on steps to take before quitting our calling.
It seems the Lord uses other people in my life, the community you mentioned, to encourage me at just the moment I’m thinking of quitting my calling unbeknownst to them. But the Lord knew and sent the encouraging Word to stay the course and to not become discouraged.
I liked your thought on thinking back to when we were originally called to the ministry we are in and had we not stepped out, we wouldn’t have experienced the blessings we have or to experience God’s provision in our calling.
Thanks for sharing.
You are most welcome and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am so grateful for community in my life as well. they have stopped me so many times from running away and quitting all together. And going back to before we stepped out is a big one for me.. I remember when God called me and what He spoke and then ask myself if He has changed His mind or released me and if not, no matter how much I want to quit I can’t. 🙂 Blessings and thanks for stopping by tonight.
Thanks for sharing your inspiring post on the #LMMLInkup this past week.
you are most welcome Mary!
Loved this Debbie and I bet we can all relate. I know I can. Thank you for sharing because it helps the rest of us know that these questions and feelings are just about us but others. It shows that doubts and disappointments are normal and should be processed wisely. So well written!
Thank you so much Gretchen!I am glad that you found it helpful and I hope others do too. It can be so hard when we have feelings of doubt and disappointments, but I have found these steps help me stay focused when those times come.