Updated: Jun 26
As someone who made a major career change from the business world to seminary, I have had to ask myself what exactly is my identity and calling? For many years, although I knew deep down that my identity was rooted in being a “child of God,” I had been falsely identifying with my career, job title, salary, travel, etc. When I finally stepped away from all of that, I suddenly felt very empty. The child of God façade that I had told myself and others quickly began to crumble.
It was really only during the past few years at seminary that God started to peel away everything that was blinding me from seeing my true identity. As I come towards the end of my seminary journey, I am beginning to understand finally that my true identity lies with my relationships. My identity was never a task or a vocation. Here is some food for thought as you search for your own identity and calling in life.
Your relationship with God We are defined by who God says we are, not by the society, job, or social media. 1 John 3 tells us that we are God’s children, therefore our primary identity is to be loved by our Heavenly Father and to develop our relationship with Him. As with any important relationship in our life, we are to love back. One practical way is by understanding and obeying God’s teachings through the studying of the scriptures. How are you showing your love to God this week?
Your relationship with family Take some time to examine your relationship with your family. What is your role? Are you a wife, husband, sister, brother, child, or parent? In each of our roles, what are your responsibilities and functions? Sometimes our role within our family is simply being willing to love and be loved by them. When was the last time you told them that you appreciated and loved them?
Your relationship with others The Bible teaches us to love God and love people. A huge part of our identity lies in how we treat others. As a graduate student, I am always challenged with time. Given the many different types of relationships we have, are you spending enough time and attention on those you care and love? What are some of the ways that you are letting them know that they are in your inner circle?
Finding your calling As I continued to search for my identity, I began to realize my true calling. I found myself coming alive when I was able to help those around me through the ups and downs of life. Howard Thurman states: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Throughout my search of my identity, I have discovered my calling as a Mental Health Counselor,
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!" At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one.” ― Loren Eiseley