How do you trust God with your call to ministry when your ministry isn’t manifesting like you thought it would?
I mean … you heard the call. You said yes. You’re in perfect alignment with the will of God for your life. But, it’s hard! The invitations to speak are few. The rejection letters are many. You question. You question if you were called. If you’re sure you were called, perhaps you’re questioning if God can be trusted.
I get it.
When I see all the empty spaces on my calendar, I beg God to fill them with places to proclaim His Name and teach His Word.
I diligently create content every week for blogs and social media to encourage and equip women in their faith, but rarely get the engagement I desire.
The book I labored over so that women would KNOW there is a God in heaven who loves them “as is” but loves them too much to leave them in their current condition collects dust on the shelves in bookstores and in the Amazon warehouse.
God, what’s up with that? You called me to speak and write. What’s the holdup?
Do you secretly wonder that, too? Or am I the only one who is perplexed by the delays and lack of opportunities?
It can be humbling, if not downright discouraging, to pray and practice only to be left out or overlooked or uninvited!
Last week, I emailed an event planner that I’d been in conversation with about her next retreat. I asked about themes and vision and if she had secured her speaker. She emailed me right back! It said, “Thank you Robin. Hope all is well. Put March 29 and 30 on your calendar for next year’s conference!” After I did a backflip (in my mind) I messaged her asking what the next step was to make it official. She responded, “Oh Robyn. Sorry I thought I was talking to an attendee. We have not made a decision yet on the speaker.” Ugh, what a disappointment!
This is what I know.
- Your work is not wasted. The testing you are enduring right now will fortify your faith and teach you to trust God when the enemy attempts to take you out of the ministry with his attacks.
- The lessons you learn in the dark will illuminate the path of a future traveler. What you’re enduring right now is what you’ll be teaching in a year.
- An audience of ten is just as important as a full arena. Do not despise small audiences, small venues or small paychecks. Your message is not being wasted. It’s being honed.
- Comparisons will steal your joy and your ministry. Even if someone gets the gig you thought you were going to be invited to, celebrate her, and pray for the event to be a huge win for her, for the event planner and for the guests.
Friend, God is not oblivious to your desire or your pain. But just like you can’t give a chainsaw to a toddler, expecting they will be able to cut through thick forests, God is giving you the time to draw near to Him as your practice your craft. He’s preparing you and He’s preparing your audience or reader to receive the message you’ll bring.
There is no question God called our fellow author and speaker, Paul, AKA Saul. There is no question Paul was in the center of God’s will. But, it was hard. There were shipwrecks and beatings and imprisonments. But, Paul pressed on because he heard the call and trusted the Caller to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
You can trust the call because you can trust the Caller. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Phil 1:6