Today’s blog post isn’t necessarily about music, but I just got one of the sweetest texts from a friend of mine and it made me think about something I’ve been talking about with my Mom a lot lately.
Growing up I always heard people say “God called me to do this” or “God placed this calling on my life.” Every time someone said something along those lines they were talking about a big project, mission trip, or life changing decision that they felt God was calling them to do. I thought that it was so amazing, yet overwhelming, that God was calling people to carry out these big plans to advance his kingdom. It’s exciting right?! But then it made me start wondering about all of us who don't know what our calling is. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt led to become a missionary, move away from home to plant a church, speak/teach at big Christian events, write a book, or go build wells/schools in other countries. I’ve never felt like there was this big plan that God was giving me to oversee. I do believe everyone has a calling over their life, but mine never felt super obvious.
You’re probably thinking that my God given calling is very obvious. Music. That’s what God called me to pursue. Yes, I’ve always felt like this is the path I was meant to be on, but it wasn’t until recently that I really started to think about it. What if a music career isn’t my calling? What if it’s just a tool God is using to help me with my real calling? What if my calling isn’t some huge life changing thing? What if yours isn’t either?
When I first started playing shows, I remember I would get asked by family and friends why I didn’t sing gospel music or why I didn’t want to go into the Christian Music genre. My only answer was it just didn’t feel right to me. I loved Christian music just as much as they did (#TobyMac4Eva), but it wasn’t what I was suppose to be doing. I felt that deep in my heart. Then it started to make me wonder how I was going to use my music to glorify God if I felt that way. How was I suppose to point everything back to Him in a business that is very self-centered? Was it bad that my songs were about my life and experiences instead of Him? I felt guilty for a while because I felt like I was misusing my talent He gave me.
It wasn’t until the last few months that it finally hit me what I feel like I’m called to do. I think this could be your calling too. It’s not some big career change or project you need to take on. It’s actually really simple…
I think we are called to love on people.
Yes, I know it sounds like I’m stating the obvious. Of course we are suppose to love people. Sure, there are some people you don’t like but you don’t wish they’d die either. Some people are easier to love than others. I think we all love each other to a certain extent, but do you love on people?
Do you look people in the eyes and let them know that you actually see them?
It’s not just caring about a person's general well being. It’s noticing that friend has been struggling and asking if you can help. It’s being there for that co-worker you don’t exactly like, but you ask them how their day was anyway. It’s smiling at a stranger and sending a random text of encouragement to someone you think could use it. It’s sitting next to someone alone at church or school.
I don’t know about you, but I’m bad about talking on the phone when I check out at the grocery store. What if you were the one person who could brighten their day by just looking up and letting them know you see them. Give them a smile and ask how their day was.
It might not be some extravagant life plan or goal, but I think it’s just as important.
Which brings me back to the whole “life calling” thing. I was meant to move to Nashville. I know that with all my heart. God didn’t give me some big answer out of the blue telling me to move. I just knew. It all fell into place and that was my confirmation. But moving to Nashville wasn’t my big calling. Just another tool to help me.
After moving I went through a really bad period of loneliness. My mom was with me for a little while, which made it a lot easier, but I still felt lonely. I didn’t have any friends out here. I didn’t know anyone. Everyone I saw when I went out to places already had their friends. People I tried to connect with already had their inner circle of people. I use to long for someone to just take a little interest in me or ask me how my day was. I felt really lost. One day I got up the courage to go up to Alisa Turner, who sings at my church, and tell her how much I loved her voice. We talked a little bit and then a few weeks later she invited me to meet up with her one day. At that point I was living out here fully by myself. Then, it turned into a weekly thing. We’d get together and talk about music and things we had going on. She understood what it felt like to move away from home. She didn’t have to take time out of her busy week to meet with a girl she barely knew, but she did. She became the friend that I really needed.
Her music has taken off so much since then and she’s pursuing a career in the Christian Music industry. She will still text me every once in a while with encouraging words and love. I know she’s got a billion things going on in her life right now (she’s about to release her new album Miracle or Not !!!!), but she takes time to let me know she sees me and she cares. Those simple texts mean more to me than I think even she realizes.
I’ve felt loneliness. I know it like an old friend. I still remind myself of those times when I just prayed for friends. Now I have a group of people around me that show me love every day. There’s not enough time to mention all the people in my life who send me encouraging texts or random messages letting me know they’re in my corner and they love me. I feel like I went through that really tough season to know what it feels like and to know how to be what I needed back then to someone else.
So, I’ve felt really moved by the thought of my calling being to just love on people. At all of my shows, my prayer is that God would help me to love on whoever he sends my way that day. No, it’s not always easy to love on people, but it’s so worth it.
All of that being said, if you have a big, earth shattering calling on your life, that’s awesome and I support you 100%! But, if you are like me and you just don’t know if you’ve got some big calling, remember that little callings can be just as life changing.
What do you feel God has called you to do in your life? Comment below!
Sorry for the long post. I just had to get those thoughts out there.
I love you guys.
P.s. I don’t know if any of that makes sense. I would like to very obviously state my calling is definitely not going to be insightful public speaking haha.
P.s.s. You are welcome Paul for the double blog post this month! :D #KillingTheGame