Do you fear your calling?

I invite you to read Kristen’s message for Women Walking with Jesus. You’ll be strengthened and challenged.

Woman walking cross country and trail in autumn forestBy Kristen Schiffman

Ephesians 2:10, HCSB
“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

The past few years have held major lessons for me in the area of that one loaded word we all fear the weight and long the adventure of: calling.

The lessons have not been without heartbreak, but they have been so worth it. I’ve stepped out when I was terrified, re-routed my course when the Lord was directing my steps a different way, cried over mistakes, rejoiced over victories, and rested in Jesus’ faithfulness more than ever.

I share rather openly how I struggle with discouragement. The kind of discouragement that often, in the past, would leave me completely crippled in my calling. I’d talk myself out of things, put them off, question and question again if I was hearing right. One day though I started asking what I had been secretly afraid of all along:

Kristen, what if you are made for it? What if you stopped listing all the reasons you shouldn’t do this and started simply asking, what if God really is planning this for me? What does that look like today?

These little questions changed things for me.

If Ephesians 2:10 (HCSB) is serious, I’ve got some surrendering to do.

“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

Friend, what if God, through Jesus, actually does have plans for your life? What if something is at stake here? What if the decisions of your today impact tomorrow and next year and ten years after that?

I don’t know what you’ve been struggling with lately. Maybe you’re called to write and you just cannot seem to start that blog. Maybe you are meant to speak to women but you keep turning down opportunities due to fear. Maybe you know deep down God is whispering for you to adopt but you’re terrified to bring it up to your husband. Maybe your community really does need that outreach program. Maybe your neighbor really is suffering and the bread you keep baking but never actually delivering could very well be the hands of Jesus to her.

Sure, not every attempt takes off the way I may hope. I don’t sweat that anymore. I just take one more step every day. I listen up, follow hard, seek counsel from the people who know me well, and then I just do it. I say yes.

We may not speak to 200,000 or solve the orphan crisis in our one home but our part adds up. The Body cannot function if the eyes are too afraid to open or the feet keep giving way to stage fright.

What if we were crazy brave today and asked: What if we are made for it?

Wouldn’t it be sad to waste our callings on the what ifs and worries that Jesus is more than able to conquer? I want to be someone who does what she is meant to do and who does it with excellence. Rather than talk myself out of it, I’m learning to talk myself into it. Trusting that the One who has called me is faithful and if I’m wholeheartedly seeking, He will reroute my course if need be.

In the meantime you can find me hiking trails, studying my heart out, opening my home, laughing loud, writing and teaching Bible studies and learning the names of the people in my community.

I think that’s what I am made for.

How about you?

KSchiffmanBioPhotoKristen Schiffman is a Bible study writer and teacher who loves chai lattes and blank pages. She’s served on staff at multiple women’s ministries and is the co-founder of The Dinner Table Collective (set to launch in early 2015). You can find her online at and The Dinner Table Collective.


19 Responses to Do you fear your calling?

  1. Kristen,

    Beautifully written from a pure heart, which is what I love most about you.

    Many will be encouraged in what you shared especially this: “Sure, not every attempt takes off the way I may hope. I don’t sweat that anymore. I just take one more step every day. I listen up, follow hard, seek counsel from the people who know me well, and then I just do it. I say yes.”

    Many say they’ll do it, or that they’ll keep going but there are many hindrances in their way that only they can choose to release to God; day by day and moment by moment so that they can “really” fight the good fight of faith and run a good race and finish well–finish fulfilling the purposes God has for them.

    I pray that the women and men who read your post will be encouraged to really keep going or to begin or to begin again and to know that God indeed has a purpose for their life and, through the power of the Holy Spirit–they CAN do it!

    Love you!

    • AMEN. It’s called the good “fight” for a reason. 😉 Praying your readership on as they each take up their callings & living out Jesus. Love you so.

      • Amen Kristen!! I am praying the same for all of us and every person who reads.

        And…it’s “our readership” 😉 We’re a team and I’m so thankful that you are a part of our team. I love you MORE! Praying for you!

  2. My heart can relate to your message! For years I ran around doing everything I could to be the person I felt God was inspiring me to be…until I collapsed into depression and exhaustion. The simple truth is that we are equipped for wonderful things by a powerful awesome God who is always there to guide and direct our path! My husband is dealing with cancer, my Momma lives with us…and I am feeling safe in the cleft of His love. So many will be inspired to trust God by reading your beautiful words!

    • Praying for your husband right now, Renee. And truly encouraged by YOUR words. May we trust our God & find safety in the cleft of His love.

    • Renee, I join Kristen in praying for your husband and for praying for you and your Momma right now….

      Yes indeed, you, we, are all safe in the cleft of His love. Well said!

      Blessings and love to you!

  3. I totally relate! So often over the years I wondered what it was that God would have of me. Too often I’d sigh, thinking there was no sure way to know … that is, until I begin hearing that Still Small Voice reminding me over-and-over-and over: “Live your life.” It was enough to get me past the “Huh?” and onto deeper understanding. When I live my life I don’t live someone else’s. When I live my life those things He planned for me look an awful lot like the desires of my heart (writing, Bible study, serving family and friends, making new friends, looking for ways to make a difference) ~ in short, being His hands & feet. I love how you’re living YOUR life ~ that which He prepared ahead of time just for you!

  4. What an encouragement this is for me Kristen! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been held back by my fears, thinking ‘is this really you Lord?’. Who am I? But I really know who I am in Christ and I am to listen to Him and obey Him. You ask some penetrating questions and I thank you for this.

    Blessings and love,

  5. This is an awesome post, Kristen. Often I shrink back (momentarily) and think, “Am I really ready for all of this? Am I worthy of all of this?” And then the enemy swoops in to tell me all the reasons that I am not qualified to write or speak or be visible at all. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminds me equally quickly that He doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called. All we have to do is keep bringing our two fish and five loaves…Thanks again for sharing, Kristen.

    • Belinda, So with you! I have a little notebook I even write verses in telling me just who God says I am through the power of His Son! When doubt strikes, I get out that notebook and pray those verses out loud! Love the visual of us bringing our two fish & five loaves!

  6. Hi, Lisa…

    Hi, Kristen…

    Thank you both for sharing this post. It was very inspirational for me!

    God has been ministering to me in the area of my identity in Him and His calling on my life for the past year. I’m ready to launch a new blog, in answer to His call. I’ve been wrestling with fear for the past few days, not sure I’m hearing Him, not sure I’m ready, and any other lies the enemy can come up with to keep me from being obedient. I wrote the first blog post today … in fact, I’m still tweaking and editing before the big launch.

    Your post has been just the “kick in the rump” I needed to quit thinking about it and just do it!

    And thank you, Andrea, for sharing the link to Lisa’s blog on FB, where I saw it!

    Love you ladies,

    • Cheri, welcome and thank you for visiting with us today and sharing your heart. I’m excited for what God is doing in you that is about to manifest through you as you walk in obedience to Him. I pray sweet times of fellowship between you and Abba Father every time you pray and write your heart for Him. I am thankful that Kristen’s transparent and strengthening post gave you what you needed to move forward. God knows what we need and when we need it. 😉 Keep walking with Jesus and enjoy the journey! Love and blessings to you!

  7. Thank you for your encouragement to day. God has been ministered to me in the area or areas of my identity in Him His calling on my life since September 23,2013. To be a better wife and mother,keep being a good home maker so people can Jesus I n my house. Start working from home on my computer and making money. Start a blog. Write Christian poetry and short stories, and doing some ladies day outs and speaking to women,writing short Christian stories and start painting.

  8. Thank you for this word of encouragement. It’s so what I needed to read today. I often struggle with that “loaded word” as you describe it, “calling.” My struggle is always want to be sure and because of this I’m sometimes slow to move. I’m encouraged today to, take a leap of faith believing as you said that, “the One who has called me is faithful and if I’m wholeheartedly seeking, He will reroute my course if need be.”

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