What is God’s plan for me? What are the gifts He’s given me and how am I supposed to use them in my business and my calling?
Sound familiar? These are questions we all ask (or should be) when we are trying to decide what to do with our lives. These are really important questions because the answer matters both for your business and everything you do in life. What your business looks like, the niche you’re in, how you carry yourself, and what services/products you offer all rely on this answer because when we can see what God has made us for, then everything else becomes so much clearer. Even when we don’t know all the details, we can see our role and that can help us make a choice.
In episode 52 of the Mama With A Calling podcast, we talk about how to see what God has equipped you with – personality traits, tendencies, interests, etc. – and how these are clues to what God is calling you to do. (Spoiler alert: It’s probably not what you’re thinking)
Need help getting clear on what your calling really is? I’d love to help!. Go to https://www.mamawithacalling.com/coaching to get started.
Let’s Change the Question First
Now first I want to say that when we say “What is God’s plan for my life” what we usually want is for God to give us every single detail.
That’s probably not going to happen.
If it did, then where would our need for faith come in?
Plus if we’re being honest, if we really knew where God was taking us…the big things He will have us do…we might back out now because we can’t imagine going down that road.
So we actually need to reframe that question and change our perspective a bit to get at the really important parts.
First, let’s evaluate how we are seeing God in this question.
Are you seeing God as a distant God that has given us this secret gift but He won’t tell us anything about it and instead, He’s just sitting up there watching us to see if we will ever be smart enough to reveal it?
We might not want to admit or say it out loud, but I know that’s how I’ve felt at times and some of you probably have as well.
If we see God that way, then knowing what we were created for feels like an impossible task and this endless treasure hunt.
But what if you viewed God as a true Heavenly Father? Your Creator. Who created you with specific gifts, talents, and abilities, and He knew the family you were going to have and the life you would lead so He equipped you to become the person that He’d one day call to do something in particular for Him.
And until that time comes, He is with you, guiding and preparing you as a loving Father for the big task He will ask of you one day. Like a proud parent that gets to watch your kids lean into their strengths and blossom into this amazing human. You know they will do amazing things one day, but they aren’t ready yet.
Second, we have to realize that how we see God in that role affects how we see the purpose of the gift.
If we think that He’s given us something a secret, hidden treasure but it’s up to us to find on our own, then we can’t really believe it has anything to really do with our purpose because if it did, then it would be really important for God to make it clear to us from the beginning what our gifts are and they would be present all along.
But if He does have a plan (which He does) and He has equipped us for it (which He has), then wouldn’t our gifts be clear to us?
That’s what I want to talk about today. How our biggest gift(s) is usually really obvious if we know how to look for it.
Gifts Misused Can Appear to be Flaws
Growing up, I talked a lot. This was something everyone around me seemed to remind me of all the time. They didn’t say it in an endearing way either. I took the hint pretty quickly that my talking was annoying everyone around me.
I didn’t want to annoy people. I wanted them to like me; to fit in, which is a normal human response, especially for a child.
So I spent most of my life trying to talk less (and not really succeeding I might add), avoiding leading conversations, trying to wait to speak in a group, etc.
Imagine my surprise when I felt God leading me to start a podcast. A big part of me was so excited. I loved talking. But another part of me was so used to trying to not talk that doing it on purpose was hard to get past.
But here’s what I came to realize: The gifts God has given you are usually there, or at least a hint of them, from a young age. But when you don’t know how to use them and they aren’t applied to the calling they were designed for, then you are often taught by experience to suppress that gift.
Of course, you don’t know it’s a gift at all at that point. You actually look at it as a flaw or something to suppress. It may be something that got you in trouble, chastised, rejected, made fun of, etc. So you try everything you can to run from it, deny that part of yourself, and suppress it.
When in reality, it is actually something that God gave you for a reason.
Biblical Examples of Misunderstood Gifts
We see this with Moses. He had a propensity for justice and leading people to do what’s right, but when he tried to act on it, he ended up killing someone. Then he tried to step up again when he tried to settle a dispute between two Hebrew men, and they basically said “Who are you to tell us what to do?” And after that, Moses fled his home of Egypt and went to Midian(see Exodus 2:11-14).
He became a shepherd. Far away from any sort of role as judge or peace maker. His job had nothing to even do with people.
But the very thing Moses had tried so hard to hide was actually the very thing God needed from him (See Exodus 3). For him to be willing to stand up for His people. And ultimately, Moses became their leader and he became their judge. Of course, God would give His Law to someone that loved justice.
But notice what needed to happen for Moses to fully step into that calling.
He had to ultimately be willing to acknowledge that part of him again. That part that he’d probably long buried deep inside. After all, the last time he tried to do any kind of leading or speaking up, he ended up a fugitive.
And it wasn’t that Moses went without complaining. He was very resistant to God calling him. Moses definitely had some imposter syndrome going on.
Here is another example of a gift used outside of what it was really intended, but it doesn’t elicit the same reaction.
We read in Acts that Paul (then Saul) was rather zealous for God. He was persecuting anyone who professed to be a Christian. Now some may think Paul was a bad person for doing this, but I think it’s easy to say that because we’re thousands of years later on the other side and know the truth (ironically largely in part due to Paul’s work).
But in his day, think about what that must’ve felt like. All throughout scripture the Jewish people were called to destroy other idols and false gods. Clearly, Paul’s devotion to God is what was driving him to get rid of what he perceived to be blasphemers. He may have been going about it in an extreme way, but at his core, he is devoted to God and is passionate about keeping His commands.
Then we see that Paul had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and then his gift of being passionate for God was now transferred to spreading the Gospel.
In Galatians 1:13-15 Paul says “For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism: I intensely persecuted God’s church and tried to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries among my people because I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who from my mother’s womb set me apart and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me, so that I could preach him among the Gentiles.” (bolded by me for emphasis)
Did you notice how quickly Paul redirected his gifts and talents?
It would’ve been understandable if Paul started hiding from his usual zealous self because of all the harm it did now that he knew the truth. I mean to realize that you were actually killing believers of the Messiah must have been hard to swallow.
But instead, Paul focused on pleasing God and working unto Him. He cared more about please God above all else. It’s when we care more about what people think that what God thinks that we can hide from ourselves.
When we don’t see our personality and traits as gifts of God given for a purpose, then we can easily shame ourselves for behaving in such a way.
But when we see them as for God’s greater good and look at serving Him, then it changes how we show up.
Applying This to Your Life and Business
From personal experience and seeing it in many of the women I’ve coached, I know that most of you desperately want to know your purpose. What God has really put you here to accomplish?
There are two parts to your calling:
- your gifts – personality, abilities, interests, etc.
- the calling/assignment – how you’re going to put those gifts to work for God.
We are going to focus on figuring out the gifts. Because if you know that God is calling you to help moms manage their homeschool or help moms with decluttering, but you don’t know what your gifts are, then you may go in that direction but still feel out of place.
How to Uncover Your Hidden Gifts
This is an exercise that I use with my coaching clients, and I’ve used it with myself as well. It’s really powerful at revealing things that are hidden.
In this instance, I want you to use this to discover the things about you that are gifts but that you’ve really been hiding or suppressing.
- Grab a sheet of paper and split it into two columns. On the left, write down all the negative thoughts you’ve heard about yourself. You talk too much, you’re too sensitive, etc. Things that maybe you’ve heard your whole life and are the source of a lot of negative memories in your life.
- Now, on the right side, I want you to write down the positive perspective on that. Think of each one as being given by God, because it was, and then reframe it. So instead of “you talk too much”, God gave you the gift of speech. You’re not afraid to talk when others are. Instead of “you’re too sensitive”, reframe it to “you actually care about others and their connection with you. You value kindness and gentleness”.
- You might want to avoid this exercise because it feels heavy, and honestly, it can be when you’re pulling up the old negative thoughts. But when you flip them around and see them as God sees them, it can actually bring so much healing. So it’s worth doing.
- Then the last step is to look at these things and see what some of your core personality traits, gifts and talents are. Some things will become very obvious when you do this.
You know you’re on the right track when you’re full of mixed emotions about what you find.
It’s a relief to see that who you are, really deep down, was meant to be all along. Then that will be followed by fear because you’ve spent your whole life avoiding this very personality trait. And it’s going to feel scary to now step into it.
This is where you pray. Ask God to give you the strength to step into the gifts He gave you.
Just as He told Moses in Exodus when he sputtered off all his worries.
Jesus said that through our weakness, His strength is perfected.
You will need to lean heavily on Him to receive healing from the old wounds and to have the strength and courage to admit these are gifts from Him and then to act on this knowledge in your business and your life.
If you want help working through these questions and finding your calling from a Christian coach, then I would love for you to look into doing a coaching session with me.
You can listen to the audio version of this post on the Mama With A Calling podcast – Episode 52 on Apple Podcasts and your favorite podcast player.