The Lord knows who we’ve always been, who we are, and who we’re becoming because He created each one of us with a specific calling.
This morning, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to go upstairs to finally open up an old box. The box has been sitting in a cabinet for nearly three years, and I have not had the courage to open it. It contains a bunch of old items that my siblings and I recovered from the little house where we grew up. Old keepsakes, letters, journals, and photos comprise its contents. We found these things in the attic at the old home-place after Mom passed away, just over three years ago. I’ve been reluctant to open the box because I’ve known that there will be things in it that could be hard to see. But, the Holy Spirit said it is time to open the box.
As I quickly scanned the contents, I came across a Steno pad journal with my name on the front. Although discolored, miraculously the little book remained unscathed during a serious house fire that nearly burned our old house to the ground. Somehow this little journal survived, tucked away there in the attic. Apparently it was one that my fifth grade teacher had assigned because each page contained a different writing prompt.
Thumbing through it, the particular entry that caught my eye was titled: “How do you think your childhood will affect your adult life?” Wow. Isn’t that the question we’re all still trying to answer?! Here’s what my 11 year old self had to say on the subject…
September 5, 1991.
I remember when I was younger, I used to have dreams about a big red bubble. In my bubble, I would float around the world and stop destruction. In my dreams I would see horrible sights. I would wake up and tell my dad that I wanted to help helpless people when I grew up. Hopefully someday I can make my dreams a reality. I will try to get good grades so that I can get a good future career which will hopefully be as a robotics technician or a writer.
Not Much Has Changed!
The thing that struck me as I read my own words is that in nearly three decades, not much has changed! Except for the part about wanting to be a robotics technician. Thankfully that childhood dream remained just that, a pipe dream! But the fact that I had terrible dreams where I saw awful things, is still true today. The Lord shows me things in my dreams, sometimes very hard things, but I have learned that there is a prophetic purpose to many of them. Sometimes He has me share a dream with the person that it’s about, or I simply pray for that person based on what I’ve seen in the dream.
And then there’s the part about wanting to help people who feel helpless. This calling definitely has not changed. For as long as I can remember, my heart has broken for people who feel hopeless and helpless. The Lord has begun to open doors for me to move through life–not in a big red bubble, but covered by His blood–to encourage those who are hopeless and to help those who feel helpless. And then there’s the bit about wanting to be a writer. Well, case in point, I’m writing this devotional that you’re reading and working on a family memoir. So, He is making my childhood dreams a reality.
The Spirit Is Unchanging…
Although we grow and change throughout our lives, the core of who we are–our spirit–is the same from the time we’re born until the day we die. And what’s more, as eternal beings, our spirit has always been and will always be the same. Our physical bodies change; emotions go on rollercoaster rides; minds become more fully open or closed. But our spirit–or rather His Holy Spirit in us–is unchanging. It’s in our spirits that our true identity resides. And in our spirits dwell our deepest desires and purest callings.
We can see an example of this in Jeremiah, when the word of the Lord revealed who he’d always been and who he’d become:
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Although Jeremiah was reluctant, claiming that he was merely a child, the Lord assured Jeremiah that he would fulfill his prophetic calling:
But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
Assurance for Our Calling…
Perhaps you have known from a young age that there is a call on your life. But have you also doubted that you have what it takes to really live out your calling? The Lord assures us that we will be able to fulfill our calling because He created us to accomplish the very purpose we so desperately long for.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Although I’ve always had a heart for those who feel hopeless, and helpless, for years I shied away from the calling on my life. I felt ill-equipped to help anyone else because I was desperately fighting so many of my own battles. You see, that little 11 year old Hope (or “Hopey” as my mom called me), was about to go through some of the darkest battles of her life. In less than two years, her dad would die. She and her siblings would be scattered to the winds.
For most of her adolescence, she would be extremely anxious and depressed. Bouncing from one home to another, she would wind up with emotional whiplash by the time she left the sixth family’s home that had taken her in. Lost and alone, her heart would harden. She would turn to all the wrong things to try to find acceptance and love- rigid perfectionism, shoplifting, sex, drugs, you name it… And in her late 20’s she’d hit a wall and try to take her own life.
A Much Better Ending…
But God knew who He had created me to be, and He did not allow suicide to be the end of my story. He knew all along that the story He was writing would have a much better ending. And I know now that He has already written the chapters that I’m living out. The story changed when He rescued me, and I gave my life to Him. Now Jesus Christ is the protagonist in my story, and because of that, it will indeed have a happy ending. And beloved, because Christ is in your story, it will have a good ending too. Because that’s what He promises, and He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Do you have an old “box” that you need to open? Is there a call on your life that’s been collecting dust on a shelf of fear? How has the Lord assured you of who He created you to be?