DO YOU LISTEN TO THE VOICES
OF YOUR TRUSTED RELATIONSHIPS?
Recognize how the significant relationships in your life help you discover your calling.
Welcome to All Called
We want to provide you with a companion on your journey to discover meaning and purpose in life. This is the ordinary way people like us come to understand our callings throughout our lives. Sometimes we discover our calling through experiences of joy and celebration, other times through difficulty, challenge, or loss. For many, by discovering their calling they come upon a much deeper meaning and purpose for their lives. They discover a loving, merciful, and gracious God who wants to accompany them on their life’s journey.
We invite you to explore calling through your Relationships in three movements. Begin with the Enter & Experience videos and questions that introduce the possibility of finding a calling through the relationships in your life. Move deeper through the Engage & Explore videos, reflections, and discernment questions that provide inspiration and guidance for discovering your calling. Be sure to take time for reflection with the song, Scripture verse, and prayer. Conclude by considering your next steps in Embrace and Encounter. We’ve listed a variety of next steps, including connecting to a faith community that can support you in discovering and living your calling today.
Enter & Experience
Find Meaning and Purpose through Your Relationships
Who comes into our life may be the single greatest factor of influence on what our life becomes. Our significant relationships help us become the people we are called to be. They help us succeed, grow, and become better people.
The significant relationships in our life help us discover who we are and what we are meant to do in life. They help us discover our sense of purpose, our gifts, and our callings in life.
Watch these two stories of the power of relationships in discovering a calling.
Keifer’s Story of Relationships
“You are home now” are the first words Mohammed Alsaleh tells his clients when he meets them. Two years after arriving in Canada as a Syrian Refugee, Mohammed now helps others whose shoes he once was in.
Engage & Explore
Find Your Calling through Your Relationships
Identifying Your Trusted Relationships
Often the people close to us know us better than we know ourselves. They can see what we’re good at, where we shine. If they’re close enough, they can also see our weaknesses, what we’re not good at. People you trust and who care about you play a key role in helping you discover your callings throughout life.
Who are your most trusted relationships and how do they influence your life?
The People in Your Life
Who have been the biggest influences in your life – family, friends, colleagues, mentors?
How have these people influenced you?
Who has helped you recognize your gifts?
Who has offered you opportunities for growth?
Who has helped you discern a direction for your life?
Who do you turn to guide you when you are lost?
Listening to the Voices of Trusted Relationships
God works through others to call us. Most people say that they first experience a sense of calling through another person. Family, friends, or mentors highly influence our choices in life. The discernment of your gifts and capacities for living your calling begins when others around you notice and call them forth.
We are utterly dependent on each other to become who we are, to hear God’s callings, and to respond. People closest to you are the most significant factors in the calls you follow and the choices you make. If you are struggling to figure out what God is calling you to or for, listen to God’s call through the people around you.
God works through others to call us. Might God be speaking through the people you trust – and who care about you – to help you discover your calling.
Think about how these significant people in your life would answer these four questions. Better yet, ask a few of them to answer these questions. How can you listen attentively to the voices of trusted relationships?
How would you describe me in a few words?
What am I doing when I’m at my best?
What gifts do I possess?
Have you ever sensed God working through me? What were the circumstances?
We discover calling with the people who know us best. You need people who are going to encourage you, but you also need those who are going to challenge you. It’s in these voices around you where you become the person you were called to be.
So when you wonder what you are supposed to be doing with your life, check with the people in your life. What are they telling you? What are others calling out in you that maybe you don’t see in yourself?
The life purpose and calling you are looking for is found in the people in your life – in the hearts, minds, and people who are closest to you and know you better than anyone else.
Discover Your Calling
How might the voices of the significant relationships in your life help you discover your calling?
Watch the video, Discerning God’s Call, by Jennifer Haworth and then use the reflection questions below to help you discern God’s call during this time of life transition.
Discerning Your Call
Consider these three insights as you begin discerning how God is calling you through your relationships.
1. Pay attention to your daily experience and what it stirs within you.
In the stuff of everyday experience – your hopes, your fears, your dreams, your routines – God is at work, inviting you to notice what brings you joy, what you’re good at, and what others need you to do. Pay attention to where God is active in your life.
2. Reflect on what you notice, sorting and sifting in order to understand what is leading you to an abundant life and what is not.
Understanding develops through reflection, taking the time to see the patterns in your experience, and grasp their significance. While you can begin to notice and interpret God’s action in your life, if you want to hear deeply, see clearly, and choose wisely, trusted companions on the journey are essential.
3. Take loving action on what you have learned.
Discernment does not end with becoming aware of how your experiences are drawing you closer to or further away from God. You must eventually decide what you want to do with this knowledge. How will you act on what you’ve learned?
We grow into our distinctive callings if we are willing to become aware of God’s movement in our lives, to reflect on this movement prayerfully alone and with others, and to take loving action on what we have learned.
Questions for Discernment
Through your trusted relationships you can discover God’s calling in your life today and who you want to become. Consider these three questions:
- What are you passionate about now? What gives you energy?
- What new gifts has God called forth in you? How will engage your abilities and talents fully?
- Where do you have the greatest opportunity to love others? How can your passion and gifts serve others?
It’s your answers to these three questions which will help you discern how your experience of caregiving can be a calling from God.
Take Time for Reflection in Song, Scripture, and Prayer
In Song: “Two by Two” – JD Eicher
In Song: Love Will Never Fail – The Porter’s Gate
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1Corinthians 13:4-8, NRSV)
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-14, NRSV)
God of all callings,
I come to you today in gratitude for the people in my life – family, friends, colleagues, mentors –
who enrich my life in ways that I am incredibly thankful for.
They call forth the best in me.
They encourage me.
They challenge me.
Help me to listen to their voices so that I may discern what I am supposed to be doing in my life.
Help me to see what they are calling out in me that I don’t see in myself.
May I daily come to you in prayer to thank you for all the relationships in my life and ask that you be present and at work in each of them.
Strengthen the bonds I have with my loved ones.
Open my eyes to new relationships I can be making, and new people I can connect with.
In Daily Reflection
- Find a quiet space and arrange your body in a comfortable but upright position. Sit in silence for a few minutes and invite the Holy Spirit to be present with you and to quiet your spirit.
- Ask yourself, “For what moment today am I most grateful?” and “When did I feel most alive today?” Thank God for these blessings.
- Ask yourself, “For what moment today am I least grateful?” and “When did I feel life draining out of me today?” Pray for comfort and healing.
- Thank God for being present throughout your day, in good times and bad.
- Reflect on your examen experience. What did you notice while praying? What feelings surfaced and to what parts of your day were these feelings connected? Note patterns that emerge as you practice this over time.
Embrace & Encounter
We are hoping that you will continue your journey – growing deeper in your sense of calling and finding ways to live your calling in everyday life. We want to offer our encouragement and support – and a few ideas to help.
#1. Engage in daily reflection and prayer.
Start using the Daily Reflection to conclude your day (at the end of Engage & Explore section). Try one or more of the following apps to incorporate prayer into your daily life.
3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right and spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.
Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, and lasting between ten and thirteen minutes with music, scripture and some questions for reflection.
Daily Prayer is an experiential app designed to develop long lasting spiritual rhythms of prayer and scripture reading. Join in prayer and read scripture in the morning, in the midday, in the evening, and/or in the late evening.
Abide is a Christian meditation app to stress less and sleep better. Find deep rest as you listen to stories based off the Bible. Wake up with the daily meditations that will fuel your mind for the day ahead.
Soulspace meditation app has been created to help anchor your thoughts to the love of God and the way of Jesus. Soulspace seeks to rid the soul of fear and stress while filling it with truth and life. This creates the opportunity for true and lasting wholeness.
#2. Have a conversation with a “calling companion.”
Find a significant trusted relationship – family member, friend, colleague – who can be your “calling companion.” Find time for a cup of coffee together or video chat. Share your story of discovering your calling through your trusted relationships. Share your highs and lows, good days and difficult ones, in discovering and living your calling. Turn to your calling companion regularly for support and encouragement.
#3. Grow through reading about calling.
We have selected several books to deepen your understanding of calling and vocation. Each book offers practical ideas for living your calling now and into the future. Go to our Resource page for the description of each book.
- Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
- Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation – by Parker Palmer
- The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work – by Steven Garber
- Sustaining the Spirit: Callings, Commitments, & Vocational Challenges – by Catherine Cronin Carotta and Michael Carotta
- Consider Your Calling: Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation – by Gordon T. Smith
- Your Vocational Credo: Practical Steps to Discover Your Unique Purpose – by Deborah Koehn Loyd
- Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life – by Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck
#4. Find a support group of people in your life stage or who share a common interest.
There are groups in your community that you can join to share your life story and develop trusted relationships. Check out support groups sponsored by local religious congregations, community organizations, schools, etc. You can find (and build) local support groups by using the MeetUp website and app to meet new people, learn new things, find support, and pursue your passions with others.
#5. Find support and encouragement in a local faith community.
We want to encourage you to consider connecting to a local faith community that can support you in discovering and living your calling today. Congregations are great places to find a course, attend a presentation, participate in a small group study or a support group, engage in service to the community and world, and, of course, worship with a community of people.
To make it easier to find a faith community in your area we have developed a list of churches with a link to their website so you can learn more about their ministries, and another link to what they are doing to support people in discovering and living their callings.
You find a welcome home in a faith community that wants to support you and help you live your calling at this time in life.