Interview with Rebecca: what is a "calling?"

There’s so much wisdom around me, I’m constantly amazed how thoughtful the women in my life are. I want to share some of their thoughtfulness with you, so I’m starting an “interview series” here on the blog.  My first interview is with my friend Rebecca. She lives in Colorado and is the project manager for a marketing agency. She enjoys exploring various creative outlets and checking off her bucket list with her husband.  We’ve known each other for at least 10 years and have bonded over things like the Fast and the Furious, or trying our legs at surfing North Carolina waves.

In addition to being a great friend, she is a HUGE help to me. For the past several months she has been the “project manager” for the book I’m writing. Her editorial abilities and powerful organizational skills are invaluable to me! 

For this interview, we talked about the concept of a “calling” and what it means to her.  

EK: Christians refer a lot to the term “calling” – what do you think that is?

Rebecca: I think our ultimate calling is to our relationship with God, that’s first and foremost what we’re called to. Then, there are a whole lot of other callings – long-term callings and temporary callings. Family is a long-term calling – for me it’s with [my husband], my sisters, my niece and nephews. And there are short-term callings: people who come into your life for a while, that you’re called into relationship with, but it’s not permanent. Or things like a job – you’re called to it for a few years, but you won’t be doing it for the rest of your life.

EK: How can people figure out their callings?

Rebecca: It’s a combination between knowing God and knowing how God created you. I think you need to listen to the yearnings of your heart, watch the reactions of your heart when people ask you to do specific things – do you respond well? Some of our skills and abilities are gifts that are part of our calling - we are able to use those skills in a job and it starts to feel “right,” it starts to point us more towards who we are called to be.

EK: Why do people often immediately associate calling and job?

Rebecca: I think it’s because it’s the most tangible activity that provides us with an outward identity.  It’s that one thing that we do for 8+ hours a day. It’s a shortcut for how people get to know you – but that’s really just superficial.  There is so much more to a person that just your job title, and that job title may not even describe all that you do in a day.  I believe that as Christians, we long for that deep calling.  But as those who are influenced by our culture, we’ve put “our calling” into a box called “career.” But God’s “callings” on our lives are much bigger and more varied than that.

EK:I know you’ve recently undergone a change in jobs – how has that impacted your view of “callings?”

Rebecca: There are lots of reasons why people change course – they lose a job, someone passes away. Some people change jobs because they are dissatisfied, but then they feel bad that they are dissatisfied, like they’re unhappy with God, rather than just being unhappy with their job.

I had a little of that (the dissatisfaction with my job, and then feeling bad about it).  But when I realized that a job wasn’t necessarily a permanent calling, and that particular professional calling had run its course, I started to feel more freedom about the other callings in my life and how I could incorporate them into a job.

I took time to do things like informational interviews, to see where my skills would best fit with different opportunities. I realized I could use some of the skills that are my calling, and translate them into a job – and now I love my job more than I thought I could. I’m in my sweet spot.

Rebecca – thanks for taking the time to help us understand that a calling is more than a job. It’s primarily about our relationship with God, and the unique ways he’s developed us personally. We can use some of those unique traits in our job, but our job isn’t our permanent calling.