Career Day

David was a shepherd boy. When he was about 15 years old, the prophet Samuel showed up in Bethlehem and anointed him as King of Israel (1 Samuel 16). But it wasn't until David was 30 that he actually took the throne and began to reign as King. I wonder if, on career day at the local Bethlehem Elementary School, David dressed up with a robe and a crown and dreamed of being king. Maybe he dressed up as a shepherd or a soldier or a musician - because those were all 'careers' he pursued. I can relate to David.  

We had career day at school when I was a kid. I was probably 9 years old and I dressed up in a suit and carried a leather briefcase that my Dad had purchased at a garage sale. I was a lawyer. I didn't just want to be a lawyer, that day, I was one. I felt successful. I looked good. The briefcase felt natural in my tiny hand. I could probably smack some law & order around my fifth grade class with it if I was strong enough to swing it around. It was the perfect career path for an ambitious little 9 year old Jessica. There were things I was good at and things I wanted in life that came naturally to me. I wanted to argue, win and get paid lots of money for doing it. I wanted justice. Law and order. That's my personality. 

But God came in the way He does in my life, out of left field where He'd been calling my name for quite a while, and He changed the course of my life. Instead of letting me chase the dollar and seek justice (or heaven forbid, help the bad guy so I could make the really big bucks), He called me into ministry. Like church ministry (hence my Twitter handle @churchladyjes). 

Church ministry, the place where you get paid quarters per hour, you turn the other cheek and you offer mercy, forgiveness and love. And that's what I did for about a decade (some of those years I wasn't even on staff, I was volunteering and getting paid in hugs and God's blessing on my life). 

I left my staff position at our church two and a half years ago when I gave birth to our daughter, Emery. I left for no other reason than Brad and I believed that God wanted me to be at home with her while she's little. It's a blessing to get to be home. I recognize that. I also recognize that God has called me to serve Him further than the walls I live in and He's been pressing that issue down on my heart lately. But for the flippin' life of me, I have NO idea what He's calling me to do. 

I've been struggling with my purpose, identity and insecurity. It's been a stronger struggle as of lately than ever before in my life. I find it frustrating. I'll be 34 at the end of this month. Shouldn't I be past this part? Shouldn't I be living out my purpose, identity and security instead of figuring it out? Yes, yes I should. Or maybe not yet. Maybe this is part of His plan for my life. Maybe this is the exact season of life I'm supposed to be in. The season where if I don't rely on Jesus as my purpose, identity and security, I'll act in my own pride, arrogance and flesh - and then I'll screw it all up (and I'll probably take some people down with me as I fall).  

David waited to be king. He waited for God to establish his place on the throne. He didn't kill King Saul to hurry up God's plan or 'help' God out. He waited on God's timing. He waited for 15 years. He walked the earth as the unknown, incognito King of God's chosen people. (Okay, he was 'known' in his circles - I think the Bible says that Saul had thousands of followers on Twitter but David had tens of thousands. Yeah. That sounds right.) But ultimately, he remained known by only One - the only One who mattered until it was "time" for him to go nationally 'viral' and take his seat on the throne. 

David whined & cried when it got hard. Especially when he was hard pressed by his enemies who were out to kill him. He's attributed as writing about 78 of the Psalms. I love the Psalms. Praising God one verse and in the next crying "Why did you leave me? Do you not love me? Why don't you just kill me or let me die?". 

I'm David. You're David. We've all been there. (Unless you're the person who dressed up as a lawyer on career day and then grew up and actually became a lawyer. If you're that person, chances are, we're not friends.) You're asking God, "Didn't you tell me I was gonna do (insert your calling here)?" Then you begin to question your "calling". Maybe you made it up. Maybe it wasn't the voice of God you heard calling you to be a doctor, a lawyer, a missionary, a wife, a dad...and your calling gets swept away by fear, panic and impatience. 

It's Career Day, people. What do you wanna be? Who do you wanna be? I'm asking God to give me clear direction for my life. I trust Him. He will tell me...when it's time. Until then, I'm clinging to Romans 11:29, "for God's gifts and His call are irrevocable." 


Don't give up on Career Day. Grab your briefcase or your stethoscope or your Bible or your fireman's jacket, say a prayer, and START in a direction and after you start...



Jessica Phillips

Jessica is worshiper and follower of Jesus. He rescued her heart at age 6 but he rescued her calling, purpose and direction in her early 20's. Everyday God is still writing Jessica's story. It involves her husband, Brad, her daughter, Emery, their extended families. But the story is a tale of loss of life and dark grief. And the story ebs and weaves and the grief story is followed by weddings and laughter. And what comes next? A Baby! God sends us a baby to shape and teach and grow right in the midst of our loss and realizing that life actually moves forward. We didn't think it would again after he died. But life just did what it was supposed to do...and it went on. And hope is born again. Everything I write is based on this fact: I'm God's child, I'm alive today. So what do You want me to do for You? Because I want my contribution to matter. I want to leave a legacy.