Here’s me trying to figure out how exactly God is calling. And what that sounds like.
I never liked talking on the phone. It’s hard to understand tone, you can’t quite tell if there are distractions that take away from the conversation and sometimes, you can’t even be sure you aren’t being pranked. With those variables, it often leaves one hanging and confused – terrible communication is bad communication.
So to me, it’s understandable that hearing God’s call is tough! Is he saying something? Is it static? Did I hear him correctly? Are you sure you called the right person? I technically don’t even know the sound of his voice when he is trying to warn me, or that look on his face when he is listening and wants to tell me something serious. Though with much gratefulness, I do know by now how God (mostly) talks to me. (I’m sure it varies for everyone)
Figuring out his ringtone
Instead of thinking about the moments God seems to have said something, I thought about the fruitful turning points in my life, World Youth Day, San Diego, Camino de Santiago, 7 fountains itself… The common thread through these experiences seems to be this statement I make before signing up for it: “I really really don’t need this, but sure, if you want some company, I’ll go”. And these experiences end up the biggest points in my life.
Another string of calls was when I was choosing jobs, deciding if this relationship with Liu was a good idea, or even in smaller things like deciding to ask someone about their day. “Option B is not bad, feels like… 70%, but option A seems better, fits your passion 100%, GO”
So 2 questions of my call-discernment seem to pop up:
1. Is it possibly life-changing/inspiring even if you don’t really need it?
2. Will it allow you to be ALL you can be?
Listening to other calls
I also found it useful to think about what other calls are like. There was a period of great questioning but it came down to this: I probably could survive religious life but I don’t feel like I’m suppose to be there. I can probably do singlehood but I might scandalize myself and get so self absorbed I doubt anything my life will grow, except pride.
“Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water” (Matt14:28)
You asked me to step up, You asked me to have faith, You asked me to care, You called me to come to you. I am walking on water, do I doubt his plans he set before me? O man of little faith.
Communication – The shared heart
So God talked me through it, he showed me how the relationship has indeed been fruitful. We (the world) always talk about about marriage with regards to BTOs, biological clocks or even about supporting each other through hardship, but I always felt like it was bigger than that, more romantic than that, more life-changing than that. On the third day of retreat, while contemplating my personal mission, I had a eureka moment when I realized that marriage is really just about a shared mission and vision. That’s it!
The call to marriage for both of us is very rooted in this idea of mission. Better yet, a shared mission. Perhaps because it came at a time we both stepped up in our personal missions, or the numerous chances to build up the church we have experienced together (e.g. camino, retreats, sessions). I daresay we wouldn’t be in love if we didn’t love God all that much.
Recapping a call to marriage
So maybe like most calls in my life, I feel like I might just have stumbled upon it. But at this point it allows me to authentically be ALL that I can be, and it’s possibly life-changing and inspiring! (even if I don’t really seem to need it!)
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you will call me.” -Oceans, Hillsong
God calls in many ways at different times, this was the fruit of just one tiny phone call, what calls have you picked up?