You, Calling Me?

I’ve just completed my first week of blogging. To be fair, I’ve blogged before. Anyone remember xanga? It was 2004 and I was facing some unexpected challenges and being a bit selfish about it all. That same year a young friend of mine moved to China to teach English and her best friend was working in a new field. We were scattered about the world. I was feeling so removed from everyone. They started to blog to keep up over these long distances and invited me along.  Turned out, it proved rather cathartic for me going through the changes I was encountering.

But this feels different. This feels more grown up. At 54, I really should have a few grown-up feelings. Just a few.

I think it feels different because I am different. The changes that I railed against 7 years ago have smoothed some of my rough edges and turned my inward self-serving thoughts outward. That place  I didn’t want to move to is now where our son has settled. Those men I didn’t want to mother have stolen my heart.

For my husband and I it’s all about calling. Not an audible calling but a calling on our hearts. It just took mine a while to catch up with his.

The first 15 years of our marriage was fairly typical. Henry worked as an upholsterer. His business had grown to where he only worked for interior decorators. He was very good. I was the stay at home mom that spent a lot of time not at home but volunteering for church and driving for every field trip and sporting games our kids were involved in.

Somewhere after Henry’s 40th birthday he had what I call his mid-life crisis. He didn’t buy a fancy convertible or have an affair. He told me he felt God calling him to full-time ministry.

In the Salvation Army it’s a package deal. Married couples are both ordained and serve together. The wife doesn’t decide on a different path. She is an equal partner. Mostly. That has changed in some countries but not in America.

We had planted our roots in this area. Our courtship, marriage, children’s births, all happened in this town. Our children were growing up with the children of our close friends. Our roots were quite deep and we were all about to be uprooted.

Like the Methodist church, the Salvation Army moves its ministers around. The average stay is 3 years. We’ve had appointments as short as two and as long as six years.

At 12 and 13 our children were supportive. Our daughter, the older of the two, was quite anxious about it. But this girl has had incredible faith her whole life. We were in it together. We were in it with God.

While this way of life would be new to our children it wasn’t new to Henry and me as the Salvation Army is the only church we’ve ever known. We grew up in it with our parents as clergy so we’d lived the moving around life. That didn’t make it any easier but our daughter and son were wonderful about it.

Why did Henry do this and why did I go along? He felt that inward call upon his heart to follow this path. I can honestly say, at the time, I didn’t feel the “calling” he felt. I knew my calling was as his wife and I wanted to support him in this. Trust me. I’m not the subservient type. He knew my support was a confirmation from God.

So what’s to this calling? Does everyone have one?

I don’t know about everyone but I think it’s possible. Oprah might say it’s a calling to live your best life. And that’s a pretty good way to put it. I don’t know that everyone is called to a specific vocation but we are called to love God and love others. If we look at how we show our love for others it makes you wonder about our love for God, but I digress 🙂

There’s this clerk at our Target store. Her name is Mary and she has this sweet southern accent not often heard in South Florida. She smiles and seems to love life. It just shows through her as she scans my purchases and says “have a good day”. Mary is working in her calling to share her joy for life. She makes me smile.

Mike answers the phones for our ARC (Adult Rehabilitation Center). I don’t know what his work background is just that he has 10 years of sobriety and does a great job at the font desk. He looks so professional every day wearing his tie as he answers the phone clearly. He earnestly cares about those around him. He is working in his calling to serve others.

My mother-in-law is 83. She spent her life as a Salvation Army officer. Retired now for more than 20 years she still lives her calling in sharing a smile with everyone, asking about their day, their families. She lives in an assisted living residence where she takes her evening meal at the main facility so she can “minister” to others.

When you know your calling others see it in you. You don’t have to announce it and you may not even know it. But others will. It will show on your face, the sound in your voice, the calmness of your spirit. Maybe even the enthusiasm in your spirit as you cheer others on.

We have a calling. I so want you to know yours, to find that voice and sing it out.

Debby and Henry Hudson

I can tell you today, 18 years later, I am most definitely where God wants me. It is not just Henry’s calling but a shared calling.
I’d love you to share your calling in your comments. Let’s encourage each another.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

0 thoughts on “You, Calling Me?

  1. Malinda Essex

    Just like one of my favorite verses … I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Eph. 4:1)

    Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    Reply

    1. Debby

      I wonderful verse though I feel far from worthy. The beautiful part it he takes all of us just as we are. Thank you, Malinda, for sharing that verse.

      Reply

  2. aprilcoen

    It has been difficult for me to find my calling and it is interesting that you wrote about this, as a coworker and I have been discussing this for a little while now. Until I know what my calling is, I try to do everything I can to the best of my ability with the most positive attitude I can. I definitely believe I am meant to help others…just don’t know in what capacity right now. I work as a clerk at a courthouse and try to treat everyone with dignity and respect, even if they are frustrated with the situation they find themselves in. I am newer at blogging, but seem to have found a new love in it. I’ve always loved writing, I’ve always loved helping others…perhaps blogging, or writing is my calling. Thanks for the topic!

    Reply

    1. Debby

      April I think you are working in your calling. Working to the best of your ability with a positive attitude is so needed and you are doing that! You see a lot of hurting angry people in your job and to be able to give them a smile is a ministry. It really is. I know some won’t accept or return your grace but it’s not about pleasing people but allowing ourselves to be used for His purpose and His calling. I’m so glad you share your thoughts here. You have encouraged me!

      Reply

  3. Kim

    Debby, I’m loving your blog. Must be a part of your “calling” ( : I never thought much about my calling until I became a widow. It makes you reevaluate who you are and what you’re here for. The wind is knocked completely out of your sails. You drift. It’s disconcerting and even terrifying in a way. I think this midlife reorientation to my beliefs and purpose is a good thing, but it’s been very painful. I doubt my calling is really different than it was before, but now I’m carving the path with a machete instead of a weed-eater. So glad God is leading the way.

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Kim, I can only imagine what you’ve been through and I’m sure my imagination doesn’t come close. It often seems the good things are painful. Thank you for sharing a bit of where you are today. I think you’re one of the bravest women I know. And not just for moving to Alaska. Thank you again, for your kind words.

      Reply

  4. Suzi Owen

    You give me much to think about and ponder over.

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Suzi, you’re here! You’re calling is bringing joy to others. You do it with your smile and the twinkle of mischief in your eyes. I love you, chicky!

      Reply

  5. Debbie

    Debby, how appropriate that you would write about your calling today. I so admire your heart in responsiveness to His call. After a life time as a counselor and speaker, I never would have thought of guarding a gate in Texas as a ‘calling’, but here I am and I’m confident it’s His call for this time. After 5 months of struggling with Fork, I started a new blog today; posted it and then read yours! I love the way the Father works in our lives – same time, same station!

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Isn’t that the truth! It’s as if He knows something 🙂 Thank you Debbie. It’s good to find kindred souls.

      Reply

  6. No Longer An Option « livingingraceland

    […] I wrote more about our calling in an earlier post you can read here. […]

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    […] when my husband answered God’s call to full-time ministry. I’ve written more about that here. We are in this […]

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