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Facing Your Destiny: This May Hurt A Little

 

FACING YOUR DESTINY: INTRODUCTION

When I started college, I was a 21-year-old single mother. Fast forward two years and I decided that a little help from a heavenly father may not be a bad idea. Shortly after giving my life to Christ, God introduced me to the man that would become my husband. That next year, I became a wife and had another baby, all while still pursuing a degree.

Kharissa Forte is a contributing editor to Metro Voice Newspaper

Kharissa Forte is a contributing editor to Metro Voice Newspaper

Because I was a mom, I didn’t have to worry about having to pay tuition immediately. I was offered enough financial aid to take care of school costs, so I was never concerned with where the money would come from.

Enter senior year.

Shortly before the semester began, I was notified that there was no more financial aid available due to cuts in education spending.

I remember thinking, Lord, you’ve brought me through all of this only for money — of all things — to become an issue?

The logical solution was to forfeit my education, but I refused. I believed that if God could help me overcome all of my life’s transitions that could have prevented me from graduating, surely money would not stand in the way.

In full faith on both me and my husband’s parts, I enrolled.

The first semester came and went, and was paid for.

Second semester, wasn’t such a breeze. I accrued a bill of $4,000 which wouldn’t have been a big deal if it weren’t for those last three credit hours. Though I was eligible to walk in May, I needed to take one more class that summer to officially graduate. In order to enroll in that final class, I had to pay off the entire bill of $4,000.

Then, this happened: It was two weeks before graduation and my bill was still outstanding. I was sitting in one of my evening classes, checking my e-mails before the class began when a very informal e-mail from the office of financial aid caught my eye.

Hey, Kharissa.

I noticed you have an outstanding balance. A new scholarship was just made available. I think you should apply. Applications are due tomorrow. We’ll let you know something next week.

After class, I couldn’t run quick enough across the hall to the computer lab. I clicked the link in the e-mail and filled out the form, typed up an essay and hit “send.”

The next morning, I received another email from the office of financial aid.

Your application was received. Thank you for applying.

I sighed.

Two hours later, they wrote me again.

Kharissa,

Congratulations! We have awarded you the scholarship in the amount of $4,000. It has already been applied to your account with the cashier’s office.

Suddenly, my dining room and kitchen transformed into a Pentecostal church as I began whooping and hollering praises all over the place.

When I graduated, I was certain that I would get whatever job I wanted. I was copy editor of the school newspaper. I had served as collegiate correspondent for USA Today College. My mentors were both successful, renowned anchors in the area.

A career was a no-brainer.

Yet, to my surprise and dismay, I did not enter the workforce. I found myself stuck at a multi-level marketing company (which works great for some people, but not for this aspiring journalist), depressed and lacking the passion to succeed.

I would throw spiritual temper-tantrums and lash out at God in my prayers. I couldn’t understand why He would allow all that He allowed — the scholarship, the internships, the balancing life and school — if He didn’t want me to use my degree.

This was the beginning of my journey into discovering my calling as a writer — His writer.

And that’s why this month thoroughly excites me.

For the past year, God has revealed to me the importance of discovering my calling, my reason for being here on this earth. I’m excited because not only am I now living in the beginning phases, but the time has come for me to begin to share those revelations with you.

In the next 10 issues of Metro Voice, we will be doing a life-altering series called Facing Your Destiny that will aim to prepare you for your purpose in being alive today.

With Joshua at the forefront, we will uncover the lessons in leadership that God desires us to learn from the stories of great biblical figures.

My aspiration for you is that by the end of this series, you will have a clearer picture of what your calling is, what it means for your life and how to execute it fearlessly.

Let’s get started!

 

 This May Hurt a Little

For the past year, God has revealed to me the importance of discovering my calling, my reason for being here on this earth. I’m excited because not only am I now living in the beginning phases of my calling as a writer, but the time has come for me to begin to share those revelations with you.

In the next 10 issues of Metro Voice, we will be doing a life-altering series called Facing Your Destiny that will aim to prepare you for your purpose in being alive today.

With individuals like Joshua at the forefront, we will uncover the lessons in leadership that God desires us to learn from the stories of great biblical figures.

My aspiration for you is that by the end of this series, you will have a clearer picture of what your calling is, what it means for your life and how to execute it fearlessly.

Let’s get started!

Read the full introduction here.

LESSON ONE: This May Hurt a Little

When we think about our calling, it’s usually acquainted by positive, fluffy feelings. We consider how we can use our God-given skills and gifts to change the world and impact our community.

Rarely, however, do we consider the path to our calling and how it may not always resemble a yellow brick road. Undoubtedly, we will experience speed bumps and pit holes along the way.

This first lesson will focus on the hardships of treading the road to our calling and will seek to allow us to embrace them instead of fighting them.

Anytime someone is purposed or called to fulfill a destiny for God’s kingdom, it has to be realized that the steps to get from, “I think I can” to “Look at what God has done,” may not always be reasonable.

If we take a glimpse at God’s track record, we’ll see that we don’t serve a very logical God — not in our human understanding, anyway. We’ll see that the means that He went about taking every day, ordinary men and women of the bible to people of position and power with the sole purpose of illuminating His glory did not always make sense.

Take Joseph, for example.

Joseph’s purpose and calling was to reign as king ultimately to save the people  from starving to death during the famine (Genesis 30 — 50). Who knew one of the most crucial steps required for him to get there would involve being thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his own brothers.

Look at Daniel.

Daniel’s story — alongside Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — is a powerful demonstration of God’s sovereignty in the midst of a chaotic culture. It is a story in which the most influential aspects include harmless delivery from both a lion’s den and a fiery furnace.

My personal favorite is Esther.

Once again, the Israelites needed saving and it was Esther who was chosen to liberate them from the persecution of Haman’s hand. Yet, doing so meant that she had to be uprooted from the comfort and security of her home and placed into a new, unfamiliar and unnerving situation.

There are a couple of things that these stories have in common.

First, the people God used weren’t chasing their own agendas. They were intentionally fulfilling a calling that directly lined up with the kingdom agenda to demonstrate the comprehensive rule of God over every area of their lives.

Secondly, in order for these people to move from “I think I can” to “Look at what God has done,” they had to be placed in situations that were beyond their control.

A lot of us know what our purpose is. We see our calling and we’re trying to figure out the steps to get there, but what most of us have yet to accept is that the steps to getting there may involve being placed in situations that don’t make any sense and in which we have no choice but to exercise our faith.

Hebrews 13:7-8 says, “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

That means when it comes to the making of a great leader, we just might have to face the same issues that these amazing biblical figures had to endure. The fact that they endured is what makes them so amazing in the first place.

The question is are you willing to be hated on by your brothers if that’s what it means to fulfill your calling?

Are you willing to face the lions ready to devour you and stand in the fire?

Are you willing to be taken out of your comfort zone in order for His will to be done?

A lot of our knee-jerking reaction is, “No, I’m not.”

Who wants to have to endure circumstances that force us to be vulnerable and that may cause pain? I get that.

More importantly, Christ gets that. He, after all, had to do it, too.

The sole purpose of Jesus Christ being on this earth was to save humanity from eternal damnation and separation from His love. In order to fulfill His calling, He had to not only trade in the luxury of a throne for life as a human being, but he had to die a horrible, brutal death.

And, He did it.

While we’re complaining about the girl we don’t want to disciple, or the church ministry we don’t want to carve out the time to lead, or the husband we have to force ourselves to submit to - realize that it’s not like He’s asking us to hang on a cross.

Next month, we’ll discuss changing our mindset on how we view the troublesomeness of fulfilling our calling and the biblical inspiration to help us bear through.

 

 

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