Spiritual Growth

Finding Your Calling

“What is my calling?”

“I don’t have a gift or talent. I’m not good at anything.”

“Everyone else is walking in their purpose. I don’t know what my purpose is.”

Do any of those statements sound like you? Are you the person who’s been searching for her calling or purpose? Do you want to know what God placed you on this earth to do/to be?

Sis, pull up a chair and let me tell you a story.

Two years ago, “motivational speaker” popped in my head. Just like that: “motivational speaker”. I wasn’t sure what the thought meant but it captured my attention. The more I thought about it, the more curious I became. I posted a question on Facebook, asking my family and friends, “Can you see me as a motivational speaker?”

I asked the question as a joke, not taking it seriously, but everyone responded positively saying yes, they could see me as a motivational speaker.

Instead of pursuing the idea, I ignored it and continued living my life, teaching Bible study, preaching, and writing.

And then a month or so ago, “motivational speaker” popped in my head again. I ignored it for a few days but this time, the thought wouldn’t leave me alone. So, I asked a few people again, “Can you see me as a motivational speaker?” And once again, they said yes.

Instead of totally ignoring the thought and tucking it away as I did two years ago, I spoke to my pastor about it who encouraged me and told me to research a particular speaker. I visited that speaker’s website along with the websites of other popular motivational speakers. Additonally, I read a few books on public speaking and watched a few TED Talks.

And then I prayed about it. Now, I know you’re thinking, “Aretha, you should have prayed first.” And you’re right. However, I’m the person who researches things, gathers a ton of information, overthinks it, and then talks myself out of it without praying. So, for me to pray about it was a HUGE step.

When I finally prayed about becoming a motivational speaker, I was encouraged and comforted. I’ve been teaching the Bible since 1998 and I’ve been preaching since 1999, and have unknowingly been incorporating into my Bible studies lessons, sermons, and corporate training sessions many of the tips I read about in the public speaking books:

  1. Tell stories (I thought I was telling too many stories – NOPE!)
  2. Make eye contact (don’t stare; that’s just creepy)
  3. Use words everyone can understand (6th-grade level seems to be ideal)
  4. Exude confidence (I admit to faking this one because of stage fright)
  5. Don’t place your hands in both pockets (yes, that’s in the books)
  6. Pause, raise and lower the voice, etc (I was doing this just so people wouldn’t fall asleep)

I mentioned stage fright in the fourth point above. Let’s call it what it is, FEAR. When “motivational speaker” popped into my head two years ago, I ignored it because of fear and doubt. How on earth could I be a motivational speaker when I was too afraid to stand before people and speak? That’s when I realized preaching/teaching is “public speaking” (I’m slow at times) and despite the fear, I’ve been speaking consistently more than twenty years.

You see, I’ve been looking for the “THING” I’ve been called to do. Yet, the “thing” was right in front of me all along. I didn’t recognize my “thing” because it wasn’t packaged as I expected. I NEVER considered public speaking as my “thing” although I’d been preaching and teaching for many years. Besides, I’m a writer who enjoys hiding behind her laptop.

This teaches us a valuable lesson: Sometimes we’re already doing the very thing we’re seeking.

With so many books, articles, podcasts, and social media posts about finding your purpose, calling, niche, target audience, etc, we sometimes overlook the obvious. If you’re like me, searching for your “THING”, take a step back and look at the thing(s) you’re already doing. Your “THING” is probably something you’re taking for granted. Your “THING” is probably something that comes easily to you but others find difficult. Your “THING” probably scares you to death!

Step out in faith and let God use you and your “THING” in a GREATER way. You won’t regret it.

Until next time,


PS: Did I decide to become a motivational speaker? Well, let’s just say I bought business cards, updated my website, am looking for 2020-2021 speaking opportunities, and am writing not only books, sermons, and Bible lessons, but other “talks” as well (I’d love to speak to a group of breast cancer survivors).

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