Called by God: Receiving and Responding

When I came to Christ at age 15 at a Young Life camp, I knew little about walking with God. This I was sure of: I was committed to choosing God’s way for my life, not my own. And I had an assurance that God had something He wanted me to do--I was called for life.

I remember well when God called me to student staff with Campus Crusade (Cru). In one week both the national women’s leader and Bill Bright challenged me to consider joining the staff team at the University of Texas for my junior and senior years. It was an easy “yes” for me. What a privilege!

Two years later, as I was graduating, I clearly heard the Lord calling me to full time with our ministry. My heart was eager to say yes, but I had two significant obstacles.

Obstacle 1: I was engaged

First I was engaged—to a young man who had come to Christ through me and whom I loved deeply. When I eagerly told him of my call to full-time staff, he said that was not his calling. I urged the Lord to tell him we were to join staff, but he never heard such a call.

Just a month before our wedding, God said to me, “Judy, if you marry him, you won’t be able to do what I want you to do.” With a broken heart, I chose God’s way and broke my engagement.

Obstacle 2: I had a dream

The second obstacle was equally daunting. Since I was eight years old I had wanted to be a writer. As I studied journalism, my dream was refined to a desire to be a magazine writer and editor.

At that time the only thing to do on staff was to go on campus and disciple women. So I gave up my dream and said, “Yes, Lord.”

God called, asking me to give up the man I loved and my dream to write.

God had surprises

God had surprises ahead. He took that man out of my life, though we are friends even now. It was a long (to me) nine years before I married my husband. But, you know, he was worth waiting for.

And my dream? At Staff Training Bill Bright called me into his office. He asked if I would consider coming to Arrowhead Springs to work on the Collegiate Challenge evangelistic magazine the ministry was producing.Really? I could have my dream and serve God with the ministry I had come to love? For the next 14 years I lived my dream, with far more meaning, purpose and possibility than I could have asked or imagined.

Nor could I have imagined the following 37 years of opportunity and blessing as well.

When God calls,

He is leading us into the next path of the good works He has already prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). We don’t know what’s ahead. We don’t know what we may have to give up, or what amazing opportunities he may have for us.

We just know that His way is best and saying “yes” to His call is the only right reply.

So we walk closely with Him, ears, and eyes, heart and mind open to hear and see—and respond.

What about you? Has God called you?

C2017 Judy Douglass