The Need is the Call – How do I Stand in my Call?

How do I Stand in my Call?

Over the past few weeks, “Into the Deep” writers have shared their personal stories about following through on their calling, despite facing challenges. Scripture tells us that the needs of those around us drive our calling. The guidance of the Spirit helps us discover the direction to say yes to the call. Now, we know where the calling is and how to say yes. But how do we stand firm in our call?

I started the Spiritual Exercises four weeks ago. Initially, I gained some profound insights during my prayer time. My spiritual director tells me at the end of our meetings, “Let your God love you.” I finally took to heart those words this past week. I realized that if I allow myself to feel God’s love, God will empower me to remain dedicated to my purpose. On the first day of the fourth week of the spiritual exercises, I prayed with the scripture Luke 1:26-38 The Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary:

“But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”

Mary’s unwavering faith in the Lord allowed her to answer the call. Mary fulfilled humanity’s greatest need for salvation without fully comprehending the significance of her actions. Mary relied on drawing closer to God to remain strong as Jesus’ mother. She frequently pondered and trusted that she was not alone in her journey. By following where God led her, she found the strength to fulfill her calling, knowing that God always provides what we need.

I dreamed of becoming a teacher since I was a little girl. I’ve always enjoyed learning. However, as I prepared for college, I heard negative comments about the profession, such as “low pay,” “too much work,” and “not worth it.” I waivered on my commitment to my dream of teaching by opting for a degree in business management. The money was good, but I found myself needing more.

After being laid off during the 2008 market crash, I became a stay-at-home mom raising our young family for two years. My husband encouraged me to use the “break” as an opportunity to think about my calling first and my career second. I realized my dream of becoming a teacher was still alive. This time, I followed my dream. People will still comment negatively about the profession, and I do not waiver.

For the past 12 years, I strived to be the best teacher my students need in the face of many professional challenges. By leaning into my relationship with God, I receive the graces I need to fulfill my call. Over the years, I have formed meaningful relationships with many students and cherish all the moments, laughter, and tears. My calling is to be there for my students in times of happiness and sorrow. 

In one of Becky’s retreats, I heard her say, “We need to be the light to what we see.” What needs do you see around you? It can be volunteering at your local library, driving a sick parent to a doctor’s appointment, becoming a teacher or doctor, or listening to a friend in need. We all have gifts God gives us to serve those in our life. So, how can we be more like Mary? Even though, at times, we might be afraid or unsure of the call; we draw near to God. We pray and grow in our relationship with God. We remember that we are never alone.

Little by little, as our relationship with Jesus grows, things in your life become more evident. Our priorities change, and we start living our call with conviction. God gives us everything we need to stand firm in our call.

I wrote this short prayer on the third week of the spiritual exercises and want to share it with you all.

Your love for us has no measure.
Your mercy is infinite.
Time and time again, you show us the way.
You renew us with your love.
Lord, I desire to walk with you.


Going Deeper

The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in Daily Life by Kevin O’Brien, SJ 

Days of Deepening Friendship: For the Woman Who Wants Authentic Life with God by Vinita Wright

Read more about letting your God love you in our Fully Loved blog series.

Photo by Emmanuel Phaeton on Unsplash

Liz Aceves is a passionate Catholic school educator with a decade of experience teaching Spanish. Her love for working with children and teaching them about their faith and language has been a constant source of inspiration. Liz believes that learning a second language is essential in fostering acceptance and understanding among people of different cultures. Her spiritual journey has been enriched by her discovery of Ignatian Spirituality eight years ago, and she has been an active member of the Inner Chapel community for three years. Liz finds joy in facilitating the Friday Inner Chapel Prayer group, surrounded by inspirational women. As a devoted wife and mother of two teenage boys, Liz enjoys reading historical nonfiction and spiritual books, traveling, and hiking.

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