by Alli Worthington
We’ve all been touched and deeply changed by adversity, this year, more than ever. When I feel overwhelmed, challenged, knee-deep in a difficult season, I cling to the things I know to be true. And in the season we are currently in, I know this to be true; our hearts have been fashioned to face and fight even the hardest of situations.
I also know this to be true; we aren’t alone. We have God on our side, and our strength comes from knowing he is right there with us.
You can't break a woman who gets her strength from God.
As I cling to these truths, I trust that God is calling me to walk more closely with him, to trust him more deeply, and to press into the future that he has set before me. I can face the adversity of today because I know that God has a future in mind for me, an abundant, glorious future.
We all share one purpose—to know Jesus and tell others about him. That’s it. That’s our purpose. But our callings? Our callings are wild and wonderful and ever-changing, depending on the season of life we’re in, even difficult seasons.
God isn’t calling us to live an enough life. He’s calling each of us to live an abundant life, which is to say, a more-than-enough life. He’s calling us to walk in our gifts, to overcome our self-doubt, to start living out our purposes, and to stand strong.
Have you begun to have new dreams, even in this difficult season, —starting a business, adopting a child, starting a community garden, writing a book, launching a new initiative— dreams that seem impossible unless God performs a mighty miracle?
That feeling inside you is God calling you to a new adventure, to growth, to a higher level of understanding, to your abundant, glorious future!
So what does a call to accomplish great things in the world look like? It may look like caring for your family with strength and patience in the middle of a pandemic, volunteering at church to remind hurting hearts that God loves them, penning the next Great American novel, or launching a business that will shake up an industry. In whatever way it comes to life for you, the feeling that you are meant for more exists for a reason.
But, when we are facing adversity at every turn, it’s easy to push down our dreams. It’s easy to store our calling in the back of the closet for another time. It’s easy to listen to the voices that tell us we can’t.
Don’t focus on the reasons you can’t. Focus on the God who can.
Stand strong and lean into God’s calling. God will give you everything you need to do what he calls you to do. Standing strong is not about striving or personal achievement, it means getting out of your own way and letting God work in and through you.
God is calling you to partnership in this season. It took a partnership to create the world. God spoke the world into existence while the Spirit hovered over the water. And the ark would never have been built without a partnership of carpenters, right?
Even Jesus didn’t want to do his ministry without a partnership of twelve men to walk with him on difficult days. Those same men also became a partnership of missionaries who went out into the world to build God’s church.
When we think about the partnerships in the Bible, we see that God’s story required partnerships to move it forward. You are the newest link in this chain of partnerships that will carry the kingdom of God forward.
Could it be that even through the pandemic, our God has called us into partnership and not passivity? Could it be that, even through some of the deepest and widest pain we’ve ever known, our God has drawn us closer to his heart—and our callings?
You were created to partner with God by bringing his purposes to life in this world. The dream you have in your heart? He put it there because he chose you to partner with him to accomplish it.
You have to accept God’s invitation to partner with him and move out of your own way to do it. We get in our own way because of fear, insecurity, lies we believe about ourselves, and lies we believe about God.
The enemy has a plan for your life too. It may have started with Eve in the Garden, but it ended with Jesus on the cross. Don’t let that truth escape you. God has invested too much in you for you to let the enemy hold you back.
Yes, the enemy will try to take you out. And no, he can’t steal you from God’s hand. But he will work overtime to keep you distracted, depressed, and disillusioned.
Jesus won the war on Calvary, but you, sister, you are in a battle every day.
The enemy will tell you that your calling doesn’t match your credentials, but God is a God of empowerment. The enemy will tell you that the world has changed and your dreams no longer matter, but God is not surprised by world events, and your calling remains for you to live it out.
The enemy will tell you that you are weak, but God reminds us that the Holy Spirit inside of us is bigger than any giant in front of us.
Keep doing your kingdom work, keep listening to the dream you have in your heart, and know God placed it there as a vision for the glorious future he has for you.
You are not alone. You have the creator of the universe on your side. God is standing on the other side of the open door to the next season of your life. And in his hand is an invitation to a great adventure.
Alli Worthington is an author, speaker, and business coach. Her goal is to help women reach the next level. Alli co-founded Called Creatives and has helped individuals, small business owners, and Fortune 500 companies reach new levels of success. Alli’s no-nonsense, guilt-free take on business, family, and balance led to appearances on The Today Show and Good Morning America. Alli, her husband, Mark, and their five sons live outside of Nashville, TN with the only golden retriever who refuses to retrieve. This is an excerpt from Standing Strong: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity and Living with Confidence. Read Chapter One here. You can connect with Alli at AlliWorthington.com and on Instagram.