Shortly after the explosion of the Space Shuttle Colombia in 2003, I heard an interview on the evening news. The anchorman was talking with a former astronaut, and asking the man’s feelings on future space travel.
As I listened, the question that caught my attention went something like this: “Aren’t you afraid to venture back into space? Surely your confidence in NASA has been shaken.”
The astronaut responded that his fear of not doing it was greater than his fear of dying while doing it.
Sister, when it comes to our callings, sometimes we respond much differently than this astronaut. We often let fear hold us back from realizing and walking in our unique talents and giftings, don’t we?
Well, on this week’s episode of the 4:13 Podcast, I have a treat for you! ABC’s Paula Faris is with us, and she’s talking all about calling. In the summer of 2018, at the height of her career, she stepped down from not one, but two dream jobs. She was co-anchor on Good Morning America Weekend and co-host of The View.
Why’d she do that?
Well, you’re about to find out. Paula gives us the inside scoop on her calling. But, friend, that’s not all. She also helps you understand your calling.
Paula is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who serves as a senior national correspondent at ABC News. She’s the host of the popular podcast, Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris, which gives an intimate look at how some of the world’s most influential people lean on faith in the best and worst of times. Plus, Paula’s a wife, a mom, and the kind of woman who makes you feel known, seen, and like you really matter—because you do.
So, settle in and enjoy this conversation!
5 Words of Wisdom on Calling from Paula Faris
- You have a faith calling that’s unchangeable. After pursuing, achieving, and then giving up her two dream jobs, Paula says she discovered the need to separate her calling into two categories: her faith calling or life purpose and her vocational calling. Her faith calling is an unchanging purpose in life that is to love God and to love people. The same is true for you. You also have this singular purpose, and it’s not dependent on what you do for a living.
- You have a vocational calling that can change. Paula says your vocational or professional calling is the unique way God has equipped you to fulfill your purpose to love God and love people. This means, your vocational calling can and will change. It’s more about being where God has you in this particular season of life than it is about doing a specific job or vocation. She’s experienced this in her own life when she walked away from hosting Good Morning America Weekend and co-hosting The View.
- Your vocational calling is a vehicle for your faith calling. For Paula, realizing that who she is wasn’t directly tied to what she does was a paradigm shift. She came to see that her vocation is a vehicle. “Success and accomplishments and accolades can still happen as a byproduct,” Paula explains, “but that’s not what I’m focused on. My focus when I go to work is to love God and love people with the unique talents I was given.” You can do the same when you see calling as less about what you do and more about who you are.
- Your worth is not your work. Your value isn’t your vocation, Paula encourages. You have to realize that first and foremost. Give yourself permission to branch out and not view yourself one-dimensionally—for example, as a nurse, as an engineer, or as a broadcaster. Instead, peel back those layers and recognize what your unique talents and gifts are and how they can manifest in different capacities.
- You have permission to off-ramp. Paula says that, as women, we need to permit ourselves to off-ramp from our vocational calling if needed. “Don’t buy the lie that if you get out, you can never get back in,” she encourages. “Because that’s a lie from the devil he wants you to believe.”
3 Ways to Know If You’re in the Right Vocation
How can you tell if you’re in the right vocation? Paula says she had the biggest “ah-ha” moment of her life when she asked David Shed, who was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency after 9-11, to explain what vocational calling looks like in our lives.
He said vocational calling is asking yourself three things:
- What are you good at?
- What do you love?
- What do trusted people in your life notice that you’re good at and you love?
Friend, I hope you heard Paula loud and clear. You are not what you do. Your work is not your worth.
And, I hope this is a shot in your spirit to remember that you can do whatever God has called you to do. Fear is not the boss of you! Remember, whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
More from Paula Faris
- Called Out: Why I Traded Two Dream Jobs for a Life of True Calling
- Journeys of Faith With Paula Faris Podcast
- Follow Paula on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Links Mentioned in This Episode
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What’s one way God’s helped you know your calling?