We write because we feel called to write. It not only gives us purpose—it is our purpose—or at least part of it. But writing may not be all we’re called to do. What if you’re asked to do more? And what if it feels like the timing couldn’t be worse? Author Rosslyn Elliott shares how she personally faced such a situation. I was blessed by Rosslyn’s willingness to be transparent, and I found her story relatable and encouraging. I think you will too! ~ Dawn
Called … Again
by Rosslyn Elliott
This summer, I was pushed to my emotional limits by my writing life. My deadlines were tight, and I feared my skills would not be equal to the monumental task of rewriting that lay ahead of me. The only way I got through it was to handle it the way I would any other potentially crippling fear. I gave the outcome over to God and got through one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time.
And right in the middle of all of that, I was called to yet another task—something desperately needed, a healing event for a crisis that threatened to destroy our church.
I did not jump up and down and cheer when I got this call. I was upset. I knew I was the only one who was going to start this journey, the only one who would choose to make this event happen and carry it through. Our church was seriously demoralized, and most others who could have been leaders of this effort had been knocked out of commission by discouragement and confusion. So I was dismayed that this additional task was about to be added to my already difficult summer of writing. Organizing the event wouldn’t even require that much work, in the grand scheme of things—it was just the straw that felt like it would break my back.
At the same time, the call was unmistakable and clear. Would I step into the gap and arrange this event? Would I do everything I could to fight for the survival of our church, or would I look the other way?
I accepted it. The event had to happen, and I was the only one called to the job. Eventually a friend of mine volunteered to help and eased the burden somewhat. But I won’t lie--it was one of the most stressful summers of my life!
There are seasons in our lives when we over-schedule ourselves just because we find it hard to say no, or because we’re enthusiastic about a number of projects or ministries and get carried away.
But there are other seasons when we are simply called to a whole lot of work—more than we think we can handle—but saying no is not an acceptable option.
If God calls me to such a thunderstorm of work, I can get through what seems impossible and frightening by holding on to the understanding that my particular gifts are needed, that God called me because I could handle it.
Even if my initial internal answer to the call was, “You cannot be serious.”
Well, He was serious. And in the end, I’m glad I answered the call. Only living in service to that inner call can bring us real joy.
Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
Rosslyn Elliott is a homeschooling mom who lives in the sunny Southwest with her husband and daughter. She and her daughter spend a lot of time with their equestrian vaulting team, which involves young people doing gymnastics and dance moves on horseback. Rosslyn is the one holding the horse, not standing on the horse’s back! After working as a schoolteacher in her mid-twenties, Rosslyn went to graduate school for seven years and finished a Ph.D. in American literature in 2006. Finishing that long academic dissertation gave her the confidence she needed to finally pursue her dream of writing novels. Her debut novel, Fairer than Morning (Thomas Nelson 2011), is a historical romance inspired by a real minister's family from nineteenth-century Ohio who helped fugitive slaves run to freedom.