Life as Worship: Nicole Zion

I am excited to have Nicole Zion guest posting on my blog today!  Although we were only roommates for one quick year, my time with Nicole powerfully prepared me for the next season of my life.  Today, she shares about what God is teaching her about living a life that is a full expression of worship.    

I have had the opportunity to be on staff for my church for close to 5 years.  I loved it.  I had found a place where I could use my gifting for the kingdom of God, and I really felt the call to serve the church in my life.  It all made sense, it all looked like it was going according to plan...  

Until some unforeseen things happened and I ended up losing my job.   I immediately tried to look into the situation and see what God was going to teach me through this.  I wanted to be ready, you know, handle it wisely and be noble through the whole process.  I immediately came up with the idea, that maybe I was being challenged to be a stay-at-home mom.  Although I am the mom of 2 boys, I never envisioned I would be a stay-at-home mom.  So I figured God would be teaching me to love my family in that way, and I honestly thought that’s what the people around me thought I should do to.  I had mentally prepared for it, I was praying for my heart and soul to catch on to the idea, but it didn't.  So I prayed harder, tried harder, and was constantly defeated when my soul didn't feel right about staying home.   

Why couldn't I do this, why was my soul telling me to do other things.  Was I just being rebellious, was I spiritually sick?  I wrestled with all of these things on a daily basis.  I really wondered why God would take the job where I had felt so called to be, if he wasn't challenging me or growing me to drastically change my lifestyle and stay at home.  I tried all the things my friends talked about on Facebook, looking to see what they were doing that I needed to be doing?  Then I heard it, the most audible thing I think God had ever spoken to me, to be honest he screamed it to the depths of my soul and I instantly knew.  He yelled "BECAUSE THATS NOT WHO I MADE YOU TO BE!!!!"  My immediate thought was, "This is just me telling myself what I want to hear."  But then I felt freedom, I felt release, and I felt free to be who I was created to be.  Shortly after this moment God flung some doors wide open and led me to the career I have always been in love with.  He has been faithful, and there have been so many evidences that he planned it and knows me.  

This post is not meant to be about stay-at-home VS working-outside-the-home mom.  God unfolds a different story for every woman, I truly know staying at home is a blessing and a challenge, and I know that you all who do stay home work so hard and are doing great things! 

This post is, however, about living in your call and using your giftings. When Katie asked, "How do you worship God on a daily basis’” my heart immediately went to this response.  Worshiping God by living as he created you to be is huge!  And if you think about it, it is pretty simple.  Just be you, and LIVE IN IT.  Some of you are you, but you’re not living in it.  You go day to day just doing what you're good at but never feeling joy from it, never seeing fruit from it, never really seeing it as a gift at all.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are specifically made; you are not a carbon copy of anyone else.  The hardest thing I've wrestled with in this is constantly comparing myself and desiring gifts or the call on other people’s lives.  Just like when I was TRYING to be a stay-at-home mom, I was forcing myself into a box I thought was expected of me, rather than living according to my design. 

Ephesians 4:1-16

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
He gave us each gifts.  Even if you don't feel gifted, you are.  And how you choose to use them on a daily basis, can either glorify God or be wasteful.   He gave each of you a call in which to use your gifts, even if you don't see it or don't value it at this time in your life.   

Let’s say you feel like you have the gift of teaching, but you are not a teacher.  How can you find a way to use the gift of teaching in your everyday life?  Below are a few tips on how to explore what your gifts and call are: 

Pray: Ask God to reveal who he created you to be and for what purpose. 

Ask your close friends: What do they see in your life that you are good at and strong in? 

Take solitude time: Seriously, sit in silence, without an agenda.  Don't pray, don't focus on anything, just sit in the presence of God and wait.  This is his time to be with you and speak to you.  This time is about listening and not talking.  You may be surprised by what he shows you.

God is a wonderful good father.  A good father gives his children gifts so they can be used and enjoyed.  Don't hide your gifts, don't squander them.  Pray daily for God to show you how to use them.  How can you glorify God with what he's given you?  He loves you and desires to see his purpose lived out through you.  You are blessed, you are chosen, even on the days that feel mundane.  No one can do what you do, even that person that looks like they are good at everything (you know those people).  You are specific, your gifts, your call, the place you’re in.  It’s all specific and when you see that, your heart can be stirred to worship. Worship the God who knows you and enjoys seeing you be who you he made you to be. 


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