When You’re Called to Stay on the Shore

“Oceans” came on this afternoon while I was cleaning up after lunch. I’ve been struggling with being left behind. So many of my friends are moving on and doing things – amazing things – and I’m still here amidst the dishes, laundry, and school books.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

Read more: Hillsong United – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Then it hit me. God hasn’t called me out upon the waters. He hasn’t called me to start a non-profit, or a ministry to the exploited and abused, or even something closer to home.

My friends talk about the time drawing closer when the freedom to pursue dreams will be at hand. The freedom that will come once their children are all in school. I just nod, give a thin smile, and listen. There isn’t much to say because for me that type of freedom is so much further away.

You see, I’m realizing that He hasn’t called me out into the Waters – He’s calling me to stay on shore. With the call to homeschool my children comes the call to stay.

Oh, and that chafes! I want to go. I want to have hours in a day to keep my home in order, to write, to exercise – to do any myriad of things! To pursue my not-now dream of becoming a post-partum doula. I want to get together with friends for coffee at 10 in the morning.

But He hasn’t called me there yet. He’s given a dream – a dream that might one day call me out into the waters. But right now, He’s asking me to stay on the shore to tend to the things here in the not-so-glamorous.

 The not-so-glamorous. That is where we are right now, isn’t it? I feel almost as I did growing up. It was never said out rightly, but you knew. You knew that the only holy work, the worthy work, was in full-time Christian service. And if you weren’t doing that, then you were second-rate. We were encouraged to be teachers, pastors’ wives, or missionaries. Any other dreams were less than.

I get that same feeling when I see and hear about God-sized dreams and giving God our best yes. What about those of us He hasn’t called to the ‘big’ stuff? Are we any less?

My mind keeps going back to John 21 where the disciples went fishing after Jesus had been resurrected and He showed himself to them. They went fishing through the night and caught nothing. Just as day is breaking, they come near the shore and someone yells a question to them – “Children, do you have any fish?” And they said “no”. He then instructed them to cast their net over the right side of the boat and that they would find some. Their net was so full that they had a difficult time hauling it in. They then knew that it was their Lord talking to them.

What strikes me about this passage is that Jesus was on the shore. He was on shore waiting for them – waiting to minister to them. They were tired and worn out after a long night of nothing, and their Savior was waiting for them, to love them and to meet their needs. He could have showed himself to them right there on the boat and brought that haul up to them in the middle of the night. But He didn’t.

Maybe that is exactly what we’re supposed to be doing, those of us who are watching others chase their dreams. Maybe we’re supposed to be Jesus to those who come back bedraggled because their dream isn’t turning out like they think it should. Maybe we are the ones who will do the praying and the ministering .

Who knows how God will use us.

When You're Called to Stay on the Shore

12 thoughts on “When You’re Called to Stay on the Shore

  1. Wow. Powerful. I admire you, Danielle.

    • Danielle

      Thank you, Deb – Hugs are being sent your way!

  2. What a great perspective! I never thought about that before. Even though it hurts to feel like we’re being left behind, I now think the shore can be a good thing. It’s a time to sow into others and let God prepare us for the next season. Right now, you are teaching, and helping equip and send out children who are going to find their own calling. And that is a mighty call –because many don’t have the courage or faith to do it.

    And I had no idea you wanted to be a doula! I should introduce you to my friend and doula, who happens to be a homeschooling mom of two. It can be a part of the preparation for your next season, if it’s the Lord’s will

    • Danielle

      Hi Claresa,
      I would love to meet your friend! Being a post-partum doula is something that I’ve wanted to do since I had Vala. The woman who worked with me was so kind and supportive that God put a dream in my heart to do that for others. Lord willing, it’ll happen one day!

      Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words 🙂

  3. Danielle, I’m so glad I stumbled on your post in my FB newsfeed. This is great! What encouragement. The ministering on the shore is so difficult but such important work. Thanks for shining a light on that. Prayers for you as you do so, and for the day when your doula dream leaps into action. That’s so beautiful–my mom is a retired doula. If you ever need a resource person, just let me know 🙂 Blessings!

    • Danielle

      Mandy, thank you for your encouragement!

  4. Just absolutely wonderful. From one homeschool Mama to another, so much encouragement here. It’s almost like I’ve been up, fishing all night, catching nothing – and this post is a simple holy suggestion, “Cast your net on the other side.”

    • Danielle

      Thank you, Wendy. I’ll be praying for you – for whatever He brings you through.

  5. Danielle- Yes! We need this message. Your wrestle and yet your willingness to stay is such a beautiful example to me. I needed this. Others need this. Thank you for your example. Perhaps the shore contains the greatest treasures. 🙂

    • Danielle

      Thank you, Katie! God laid this on my heart and I was hoping that I wasn’t alone in this. Thank you for your encouragement!

  6. Yes to this. I get it in more ways than I can ever express. This is where He birthed contentment within me.

    • Danielle

      I’m hoping He’ll do the same for me, Amy. Thanks for stopping by!

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