The whole experience has been clarifying for me. I realized that even the job I was in had become routine. After almost 10 years, I had it down and was pretty much going through the motions. I hadn't taken the time to ask God if he still wanted me to be doing it, but continued to plug along—unlike my husband, who left his secure position to strike out in obedience.
So I am now in a rather good place. I am open to anything God wants me to do and excited to find out what it is. And I've learned a few things through the whole experience about calling and what it means.
Take Time to Listen
I love that my husband has had the courage to leave the secure and known for the insecure and the unknown. The only way he could do that is by lots of prayerful time before God. He was in the same pastorate for 27 years, so periodically, he would take time to pray that God would show him if he was to stay or pursue something else. Always, the call to stay came back loud and clear—until a couple of years ago. Then the pull began to be in a different direction. It sounded like craziness for someone his age, but because he'd been faithful to obey in the past, he knew God's voice in the present.
I am now in the same place for a different reason. I've lost my position, so I need to take time to listen to God. This certainly didn't take God by surprise, and he knows exactly what he wants me to be doing that best fits with how he made me. Rather than jumping at the first secure position, I'm taking time to listen to what he wants me to do next. And I'm beginning to recognize ways he was nudging me even before I lost my job.
Be Radical but Not Foolish
My husband and I are both very aware that there is a fine line between radical obedience and foolishness. We've counseled people in the past who said they felt callings that turned out to be just wishful thinking. One particular person felt "called" to an international speaking ministry. They wanted to quit their job and pursue it full-time. We knew this person's unstable history and advised against it. The "calling" was merely a desire for affirmation that they hoped would come when thousands of people hung on their every word. We suggested that the person keep their job and begin speaking to smaller venues to see if God was in this calling or if their own needs were driving it. Fortunately, this person listened. Even the smaller speaking opportunities didn't work out. But this person has found another ministry that is meeting many needs in their local church, while still keeping their day job.