He Is Calling

by | May 25, 2024

When I was nineteen, the Lord spoke to me: “Come, and I will make you fishers of men.” I have always desired to do big things, but I realized—a little late in the game—that God doesn’t call anyone to go out without first calling them in to follow Him.

I did that backward. In high school, I was active and had great opportunities. Afterward, I sought affirmation from negative sources. I even moved to Australia, trying to change myself internally by changing my scenery. I came home a broken person.

I loved my family, but I wasn’t sharing my story with people. One night, my mom invited me to a communal penance service. I looked for a priest who did not know me and found one sitting in front of the tabernacle. I felt like Jesus was there. I held nothing back; I was bawling. When I finished, the priest was crying. I thought, “I broke him.” But he said two things that changed my life forever: One, “I want you to know that I think you’re very beautiful.” I thought my sins had made me so ugly, especially to the Lord. And two, “I don’t think any less of you.”

I hadn’t told him my fears. I had just cried out for mercy, and the Lord spoke to me through this priest. Something in my identity was cemented that day. I knew the Lord loved me, had mercy for me, and was good.

When Jesus calls us, our life doesn’t have to be together for us to respond. The blind man Bartimaeus was called because he asked for mercy. Jesus makes up for anything we lack. Christ died for us because we were sinners (Rom 5:8).

There’s urgency in Bartimaeus’ story—in how he calls out and in how he responds when Jesus says, “Call him.” Bartimaeus throws off his cloak and springs up (Mk 10:50). Bartimaeus’ cloak represents the world. It would have been very comfortable in this exposed place where he probably begged. But he leaves the comfort for the call.

My husband and I are from Ontario but recently were called to move our family to serve with Renewal Ministries in Michigan. At first, we were very excited. But the longer we thought about it, the more we experienced an interior battle. We did not want to let go of our house. We decided to rent it out. If things didn’t work out, we could come back. It was one foot in and one foot out, but we wanted the security of this cloak. It was a battle, and our house wasn’t getting rented.

Then, I was singing the song Alabaster Heart and expressing my frustration to the Lord when a line stood out to me: “All my heart, all my soul, all I own, You can have it all.” Suddenly, I knew I needed to throw off my cloak. I told my husband, “We have to be all in.” Praise the Lord, he agreed. We listed the house, and it sold in less than twenty-four hours for more than the asking price.

We had to respond. We had to spring up; He was calling us. We cannot cling to our own comfort while responding to the call of being close to Christ.

Image credit

This article is condensed from Katey Norman’s talk at the 2024 Lift Jesus Higher Rally. It originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ May 2024 newsletter. You can hear her talk hereYou can access all the 2024 Lift Jesus Higher talks here.

About the Author

<a href="https://www.renewalministries.net/author/katey-norman/" target="_self">Katey Norman</a>

Katey Norman

Katey Norman is a proud Stratford, Ontario, native, and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She and her husband, Steve, moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in August of 2023 to be on mission and serve the Lord with Renewal Ministries. With over thirteen years of working in ministry, Katey has a heart for evangelization and mission, and a desire to see the body of Christ living dynamically and boldly as sons and daughters of the King.

1 Comment

  1. john manley

    I don’t know whether I could give up the apartment where I live, in order to follow the Lord.

    Reply

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