Stephanie Smith: Identify With The Special Calling on David's Life

By Amy

I'VE BEEN DOING A STUDY ON THE LIFE OF KING DAVID RECENTLY. I'VE ACTUALLY DONE THE STUDY BEFORE ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO, BUT I DECIDED I NEEDED THE REMINDER. I HAVE ALWAYS IDENTIFIED WITH DAVID. HE WAS CALLED AT A YOUNG AGE TO BE KING OVER ISRAEL, BUT BEFORE THAT "CALLING" WAS FULFILLED, HE SPENT YEARS HIDING IN CAVES AND RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE. WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF NOT ONLY KNOWING THE HISTORY OF DAVID'S LIFE (1&2 SAMUEL), BUT ALSO SNEAKING A PEEK INTO HIS JOURNAL (THE PSALMS). HE WAS A FIGHTER AND A SONGWRITER. HE KNEW HOW TO CRY. HE LOVED THE LORD. HE ASKED QUESTIONS. HE MESSED UP. HE GOT IT RIGHT. HE WAS HUMBLED THAT GOD CHOSE HIM OUT OF SO MANY OTHERS. HE WAS HUMAN.

I AM IN NO WAY CLAIMING TO HAVE BEEN ANOINTED KING OVER A NATION, BUT I HAVE HAD INTIMATE TIMES WITH GOD WHERE I SENSED A DEEP CALLING FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL ON MY LIFE. WHEN I FIRST DID THIS STUDY 5 YEARS AGO, I HAD JUST LEFT COLLEGE AND MOVED TO A NEW CITY TO SIGN THE RECORD DEAL OF MY DREAMS. I HAD BEEN PICKED OUT OF A CROWD OF MUSICIANS BY THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTIST IN MY LIFE AND HE PERSONALLY HANDED ME A CHANCE AT MY DREAM. IT WAS EASY TO FEEL SPECIAL, TO FEEL CALLED... EVEN ANOINTED. I KNEW IT WASN'T ALL GOING TO BE HANDED TO ME SO I WAS PREPARED TO WORK HARD FOR THIS DREAM, THIS ROLE OF LEADERSHIP AS A CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN. BUT HAD YOU TOLD ME THEN THAT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE IT HAS OVER THE PAST 5-6 YEARS, I'M NOT SURE I WOULD'VE BELIEVED YOU. I COULD IDENTIFY WITH THE SPECIAL CALLING ON DAVID'S LIFE, I FELT SET APART FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON AND I WAS HUMBLED BY IT, BUT I COULDN'T YET DEEPLY IDENTIFY WITH THE YEARS OF UNMET EXPECTATIONS AND CAVE DWELLING THAT WOULD FOLLOW THE "CALL".

NOW, I WOULD NEVER SIT HERE AT STARBUCKS AND COMPLAIN AS I REFLECT ON WHAT THE PAST HALF A DECADE HAS LOOKED LIKE. I WOULD BE A FOOL TO SAY THAT I AM NOT BLESSED TO HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITIES I'VE HAD. I'VE TOURED THE COUNTRY WITH SOME OF THE MOST TALENTED PEOPLE I KNOW. I'VE MET COUNTLESS BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE WITH UNIQUE AND INSPIRING STORIES. I'VE TRAVELED INTERNATIONALLY. I'VE SKIPPED TO THE FRONT OF LINES AT AMUSEMENT PARKS AND RIDDEN ROLLER COASTERS FOR FREE! I'VE SEEN CRAZY THINGS AT RANDOM TRUCK STOPS, BROKEN DOWN IN THE RAIN, AND TRAVELED IN THE BADDEST BUSES... I AM BLESSED. ITS GOOD TO REMEMBER THOSE THINGS, BECAUSE I STILL WRESTLE WITH THE TENSION OF WHAT THIS IS "SUPPOSED" TO LOOK LIKE EVERYDAY. 

FIVE YEARS AGO, I ASSUMED AT THIS POINT IN THE GAME, I WOULD BE ABLE TO PAY MY RENT AND BILLS BY PERFORMING MUSIC. I ASSUMED I WOULD HAVE MORE THAN ONE FULL LENGTH RECORD OUT IN FIVE YEARS. I ASSUMED I WOULD BE ACCEPTED WARMLY BY ALL PARTIES IN MY "FIELD". I ASSUMED PEOPLE WOULD KNOW THE LYRICS TO MY SONGS AND COME TO SHOWS TO SING THEM WITH ME. I ASSUMED I WOULD JUST KNOW WHAT TO DO AND WHEN TO DO IT. I ASSUMED IF YOU WORKED HARD, THERE WOULD BE THE PAY OFF YOU WERE WORKING TOWARDS. I ASSUMED I WOULD GROW WITH THIS INDUSTRY AND FEEL PASSED OVER BY IT. I ASSUMED.

NOW, THIS IS NOT ME WAIVING THE WHITE FLAG AND THROWING IN THE TOWEL, I STILL BELIEVE AND HOPE SOME OF THESE THINGS WILL BECOME A REALITY IN MY CAREER. I'M JUST PULLING THE CURTAIN BACK SO YOU CAN SEE THE OTHER SIDE THAT CREATES TENSION WITH THE "BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE" SIDE. AND JUST TO BE CLEAR, THOSE ARE EXPECTATIONS I HAD, I PUT THEM ON ME. THOSE ARE FEELINGS I EXPERIENCE, NOT REALITIES OR ABSOLUTES. I'M NOT BLAMING ANYBODY. I'VE WALKED THROUGH 4 DIFFERENT A&R GUYS AT MY LABEL. WE'VE STUCK TOGETHER THROUGH A BUY OUT AND 3 DIFFERENT MUSIC DISTRIBUTORS AND WE'RE BOTH STILL GOING. I'M PROUD OF THAT. I'VE WATCHED PEOPLE COME OUT OF NO WHERE AND PASS ME IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE AS THEIR CAREER LAUNCHED, SEEMINGLY OVERNIGHT. EVEN IN THAT, I HAVE A CHOICE. I CAN BECOME BITTER AND JEALOUS, OR I CAN LEARN HOW TO BE A GOOD CHEERLEADER WHEN I'M ON THE SIDELINES.

AND THAT (FINALLY) BRINGS ME TO MY POINT... THE SIDELINES AKA, NOT IN THE SPOTLIGHT. I'VE WORKED AS A STARBUCKS BARISTA, ACCESSORY MANAGER, VOICE TEACHER, DEMO SINGER, ETC ETC IN THE PAST 6 YEARS WHILE TRYING TO FOLLOW THIS DIVINE APPOINTMENT I FEEL WITH MUSIC. OVER HALF A DECADE AGO, IT WAS ALL SO NEW AND FRESH, I WAS PREPARED TO DO WHATEVER IT TOOK BECAUSE I WAS CONFIDENT IN THE "CALLING". DOORS HAD OPENED THAT I DIDN'T EVEN KNOCK ON, IT ALL SEEMED TO MAKE SENSE. TODAY I FIGHT FEELING LIKE A FAILURE AND SOME DAYS I'M AFRAID TO STILL HOPE THAT IT WILL GO ANYWHERE BECAUSE... WHAT IF IT DOESN'T? MY HEART BEGS QUESTIONS LIKE: "DID I HEAR HIM RIGHT ALL THOSE YEARS AGO? AM I STILL SPECIAL? DO I STILL HAVE THAT ANOINTING COVERING ME?"

BUT MAYBE THOSE ARE THE WRONG QUESTIONS. YOU SEE, GOD WALKED DAVID THROUGH YEARS OF HIDING IN CAVES AND HIS FIRST ROLE IN LEADERSHIP WAS LEADING AN UNRULY BUNCH OF OUTCASTS BEFORE HE WAS KING. THOSE YEARS WERE NOT WASTED. WE DON'T CELEBRATE THOSE YEARS AS MUCH, BUT THAT'S WHERE SO MANY OF THE PSALMS WERE WRITTEN, WHEN DAVID PRESSED INTO THE HEART OF HIS GOD BECAUSE HE KNEW HE HAD NO OTHER OPTION BUT TO HIDE IN THE SHELTER OF A HEAVENLY WING. WHAT IF PART OF MY "CALLING" HAS BEEN TO LOVE MY STARBUCKS PARTNERS OR FELLOW RETAIL SALES ASSOCIATES WELL? WHAT IF I WAS THE ONLY LIGHT OF JESUS THEY'VE EVER SEEN? THEN I BELONGED THERE IN THAT SEASON, AND NOT ON A STAGE. 

I AM NOT AS SURE OF THE CALLING NOW, AT LEAST IN SPECIFICS. HE MAY CALL ME TO TEACH LITTLE KIDS HOW TO SING FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE AND ONE OF THEM MAY GROW UP TO GET THE GRAMMY AWARD I WANTED, BUT I AM HOWEVER STILL SURE ABOUT THE ONE WHO CALLS. I AM SURE HE HAS A PLACE FOR ME. IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, THERE IS NO "DESERVING"... WE ALL DESERVE DEATH. I DON'T DESERVE TO BE ON A STAGE CAUSE I THINK I CAN SING OR CAUSE MY STORY TO TELL IS ANY BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE'S. I ONLY WANT TO BE ON A STAGE IF IT IS WHERE HE CAN BEST USE ME. I STILL LOVE TO SING, I ACHE FOR MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO GET OUT THERE AND DO IT. I AM STILL WRITING, I AM STILL HOPING THAT MAYBE I CAN LEAVE MY MARK ON AN INDUSTRY THAT HAS BLESSED SO MANY PEOPLE. BUT ULTIMATELY, THE VISION HE GAVE ME YEARS AGO WAS THAT WHEN I STOOD IN FRONT OF PEOPLE, THEY WOULD LOOK WHERE I WAS LOOKING- SO MY ONLY JOB IS TO KEEP MY EYES ON HIM. MAY I REFLECT HIM IN EVERYTHING I DO. HE IS FAITHFUL.

BLESSINGS

Stephanie Smith 

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