By Angela De la Cruz I often wondered why God's sense of humor played out the opposite of "traditional" molds in my life. I was confident growing up I would be married to someone who was in civil service of some kind, but I had made up my mind that I would not marry a Minister; I had seen the other side and didn't want any part of it. Not too mention I definitely didn't fit the mold being portrayed in minister's wife material, my family will all testify to that! The mold being formed or sought after was mild, quiet, played the piano, maybe taught Sunday school, stayed home, always present at every church function....not my ideal in any sense and nothing I was or longed for....I definitely didn't fit this mold. Oh, I would try for many years though, I worked outside of the home, spoke my mind, and sang...no piano (in public anyway). I found myself forced to living in a "fishbowl" and I was miserable. Have you ever watched a lonely fish swim around a bowl? What do you eventually think about while watching it swim? Well, let me share my pending questions assuming you may not have had the opportunity to watch a lonely fish long enough to formulate your own. I wonder what they think as I sit here & stare, occasionally tapping the glass? Do they wish I would go away, or just feed them and stop those silly tapping noises? Do they get bored? Do they feel limited in their small space? Do they wish their bowl was bigger, or included friends to swim with? Do they stare at me and wonder what it would be like to be free and living outside of their confines? Do they dream about any of those possibilities? Or do they do what they do because they are fish and that's what fish do, no expectations, just doing what the Creator gave them to do? Doing what their Creator gave them to do? Hmmmm. Let's dive into this idea, no pun intended. What has the Creator given you to do? Unfair, I know. So, let's turn the question around. What has the Creator given me, Angela, to do? I could quickly list many things that I can do but, that doesn't correctly answer the question...only feels safer for the moment. Are you following me? We often give a list of what we already do when asked what has God called or given you to do. Here within lies the problem, and I am rather confident that I do not stand alone in this, we have tethered ourselves to our lists of accomplishments, abilities/talents and assumed that is what God wanted us to do. In other words, this is my calling because it fits my set of gifts/abilities. I dare step back and disagree, but I do. I remember my momma reminding me about what happens when you assume something...it has you and me looking like a biblical animal and it's not a lamb. (Look at the word "ASSume" and figure it out, or ask your momma.) I do agree that often our talents/abilities line up with our gifts. My disagreement comes when I feel God leading/guiding me into a ministry area that may use some of my gifts but more my talents and abilities for a particular season. Yet, how many of us start swimming in our comfy little fishbowls because we don't feel prepared, when really we don't feel comfortable in what we know we are being asked to do? Listen, if God is calling you, You ARE prepared because it will not be of your own strength by which you fulfill this calling. However, insert warning here! Before jumping out of your fishbowl make sure this calling is from God and not your own desire for selfish gain. Tough to hear, I know. Share your thoughts with your spouse and another trusted prayer warrior. Have them along with you pray for confirmation regarding the ministry change or start up. If you all end up on the same page, chances are this is the direction you should continue on..