If I Don’t Feel Called, Should I Still Go?

{By Ellery Sadler}

It would be nice to have a message directly from God every once in a while, wouldn’t it? Handwriting in the sky telling you which job to take or who to marry or which mission trip to go on or whether or not you were cut out for this thing called faith. It would be nice to be called. To feel called.

And sometimes that happens. Sometimes you’re one of the lucky few to get a specific call from the Lord, probably not audibly, but so deep in your soul that you can’t ignore it. A calling that leads you to chase Him across the ocean to the bare brush-covered lands of Africa or the grey, city streets of New York, or to the backroom of a film studio in California or into the arms of a little kid in foster care who needs a home. Sometimes His calling is as clear and repetitive as your own heartbeat. He leads you, step after step, heartbeat after heartbeat.

But what if He doesn’t? Or what if it feels like He isn’t?

What if you don’t feel called or led or inclined to do anything great or grand or humble in His name? What if one mission trip looks as good as the next and you don’t care where you go? Or if you go at all? What if one girl is great and the other is great too? What if both jobs seem like solid choices?

The answer is: they both are probably great. Great girls. Great jobs. Great mission trips. Great decisions to make. But you have to make the decision.

I was struggling with this with about going on a mission trip. Somehow it feels like mission trips should be hyper-spiritual decisions, something that needs glaring neon lights pointing you in the right direction. But I didn’t get those lights. I didn’t get that feeling of destiny waiting for me on the other side of the ocean. And I wondered if I should go at all. My first thoughts were maybe this wasn’t right, maybe I wasn’t being led, maybe this wasn’t my job. Fast-forward six weeks and I still didn’t feel anything different. But maybe this trip wasn’t supposed to be all about me? I just know that I am called to love people, and I think that calling means people on the other side of the world, as well as in my neighborhood.

You can’t waste your life waiting for a warm fuzzy feeling from God.

You can’t wait for Him to constantly pat you on the back, telling you you’ve made the perfect choice. Because most of the time, there won’t be a perfect choice.

If you marry Andy, there will be times you might wish you’d married Peter. And if you marry Peter, there will be times you might wish you’d married Andy. If you go to Honduras, it probably isn’t going to be any easier or more perfect than if you go to India.

If faith was all about feelings, it wouldn’t be called faith.

You get to choose. The fact that you get to choose is a gift. It’s called free will and God gave it to you so that life would be rich with real love and real purpose and real relationships. So choose.

This is not to say you shouldn’t be wise and seek God while making your decisions. You should. You need to. Talk with your mentors. Pray. Talk with your close friends. Pray more. Make a list of pros and cons for each option if that’s your style. Consider carefully your options and seek counsel. See if your decision is aligned with scripture. If you’ve done all this, and have peace that you are making a wise decision: make the decision.

Don’t let the devil dissuade you from loving people in Jesus’s name simply because you haven’t felt the feeling you wish you would feel.

Feelings have no intellect. Emotions are not based on Truth. Your decisions need to be.

You can’t go wrong loving people like Jesus does. You can’t go wrong honoring God, whether that’s as a med student, a lawyer, a photographer, a missionary, or an artist. Don’t let indecision paralyze you. Don’t let fear of stepping outside of God’s ‘will’, keep you sitting in the bleachers.

Bleachers will bore you to death.

Sitting in the bleachers slowly disintegrates your faith. Faith was meant to be lived. To be messy. And dirty. And beautiful.

Honor Him. Love others. And move forward.




  1. I needed to read this. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for commenting Bluann! I’m glad this spoke to you – it’s certainly something I’ve been thinking about/struggling with recently :)

  2. Thank you so much for this. Just what I needed. At a crossroad right now dealing with indecision: “Do I stay because its comfortable and never actualize my dream (aka waiting for a crystal clear call from God on what to do)? Or do I leave and go out there to chase my dreams at full force, leaving the comfortable nest for the unknown?” I think perfect providence allowed me to see this message because my answer may just be in it. Thank you, thank you again! I feel free to move forward.

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