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Paula Faris: Moving Past Fear to Embrace True Calling

Paula Faris is the host of the ABC podcast Journeys of Faith, a former weekend anchor of Good Morning America and former co-host of The View. In her book, Called Out: Why I Traded Two Dream Jobs for a Life of True Calling, she shares what led to her making the decision to step out of her dream jobs, embrace her faith calling, and explore vocational calling with a new perspective. 

How can someone tell if God is trying to get their attention? 

You just look around. You assess the landscape. Ask yourself, do your professional choices clash with your professed values? Are you burned out? Are your relationships around you suffering? I was leaning in so hard to the wrong things and bought that lie that my value was in my vocation. 

It can be very scary, but God can speak to you in a myriad of ways. I knew He was trying to get my attention through this crisis, but along the way, I really felt Him speaking to me, not necessarily audibly, but I really believe that God can speak to you through sermons, through songs, through scriptures…through trusted people in our life, through dreams. You know, you're in the car and you're like, “That song really touched me with God.” God can get your attention for things like that, so don't overlook that. God speaks to us in a myriad a myriad of ways. For me it was a crisis, but it doesn't have to be a crisis for everybody. You can sense it in your spirit when God is leading you in a different direction. 

What’s the difference between a faith calling and a vocational calling? 

Unfortunately, in our society we say calling is our career, and that our value is vocation. And so saying, “find your calling,” becomes synonymous with what we do. It's synonymous with job, and so when I stepped away [from my dream jobs], I had an identity crisis. I thought, if I was called to do this, why would God allow this to happen? Why would I crash so spectacularly? But it's because I had it all wrong. 

We need to be firmly planted in our purpose or our faith calling, which is unchangeable, and it has nothing to do with what we do. It is all about who we are. It is your purpose statement and it will not change. Mine is to love God and love people, and the way that I go about doing that is through my vocation and vocational calling, which will change along the way. And so I see vocation as just a vehicle or a conduit by which I will love God. It's not being the best broadcaster that I can be: it's loving God, loving people. Because of that, we cannot get our worth from work. We cannot get our value from vocation. 

How can we set aside fear to embrace what God has for us? 

I think we have to realize that fear is part of the game, and fear is a lie from the devil. Fear is something that we all have to push through, realizing where it’s source is. Whenever you're making a decision, you have to push past the fear, but it's up to you to push past it. Your resolve has to be bigger, and you have to remember that everybody struggles with it. It's not just you. And then remember that there has to be faith involved in the decision. Like we want to know what Chapter 19 says in our life, but we have to finish writing Chapter 18. And that's how you step into faith.

I love that quote from Martin Luther King: “Faith is taking that first step on the staircase. When you can't see the rest of the staircase, it's taking that very first step.” There are going to be moments in your life where you feel like you can't even see the step you're on. That's called living a purpose driven life. That's called being obedient. And so often we want to know all the answers, but that's not how living the Christian life works. We're going to have troubles, but take heart because we know that good overcomes evil.

How does your podcast, Journeys of Faith, land at the intersection of your two callings? 

My faith has been my foundation my whole life, and so I wanted to give others in the mainstream an opportunity to talk about something that they're not given an opportunity to talk about. I feel like this is something that God really put on my heart to do when I was stepping into that space of ambiguity. Loving God and loving people is what I'm here to do, right? This is my way of uniquely loving God and loving people, to sit across from them, no matter what their faith is and to show them the love of Jesus just. This is something that was on my heart and I feel like I've really been able to show people the love of God and the love of Jesus through this podcast. 

Click here to purchase Called Out.

Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Paula Faris
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