calling, purpose

I’m Compelled

Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy.

Authors are either audacious or brave or both. What makes us think we have something to say? Doubts fill my mind. But as a blogger, writer, author, I’m finding that my “job” is not about the writing or the blog or the books or any of this. It’s about a compelling. 

I am compelled to write. What started as a whisper from God for an idea for a book seven years ago has become my life.

It’s 8:30 at night on a Thursday, and I’m compelled to sit down and type a post for tomorrow. Nobody is forcing me. No paycheck awaits in my mailbox at the end of the month. I just can’t help it.

Are you compelled to do something? Do you feel if you don’t do that activity a piece of you will be missing?

If you feel compelled, I believe that is a sign of the calling. Perhaps Gabriel didn’t surprise you nor a burning bush lit your path, but you know. God has called you.

But despite the compelling and calling, do you doubt you can do what you’re compelled to do?

Me too!

Are we crazy?


But. . .

2 Cor. 9-8

“. . . God is able to make all grace abound to us, so that in all things, at all times, having all that we need, we will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8) (plural mine.)

Isn’t that a great promise? The word “grace” comes from a word meaning “causing joy, pleasure, and delight.

How do we know the compelling is from God? We know it when He gives us the grace–the joy, pleasure, and delight in the job.

The other morning as I wrestled through my (almost) daily battle about whether or not I could do what I’m compelled to do, a picture flashed through my mind of the women who anointed Jesus. Maybe these anointings were fresh on my mind because I just finished line edits for A Mary Like Me. I write about these women in the book. I love the act of worship they performed. (John 12:1-8 and Luke 7:37-39)

I often visualize worshiping Him this way.

But this time as the story flashed through my mind, I was not the one pouring the oil; I was the alabaster jar.

I wasn’t the one pouring.

I wasn’t the oil.

I was simply the vessel being emptied. 

Just a plain, simple, kind of ugly jar.

I didn’t own the contents of the jar nor the hand pouring the contents out.

I was the one being held.

And the fragrant oil was something wonderful that someone had filled me with.

I was simply the vessel of which the oil was being poured out.

And somehow with no words at all, God settled my fears. He showed me that this calling is not about my talent or wisdom. It’s not about what I can do for Him. It’s simply about being apart of something greater.

It’s about worship.

And I’m compelled. 


Share your thoughts: What are you compelled to do? Does this post help you to obey–to be the vessel?


Jesus loves you,






  1. I love the idea of being the alabaster jar – not pretty, but made beautiful by the contents, and whose purpose is to be filled and then poured out. That’s my prayer always. Let me be His instrument (or jar). Thanks, Andy. Beautiful image.

    1. Amen! We’ll be ordinary jars together. :) Much love, Cathy. Thanks for the sweet comment.

  2. Andy, your message is so spot on for me. When He called me to write the hard stuff from my life, like abuse, my fear runeth over. But compelled is the descriptive word and I Love the visual of the vessel. I will remember who holds the vessel, when doubt comes my way. Thank you for blessing me with your words.

    1. Hey Jennifer! I’m so thankful this post will help you keep on writing even the hard stuff. Our greatest ministry comes from our largest hurts. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thank you SO much for sharing this, Andy!! This is something I constantly struggle with, and it’s encouraging to know I’m not alone :). I love the visual of being the jar, just allowing God’s fragrance to flow through me. I pray that it does indeed. Be blessed, my soul sister and remain faithful to the call!


    1. Hey Remi! You’re not alone. ;) keep pouring out the beautiful words of faith and trust you write. So glad this encouraged you. Thanks for stopping by! Much love.

  4. Thank you, Andy, for writing this. It wonderfully takes the stress out of the process — just be the one being held. Pour out what’s inside, then — with writing anyway — drink it back in and let myself be held until it’s poured out anew in the edit. Sharing.

    1. I love your words, Terry. God is so good to us. Keep writing my friend. Thanks for sharing!

  5. It seems the things I’m compelled to do by the Holy Spirit take me waaay beyond my comfort zone. I’m compelled to write, compelled to lead worship, and compelled to share my testimony often. Even though I follow through (usually), I question myself with nagging thoughts like, “what makes you think you are good enough?” I then remember, I’m not—BUT greater is He who is in me! When I abide in Him, I’m compelled to press on!
    Thanks for this wonderful post. Blessings to you and yours. Oh, by the way, I’m a huge cat and coffee lover :)

    1. Dear Becky, I think we’re kindred spirits (cat, coffee, and word lovers) except for the leading worship part. I love to worship, but I’ve not got the voice to lead and am not compelled to, hallelujah! Prayers and grace in your compelling. Keep writing, keep sharing, and keep leading worship! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. “… Love would I offer unto Love’s great Master, set free the fragrance, break the alabaster.”

    1. <3 Susan Ely. :)

  7. Cheryl Johnston

    What a beautiful post, Andy. I am feeling compelled to share it with a gentleman in Africa who has a ministry helping orphans, single moms, widows, etc. He is feeling compelled to start a church. Please pray for Charles, that God would make His will perfectly clear to him.

    Like you, I am also compelled to write as a form of worship. Worship happens as He pours thoughts through my mind and they flow out through fingers tapping a laptop keyboard…prayer unceasing…as part of The Body of Christ. Blessings, sweet friend.

    1. I will be praying for him, Cheryl! Please share with him. I know you know the compelling. Keep writing! Love you!

  8. Aunt Nannie

    Sweet Babe, your post this AM reminds me of when you were small and would burst into song~~singing Ruby Red Dress~~~you may remember in the song there is a line~~~
    ‘when your insane, nobody ask you to explain”~~~~so I would say this, learning from a young Andy, being compelled to share her favorite song~~~being compelling can bring lots of charm and laughter~~~and amazing grace.

    1. LOL! I have absolutely no recollection of that song, but I do remember singing into the tape recorder, “Leaving on a jet Plane!” Yes, I guess I was a charmer. :) Took after my Aunt Janice. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    2. Cheryl Johnston

      What a sweet story! Now I have to find the song for the remaining words and tune. Thanks for sharing this insight into Andy’s childhood.

  9. Andy,

    Perfect thought!

    I have no doubt that you are spot on on this one.

    Keep feeling compelled.

    Gary Sorrells

    1. Thanks kindred spirit, Gary. You too!

  10. Andy, other members of our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook will surely identify, so I’ll highlight your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog – God bless.

    1. Thanks, Mary! I rarely post to the group, but today I felt “compelled’. I pray it encouraged many who share this calling.

  11. I feel compelled to play for a Contemporary Church Service (Grand Piano) even though it makes me terribly nervous to play in front of people. But I love the service and the songs we sing. We no longer have a band, which I had played keyboard in, so I continue alone on the piano. My 10 year old cat died suddenly of a blood clot 2 weeks ago. After having cats in this house for 40 years or so, I could not stand the loneliness any more. I had the choice of many cats but narrowed it down to 2. The first one was perfect. Absolutely perfect. The second had almost died this summer after developing feline distemper. She’s temperamental and feisty. Will cuddle up and then suddenly bite you. Who knows what she could develop health-wise as a result of being so sick and almost dying this summer? After also giving birth to multiple kittens while sick with this illness. But she doesn’t get along with the other cats at her foster home so is kept in a separate building. After all she’s been through, why didn’t I take the perfect black cat? Because I felt compelled to take one in who had had a lot of bad things happen to her in her short life. And hope to give her a happier life. Mutual need.

    1. Thank you for sharing your “compelling” Clarice! I applaud you for playing the piano when it makes you nervous to do so! I could never. :) I’m a closet pianist. And I’m a cat lover too. I’m sure with a lot of love and prayer this blessed kitty chosen by you will be a blessing. My Hank (new kitty) is, but I’ve had to pray for a lot of grace for all of us LOL! Much love and many blessings on you. Keep living your life as an offering.

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