Moody Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies
How do you determine God’s leading in your life? When people say they are called by God, what exactly do they mean? Moody professor Kelli Worrall recently shared how she has seen God’s leading in the lives of her students, and how you, too, can answer His call.
During a new student orientation dinner, freshman student, Emily, was so nervous that she immediately whispered a warning to her mom—“I’m not staying here.” Emily hadn’t yet sat through a class, met a professor, or settled into her dorm room, but she already wanted to quit. How can I be sure God has called me to Moody? Emily wondered.
Kelli recalls how Emily struggled to navigate God’s call. As a professor of Communications, Kelli has walked beside many students as they navigated this familiar struggle.
The same may be true of you. How do you discern the call of God in your life? How do you distinguish between your own desires and what God wants for you? For Kelli, the answer is deeply personal.
In her early years at Moody, Kelli taught part-time, but as she grew into the role of teaching, the Lord began to ask more of her. She published two books through Moody Publishers and became a full-time professor. Then she felt His leading to speak at various conferences and seminars, ministering to women, families, and students.
As she has navigated her own calling, Kelli found herself helping others. Emily, as a sophomore, was still uncertain about her place at Moody. Kelli often took students like Emily under her wing to mentor and help them through the thick of discerning God’s call.
“Calling is a word we regularly throw around—often without being clear on what we mean,” says Kelli—but she believes that the concept of calling doesn’t have to be so complicated. “Sometimes God steps in and gives very particular calls to very particular people at specific times. But we are all called to pursue Him and share the gospel. That’s the daily walk, and every Christian shares this daily walk.”
When Emily came to Kelli for advice, Kelli told her to stay close to the Lord. “You don’t need a burning bush. God is not a God of confusion—if there is something He wants you to do, He will make it clear. Until then, stay close to the Lord and walk the daily walk.”
Staying close to God means spending time in prayer, reading God’s Word, and being an active part of a local church body.
Moody took notice of Kelli’s growing role as a professor, and asked her to take the role of division chair of Music and Media Arts. At first Kelli declined their request. The task sounded daunting—beyond her own estimation of her talents. “I wasn’t even sure that my gifting or skills were enough for that role,” she says.
Eventually the school asked Kelli to reconsider. As she sought the Lord’s guidance, she learned where she could grow, and despite how ill-equipped she felt, how the Lord could use her in this new role. She also saw that God wanted to grow her.
“Sometimes, answering your call isn’t just about the influence you can have on other people,” Kelli adds. “Sometimes His call is about how He wants to work in and grow us.”
Last semester, Kelli was thrilled to see Emily present the culminating project of her four years at Moody. The senior student had written testimonies shared by women on her floor, creating a project to foster community and encourage those who were struggling. Kelli loved the irony—four years ago, Emily wanted to quit. Now she was being used by God to mentor others.
God often calls us in ways that stretch us and grow us. Rather than relying on what we think we are able to do, we can trust Him to show us what He can do through us. “The most important thing,” Kelli says, as she considers stories like Emily’s and remembers the advice she gave the young student, “stay close to the Lord. Seek to do His will, draw close to Him, prioritize time with Him.”
Moody students are finishing this year with online classes. And this year’s graduates, whose commencement ceremonies were cancelled, are facing an unpredictable future. That is why we are thankful for your faithful support of Moody Bible Institute. Because of your help, Moody can continue to prepare students to follow God’s call, living out their faith based on the unshakable truth of God’s Word.