• Niki Sparks

Whatever You Do



“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”

Colossians 3:23, NIV

It has been more than four years since I got the phone calls—two in less than a day—letting me know that the callings I had so readily embraced and defined myself by were ending. My childhood wounds all show up as a desire for significance, and the brief time that I got to be the Women’s Ministry Director of my church was everything I’d always known it would be. I got to speak and teach and plan things to feed the women of our fast-growing church. I was on a team with my truest friends in the church and we met frequently to dream and plan, and our love for each other and Jesus made it a magical group to be a part of.

Unexpectedly, the church decided not to have a Women’s Ministry anymore, and a couple weeks after a call letting me know it was a possibility that the ministry would end, I got the call saying it was over. That was enough to send me into mourning, but then another call came. I had a second part-time job with a non-profit family foundation. I recruited and organized teams of volunteers to help charities in Denver that did wonderful things like serving families with a Down syndrome child or helping get foster kids adopted into forever families. We also collected backpacks full of school supplies for at-risk teens and gave Christmas gifts to single parents and their kids. The highlight of my time at the non-profit was planning and hosting a prom for Down syndrome teens and adults. We invited the girls to a local bridal shop to try on gowns and bought them their favorite one to wear to the dance. You have never seen beauty till you’ve seen these girls modeling and twirling and squealing with delight at their princess-selves as they stepped in front of the mirror in gown after gown.

That job was over too. In the same 24-hour period, I lost my positions as both Women’s Ministry Director and working for the foundation. Both times I was assured that I couldn’t have done anything different; one was a church structure change and one was a financial decision.

I took my dog to our favorite hiking trail and put Building 429’s “Where I Belong” on repeat and stood on top of Dakota Ridge and wept for everything I’d lost. How could this be God’s plan? How could teaching Scripture to the women of my church and planning a prom for Down syndrome kids and giving backpacks and gifts to those who have so little not be His will for me? What could be a better calling than that?

“Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men…” – Colossians 3:23, AMP

Fast-forward a year and I am working for my husband’s aesthetic laser company as the Marketing Director. The girl in me who loves a significant title is thrilled to be a Director again, but the aesthetic industry is a far cry from ministry work. Daily, I question if this could really be God’s plan for me.

If you asked me which was godlier, which sounds like a calling, I’d say non-profit and church work beat out marketing for an aesthetic company, but I didn’t get asked. I got placed where I am supposed to be right now, working from the soul and putting forth my best effort as if I’m working for God himself.

So, what does that look like? Here are a few ways I find my calling where I am right now:

  • Office Mom: most of our employees are Millennials. I make sure there are plenty of snacks and drinks in the break room and remember their birthdays. My door is always open to talk about life, love, sick kids and grandparents, and career paths that may or may not involve working with us long-term.

  • Find the ministry in the business: we celebrate and give press to those who use our products to changes lives. Our tattoo removal lasers are being used to remove “branding” tattoos from former sex trafficked women. There are also clients who use our lasers to erase tattoos from former gang members to give them a better chance at getting a good job. I will never tire of telling these stories and sharing them on our social media channels and our company web site.

  • Modeling a Christian marriage: many of the people we work with are not believers or aren’t married yet. Mike and I show each other great respect at work, never speak negatively about the other, and are still pretty crazy about each other after 20 years together.

  • Find other ways to live out your desired calling: the thing I miss most from my Women’s Ministry days is teaching. So, I co-lead a Bible study, teach Holy Yoga classes, and am writing a Bible study book with one of my squad from the former Women’s Ministry team.

Do I wish I was still leading Women’s Ministry and working for the non-profit? Yes, many days I do, but I also see God doing new things in me right where I am today.

Whatever you do right now, trust that you are doing it for God Himself. Act like you are doing it for God. Do it with excellence and from your soul. Maybe, if we learn the lesson He has for us in this job, we will get to move on to that thing that feels a lot more like our next true calling sooner.


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