The Called vs. The Chosen

tonyaBy the age of 25 I began experiencing tragedy after tragedy.  By age 37, I had already experienced the death of a child, the death of a sibling, and the death of a mother in law. This had me constantly wondering what would happen next. One day my husband said something to me that hit me like a ton of bricks.  He said, “Some of us are chosen.” This resonated with me in a very bone chilling fashion because it caused me to think, “Am I chosen?”  If I was chosen, then exactly for what had I been chosen. Matthew 22:14 says, “Many are called few are chosen.”I can vividly recall, while growing up, my mother telling me that I wasn’t supposed to be here.  “Here” meaning on earth, because my mother had a miscarriage of her baby that was conceived immediately before me. She always told me that had that baby survived, I would not have been conceived.


Throughout Elementary school, Junior High, High School and even College, I found myself always being overlooked. Initially I thought it was maybe a coincidence that my name was left off the awards list or left off of the gifted roster and all the other things that happen to top scorers in the school, or it just happened to be my file that was misplaced. However, it was my mother’s theory that I was not supposed to be here and that this was evidenced by these events.  I can vividly recall after my senior year applying for an organization called Inroads that was supposed to take me through an internship for 4 years while I was in college and I would get hired by the company upon graduating from college. In this internship, I would work every summer, winter break and spring break for a particular company. I went through a rigorous 3 months of training and at the end of the three months every student was supposed to get an assignment for a company based upon an interest.

There were hundreds of students in the program and everyone received an internship by the end of the summer except me. How could that happen? To me it was absurd, but unfortunately it was true.  Since I had already been working for the Clorox Company concurrently while being in Inroads– in a position that my former high school principal had helped me receive–I just stayed at Clorox (but this was not affiliated with Inroads) and ended up seeing a lot of the students from the Inroads program who had been placed there in internships. While I realized that this could have been purely a coincidence, too many things were happening to me making me believe that perhaps my mother was right. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be here; either that or maybe God was ordering my steps. Maybe I was chosen.


I could remember saying I never wanted to get married, however I can vividly recall something almost cosmic happening when I met my husband because I had never seen him before, yet he was on one of our home videos when we went back to look at our old movie films that we created as children in the church. I had never met him, so this was so scary to me, but my dad knew him well.  When I met him for the first time, I was 20 and he was 25 and there was a chemistry that was passed through both of us that was unlike any other.

Although I’ve experienced tragedy after tragedy and always thought that no one goes through this much crisis, I was reminded that when you are chosen, life is not a cake walk. Things are much more difficult for the chosen person than for the average person. As I was recently honored with the 2015 Unsung Hero award and heard Bro. Heard (one of our congregational Elders) read my life, I stepped outside of myself and listened and saw my flashing before my eyes.  I had finally made the connection.

Abel was chosen, Joseph was chosen, Job was Chosen, Mary was chosen, and Jesus was chosen.  If you have a story like this, then perhaps you have not been called, but you have been chosen.

Are you called or have you been chosen?

Tonya DJ Saheli, JD, MS

Posted on May 10, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I was not chosen or called, but kicked!

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