What is my purpose?
What is God’s will for my life?
Growing up in a generation that learned the sky was the limit, that we could be anything we set our minds to become, had its drawbacks. It made all the possibilities endless, which really made them overwhelming.
As a recovering perfectionist, I felt immense pressure to make the best choice, the perfect choice actually.
What should I study?
Where should I go to college?
Who should I marry?
How many kids should I have?
Should I work outside the home?
Should I homeschool, or choose a private or public school for my kids?
What’s the best path to take?
All of this narrows down to a burdensome, debilitating feeling from a question that can be difficult to know a specific answer to…
What is God’s will for my life?
And it is here that we can find ourselves stuck, afraid to make a decision or move forward until we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what we are SUPPOSED to do.
Not wanting to miss our purpose, not knowing our calling, can leave us stagnant, waiting for a “burning bush” (Exodus 3) experience to tell us THE perfect path to take.
Isn’t that what we are after? The God-given specific plan just for us? Knowing 100% what we are meant to do in life? Me, you, every individual…..we all WANT TO KNOW, NEED TO KNOW!
The worst possible thing would be to get it wrong. We don’t want to invest 5-10 years in and realize we picked the wrong school, the wrong job, the “wrong” spouse.
Fast forward with me a few years after getting two degrees in education and then deciding to become a stay-at-home mom for our three children, then 15 years later deciding to work in retail, to currently writing for online ministry full time, all the while serving in women’s ministry as a Bible teacher and speaker for the last 24 years.
What a hot mess?! Right?
Which of it was I REALLY supposed to do?
All of it.
How can I know God’s will for my life?
I learned from the best example what I was supposed to do in life, the one thing that unified it all.
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’ Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’ ‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’
Here, Jesus is equating “food” with the relevancy of doing God’s will and completing that task. He deemed it that valuable and necessary.
Was Jesus saying being a carpenter was God’s will? Or a teacher, a preacher, or a healer?
Jesus was a “jack of all trades” in a way, so what was He supposed to be doing that would be God’s will for Him? Should He be teaching the crowds on the hillside, or preaching in the synagogue, or casting out demons, or feeding the 5,000, or calming the wind and the waves? Maybe raising the dead?
All of it.
What I have learned from years of hindsight is that God has a universal plan that is adaptable to whatever we are doing. Whether it is in our schools, careers, communities, or families, Jesus knew there was ONE PURPOSE that covered it all.
How can I make a difference?
When I was teaching kindergarten, my purpose was to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! In the lives of my students, their families, my co-workers, I was to make a difference for the kingdom of God.
When I was a stay-at-home-mom, I was to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! In the lives of my children, their friends, their schools, the people at their extracurricular events, other mothers, I was to make a difference for the kingdom of God!
When I was working retail, my purpose was to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! In the lives of my clients and co-workers, I was to impact them for the good of the kingdom of God!
Whether I am speaking, teaching, writing or mentoring, I am to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! In the lives of those I am in a community within my church or those internationally who read from my website, I am to serve them for the glory of Christ!
Whether I was loving and serving those inside my home or outside my community, my purpose, the ONE THING that was God’s personal plan for MY life, was to make a difference. No matter what season of life I was in or my sphere of activity at the time, the one purpose remained consistent.
It happens in countless ways every day, much of it unplanned. Often, it comes down to choosing to show Christ to all you encounter.It comes down to choosing to show Christ to all you encounter. Click To Tweet
How will I know what to do?
I remember one instance when it was so subtle, I could have easily missed it. Or even ignored it on purpose.
I was coming through the Walmart checkout line feeling kind of “snazzy” (we sometimes feel this way in the south😂). And believe me, I recognize the laugh of feeling snazzy at Walmart 🙄😉. I don’t even remember if I was working outside the home or not at the time. But I do remember I was wearing my favorite necklace that absolutely went with everything! I loved fashion so this necklace was versatile and just the perfect finishing piece to so many outfits.
The cashier complimented my necklace which is no big deal. I just said “thank you” and thought nothing more. But then she kept talking about it. (Uh oh!) She asked where I bought it and asked if I thought they had any more of them. I began to get that sinking feeling of knowing where this was heading.
I was trying to hurry up and get out of there because I knew what was coming…….the Holy Spirit began to nudge me to give her my necklace.
What did I do with the necklace?
Well, mind you it wasn’t an expensive necklace at all, but it was valuable because it went perfectly with so much of my wardrobe. But I began to think that it was highly unlikely that this cashier would probably go to the store where I had purchased it and if she did, they would have sold out by now. The necklace wasn’t new.
I really didn’t want to lose my favorite piece of jewelry. But what I wanted more was to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
So I unhooked the necklace and handed it to her saying, “Because of what Jesus has done for me, I want to do this for you.”
She was floored.
I smiled and walked away, knowing I had made a difference for the kingdom of God as I loved her more than myself in that moment.
As I listened to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I knew in that moment what my purpose was.
To this day, I miss that necklace. I have wished for it many times. I wonder if I could make myself do that again, as silly as that sounds. I’ve even questioned if she used that necklace very long.
But that is what the devil would have me ponder so I wouldn’t be willing to “sacrifice” again, in order to make a difference in someone’s life, for the sake of the kingdom.
My purpose, your purpose, is to do the will of Him who sent us here. Additionally, we are to impact this world whether we are teachers, students, cashiers, or doctors. No matter who we have picked to marry or if we are single, no matter how many kids we have, whether we are young or old, living in the city or country, whether we went to school for one thing but we’re doing a different thing, we are called to the purpose of the will and work of God.
One choice at a time, one person at a time, that is our singular, personal purpose each and every day.
So don’t get caught up with all the options in life and what you should do.
Just go MAKE A DIFFERENCE in whatever you do!
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24