Fulfilling Purpose

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately.  I think it's a totally natural question to ask when like me, you find yourself in a place of transition, of being "in-between things" as I always answer these days when people ask me, "So what do you do?"

I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the question 'what is my purpose'.  It's a great one, because it keeps me looking forward; it helps me to dig deep and think about in the long run, what do I want to do with my life and why.  But then on the other hand it sometimes feels like a weight on my shoulders.  On days when I feel less optimistic about finding my calling, thinking about it sends my mind into a spin.   It's the double-edged sword of: This world is full of opportunities- there are many ways that I could find purpose and make a difference VS. this world is FULL of opportunities, how can I possibly determine where my next step should be?

In my mission to be in love with my life I have thought a lot about what inspires me, what gets me motivated.  And I have allowed those to be the things that determine my next steps in the past couple weeks.  That's what is leading me towards putting more effort into this journey with my blog.  But, even amidst choosing joy, there is always the dark voice in the back of my mind that tries to creep in, asking- "well what are you doing this for?  What's the point?  You don't even have a purpose.  Who really even cares, just give up!" When I have moments like this, it is hard not to get discouraged.  To get caught up in the self-destructing mind spin of thinking maybe that little voice is right, maybe I have no purpose, maybe I'm not doing anything that is positively affecting this world, maybe I'm not going to find my purpose.

Struggling with this dark voice lately, I was glad when I stumbled across an encouraging word in my Bible reading.  Psalm 138:8 spoke directly to my fears and questions of purpose.  It says,
"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever-- do not abandon the works of your hands." 
This verse jumped off the pages and really spoke to my heart.  The first encouragement that spoke to me is this, "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me."  It doesn't say, might fulfill, it says WILL fulfill.  It's not a question, not a doubt; it's a promise.  And the second is this.  "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me."   This is a part that is so near and dear to my heart.

About four years ago, I had a big perspective change in my life.  It's a big piece of my life story, one of the parts of my testimony that I get really excited about.  Here's what I discovered...

My life is not about me.  It's not about my desires to be good, loving, caring, and Christ-like.  Instead, it is about God's story- about His love, His purpose for this earth, and how He wants ME to be a part of that.

If you've never thought about this before, I know it sounds super strange.  It almost sounds like we have an arrogant God who only cares about his big picture, but that's not what it is at all.  God is a loving, caring god who has a wonderful plan for this world, and He loves you and me so much that he wants to give us a place in that plan.  [I had no idea this post was gonna feel so 'preachy' sounding, so forgive me.  But it's just a huge piece of my heart so I feel like I have to share, in order to be true to who I am.]    

It's a lot to think about.  I know.  It took me awhile to understand the difference between these two perspectives, but once I did- it was a HUGE shift for me.  It is this perspective change, this understanding that I am a part of God's desire to love and redeem the whole world, that really gave me an understanding of my place in this world.

What I'm now realizing is that for me, it's not really a question of what my purpose is, but of how I am going to fulfill that purpose.  

After reading the verse "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me" - I am walking away feeling encouraged.  I feel such a strong affirmation that even though right now I have no inclination of what my next steps are, or what my day-to-day, future job calling may look like, He does in fact have a purpose for me.  And HE WILL fulfill it.  But not only does he know the what of my purpose, He also knows the how.  And I am confident that in His perfect timing, I will know that part too.

I'm not alone in this... You, too, ARE GOING TO fulfill the purpose that the Lord has planned for you. Is this something you've thought about?  My hope is that if you haven't, you might.  It's a difficult question to think about, but it can be so so rewarding.


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