One of the biggest struggles I’ve had throughout my life has been figuring out what my purpose is. I used to think purpose loosely translated meant career and struggled for years dabbling in all sorts of different jobs and training classes trying to figure out what career purpose I was meant to have.
I used to think my purpose was to be a teacher. Then I started taking teaching classes my senior year of college while working in a classroom, and realized that this was NOT my purpose nor would it be my career either. I tried making crafts, I went back to school to be a preschool teacher, I managed a beauty supply, I looked into photography, writing children’s literature, worked in a dental office, worked at Starbucks, was a care taker, was a nanny, and finally decided that my purpose wasn’t a career but that it was to be a stay at home mom.
I struggled in the waiting to start trying for children so I could finally pursue my purpose. Then I struggled in the waiting of trying to get pregnant, adopt, etc. so I could begin living my purpose. During this time I really tried hard to find my purpose in Christ knowing in my head that was the correct answer. I did feel that was true at moments in time, albeit brief, they were relieving. However, in the back of my head I always thought my true purpose and fulfillment would be to become a mother.
It’s so fitting and crazy to me to realize that only after finally really letting go of the idea of me being a mother, and embracing my identity in not being a mother, that I have finally found purpose in my life. Only in listening to God that that’s not His will for me right now, and admitting it to myself and others am I finally free to know and truly believe my purpose is in Christ and in any small or big thing He calls me to do. Everything big or small has meaning and purpose in my life because it’s ALL God’s will. My purpose is to listen and do it. Finally I truly feel and know my purpose and it’s the most amazing and fulfilling feeling in the world. It’s like I wasn’t truly and completely living until now.
It’s also so interesting to me that the one thing I thought I wanted the most in this life was the one thing that kept me from hearing God clearly because my own desires interfered with it. I wanted to believe for the longest time that it was just my own thoughts, and not God’s, telling me we weren’t going to have kids. I tried to cover up and ignore the tugging on my heart that I knew was His prodding and play it off as my own. That confused my ability to hear God in other things because I held on so tightly to trying to believe my own voice was God’s.
Now letting go of that allows me to hear Him more clearly in other areas as well. Some small and some large, but all are so much more important now that I truly realize that EVERY action, EVERY conversation, EVERY friendship, EVERY relationship, and EVERY moment is a gift from God and that there is so much more to them than randomness. God works special moments, miracles, and so much more through all of those when I allow myself to be more conscious of the fact that it ALL means something more than just going through the motions. God has a plan for EVERY moment, and there is PURPOSE in every moment. I don’t want to let one miracle, blessing, or plan from God slip by because I’m not paying attention and acknowledging how much more is constantly going on than meets the eye.
I’ll be honest that sometimes I still grieve the loss of my plan and desire for children, but I’m also so thankful that I have been able to realize what my true purpose is through this loss. It’s ironically the most fulfilling feeling ever. My purpose is not one thing, but to constantly be aware of God and every minute that He blesses me with, as well as all the things He wants me to invest in and have purpose through.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.