What is your purpose? I must admit, this is something I have been asking myself lately, every. single. day. Sure, I know what I love; I know I want to write, I know I want to help others, but when exactly is this all going to happen? When am I going to make a living off of these passions? What if I never get to that point?
I recently graduated with a bachelors degree in sociology and I thought that once I graduated I would have it all figured out. Nope. I don’t even have my outfit figured out! I remember thinking on January 1st of this year ‘This is going to be the year, I am going to be back on my feet again with a place of my own, I’m turning 30, I am graduating, I will have a bachelor’s degree. This is my year! Life is moving forward!” Fast forward a few months down…I turned 30, I moved out, lost a job…landed a job that might as well be in Japan, and now I have arrived at a fork in the road with a recent career path and perhaps re-enrolling into school. Another 2 years in school? Oh boy….
I am not going to lie, the year of 2013 was the hardest year of my life, but for completely different reasons 2018 has been really tough to take in as well. 2013 was filled with tears, starvation, uncertainty, and complete and utter shock and disappointments. 2018 has been no picnic, there has definitely been tears. These tears have been for completely different reasons, turns out that this year is not my year of having my life figured out…..but that is a question of perspective. Then again, I wonder….will I ever have it figured out? Am I even supposed to? Are we even supposed to….
Every single one of us on this earth was born and had a passion placed in our hearts, as well as a purpose. Some find their purpose earlier in lives, but then again purpose can also be seen as perspective. Purpose doesn’t necessarily have to mean your career. Purpose can be anything. How are you living your life? Maybe your purpose is to show kindness to the grumpy customers who walk in the door, maybe your purpose is to give water and shelter to the abandoned animal on the side of the street, maybe a simple hello and smile to the begging homeless man are ways that your purpose can be fulfilled.
There have been so many different things I have wanted to do in my life, I went from wanting to be an actress to a writer, from an Olympic gymnast to a writer, from a writer to a writer, from an English Lit teacher to a writer, from a cosmetologist (so I wouldn’t have to go to college) to a writer, from a person who saves society and then to a writer again….not that I ever wanted to stop being a writer. See the pattern? Writing has been implanted in my heart and perhaps I will one day be some big time best selling novelist…..and maybe I won’t be….but either way maybe writing itself is not my purpose. Maybe who I speak to through my writing is my purpose? Maybe sharing my own experiences through my writing has helped a reader and that has fulfilled a purpose….. perhaps a kind word or gesture that I acted on or spoke was needed in the world daily and that fulfilled a purpose. Is it possible that by just giving a helping hand or displaying kindness to someone who doesn’t even “deserve it” is fulfilling an even greater purpose? Maybe your kindness saved that “undeserving” someone that day. Talk about purpose!
I have on-going challenging relationship with a person whom I consider to be a little more on the difficult side (some relationships you can’t escape as they are family or attached to your children), actually I have a couple challenging relationships…. but this one in particular is my most challenging one and I can’t for the life of me seem to do what is right in this person’s eyes. I can set boundaries, I can be nice, I can even give this person what they want…..and I still lose and become the villain of the story. Regardless of what I do, I am still labeled negatively in this person’s mind, this was something that use to impale me.
I have lived the majority of my life wanting the approval of others, I have been co-dependent, allowed what others thought of me to effect me, which to be honest unfortunately by doing this has allowed opportunities to pass by and relationships to be wrecked….all because of my insecurities. I have allowed what others have said about me to derail me from who I am. I have delayed God’s Will for me by doing this. I have allowed others to speak over me and my life instead of allowing God to do so. What are you allowing? What is the lie that you are in agreement with?
Allowing others to label me has thrown me off from being who I am and who I was meant to be. I have been called flaky, slow, not smart, insecure, weak, a witch (to put in a PG-13 rating), “just a hairstylist”, a drama queen, unstable, indecisive, an over reactor, naive, too trusting, a dreamer, and pathetic. I have also been ridiculed for my faith in Christ, I have been made less of because I have not been to Bible college, and have even been told that I use God ….. I totally let that effect me at the time. Because of all these things I have found myself wanting to prove all the name callers wrong. My mentality had become, “Well, I’ll show them” and all that did was take the energy out of me….and steer me away even more from my focus. The way people think of us is not our focus. What others say about us just doesn’t matter. Yes, yes….words do hurt and words are powerful but you must ask yourself….is what this person saying about me true? Just because someone says something about you, does not make it true. Does this person have power over who or what I am? You can not and will not be able to make everyone happy. As long as you’re breathing and your heart is beating, you will always always always be criticized and thought less of by someone. One of my favorite quotes by Aristotle is this; “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.” Yes! Drop the mic.
After five years of accepting Jesus I am finally understanding that my worth does not come from others opinions of me, what people have done to me, or even my own mistakes and what I have done to others, as yes I too have hurt people. Truthfully, just last night I found myself venting to my friend about someone I care greatly about. I went on and on and on about this person realizing that I was giving my friend who I was venting to foggy colored lenses about this person. I was allowing my friend to see my loved one in a bad light. I immediately felt bad after this. Immediately. Even my own words about someone else hurt me….and them. I admit to you, I am not perfect and I have quite a few kinks to work through within myself, but my kinks do not make me worthless or less. My kinks do not mean that I am behind or that I am not good enough. What others think of me or you is not the definition of who we are. Whether you believe it or see it, God loves you right where you are wherever you are.
What do I ask myself now whenever someone tells me I am not good enough? “OK, but what does God say?” That has become my anthem.
God qualifies the called, he does not call the qualified. Check your motives, check your heart.
So, do I have my life figured out as far as my career or at least until I become an income earning writer? Nope, no I do not. What I do have…..is a God who has not let me go. These past five years I have derailed, I have been enticed to separate from Christ, and I have encountered temptations. Five years ago I was given a promise by God and although I was excited about the promise five years ago, I have asked God to release me from this promise within time. But this year through more tears, confusion, doubt, and scary trials….God has strengthened me a bit more, he has shown me, and told me….that it is not over. So I am choosing to follow and wait.
No matter your age, gender, color, or what you have done or has been done to you…while you are still breathing, and your heart is still beating…..there is still a chance, there is still a way, you still have a purpose. No one is hopeless.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18)