Nearly a year ago, I wrote a blog about Knowing Your Purpose. I quoted smart marketing gurus and challenged ya’ll to take a good look and figure out what your brand is—who you’re meant to be.
When I started out, I thought the whole process might take a few weeks. I’d already done a lot of research so the rest shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. Boy, was I wrong.
It took me 11 months (and I’m not convinced I’m done yet).
To my credit, I waited and didn’t rush it. Sure, I tried a few things on and attempted to mold myself to what I figured everyone was expecting of me, but then I listened to the quiet part. The part that gives you peace and says yes (or no). I didn’t hear it so I kept searching.
In my searching, I had to traverse some unhappy ground—the kind that can be a turning point. You know, the stuff that pushes your belief limits—the kind of events people look back on and realize that’s where it stopped—that’s where they stopped trusting/living/hoping. I had asked God to help me understand my purpose. And instead of lighting up the universe with a rainbow, he responded by allowing some major junk to happen in my life.
That didn’t seem helpful.
Halfway through 2016, it dawned on me that my word of the year might be part of my problem. Warrior. Prior to Warrior, my life hadn’t been perfect, but it had been good and nicely predictable.
However, my Warrior word highlighted my weaknesses, fears and failings and had landed me even farther from figuring out my brand or nailing down my purpose.
But then something I didn’t expect happened.
Somewhere during the hardship, I changed or maybe a better way to put it is to say I was changed.
Perhaps some people can know God without going through pain. Maybe his love shines brightly filtered through an understanding built on a foundation carved out by others who have shared their experiences. Maybe that’s how it happens for some.
But I’m pretty sure I needed to face the wrong answer, the questions, loss. It was in those places I woke up to find God faithful, full, and totally enough. And somehow I learned what it meant to be me.
Last year I wrote about how everyone needs to figure out their brand and who they are. This year I implore you to start seeking. I can’t give you the path to finding out God’s purpose for you, but I can assure you that he does have one.
And it’s not found in your efforts. It’s found in him. He will show it to you. Just be honest with yourself and him. Trust him, and he will guide you. Seek him, and he will be found. And while you’re busy doing that, you might just find you’re being changed into who you’re meant to be– your loved and forgiven self.
Beautiful post, Mary Beth. I’ve been on a similar journey this year. My favorite takeaway… finding God’s purpose won’t be found in my efforts but in Him alone.
Thanks Cathy! Hugs!