“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” ―Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
Why are you writing a book?
The never ending question. Why do you do what you do? What is your purpose?
This question has plagued me my entire life. What do you want to do with your life, and why? What is your calling? Surrounded by people with focused intent, clear vision, and abounding passion; this question has drowned me with insecurity.
They often say, “do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”
Well that sounds AMAZING! If you know what you love. Some of you may laugh and say, “how do you not know what you love?” and are living careers and lives you have dreamed of since childhood. Well, it is not that easy for everyone. I can’t tell you how many times I have wondered what was wrong with me, how many nights I stayed up researching various careers, just hoping beyond hope that the next time someone asked, I could answer with confidence.
That is why I want to share my story. Don’t give up hope. Do not sink into despair that you are doomed to live a life of mediocrity and uncertainty.
I believe that EVERYONE has a purpose. A unique destiny that is specific for you. No one else can fulfill YOUR part in God’s plan.
I tried to find purpose in my career and it left me with nothing but bruised pride and heartache.
The Bible teaches,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope a a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
When I first read this verse, I thought that it meant that God had a schedule for my life. That every second of my life is mapped out and that if I don’t do exactly the right thing in every moment, that I would miss out on this amazing future that He had for me.
I was very wrong.
God was speaking to His people, living in exile in Babylon, having been taken from their home of Jerusalem. Could you imagine how hopeless they felt? Forced from their homes and their inheritances. Everything their ancestors had worked for, fought for, died for: gone.
So God spoke. He gave them this promise in Jeremiah 29:11 to remind them that He has a plan for them, and that it is good! In the verse just before, He says that after seventy years, He would come to them and fulfill His promise to bring them home.
It is not about being perfect. It is not about living in fear that you might do the wrong thing. Trust me, this was a hard lesson for me to learn. It is trusting that God HAS a plan for YOU, and that it is WAY better than anything you could ever imagine. God WANTS to bless us.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28 (NIV)
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in good work.” -2 Corinthians 9:8 (How amazing would a life like this be!)
I know that you were probably wishing that I would just give you a magic list for success and happiness in your career (I looked for that on many blogs and never found one). But I can tell you one thing: You will NEVER find your purpose in things that you do. You HAVE purpose because you are a child of God and He believes that you matter.
Until you figure that out, you will always be dissatisfied.
I know, because I have lived this.
Some of you may already know this, have already found your purpose at a child of God. But still, you agonize over your calling. You desire to further God’s kingdom, to live in joy of your work here on earth. Here are a few things you should know:
1. God hears you.
Just as he heard his people cry out from exile, He hears your cry for direction. “Then when you call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)
2. God will speak to you.
God didn’t just speak to people in Old Testament times. In fact, in those times He only showed up to a select few. Today, He speaks constantly. Just keep asking for direction! Don’t stop! Get His attention through diligently seeking Him through prayer, fasting, and reading His Word. I PROMISE you that you will hear from Him.
3. You often have to move first.
God loves action. Especially action built on faith. If there is something that you have always been passionate about, something you have always wanted to try, something that has been nagging at the back of your mind but you dismissed it due to impracticality; try it. I promise God will show up. He may open doors, He may close them, but He won’t do any of that if you are too scared to act.
4. If you ask Him for a calling, beware, because He might give you one.
Everyone loves watching heroes (both fictional and non) achieve their calling in life no matter the odds. However, we often glaze over the struggle and insane amount of work that it took them to get there. It would just be easier living a life without direction, based solely on your own pleasure in the moment. Safer to forget dreaming and pursue the conventional.
When God gives you a calling, it will not be comfortable. It will involve taking a lot of risks, growing your faith, and and sacrificing much of your comfort for others.
But I promise you, it will be magnificent.
Please feel free to comment and ask any questions you might have. I am no theologian, I only have my personal study and experiences to draw upon so please remark below if you have any opinions. I am always open to discussion!