That word tends to evoke an array of reactions from people – never neutral though. Either, they turn quickly away from it because of the amount of effort required to discover it and they really don’t have the time or energy. In others, it raises a multitude of questions because they have no idea how one can discover one’s purpose so they put it down out of sheer confusion. Yet still, in others it is the beginning of a lifetime itch that can only be scratched by daily searching and asking questions to discover who they have always been but never knew.
I love how the Oxford Dictionary defines purpose: “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists”. Who am I? Why am I here? These are the questions that ultimately lead one to discovering their purpose (Teach Me The Bible). You exist for a reason and were created on purpose for a reason by God (Genesis 1:26 – 28).
I think I had subconsciously been asking this question since childhood (and I actually think we all do). It really started to bother me after I’d graduated and I was working. I had come to know a loving Creator who told me that He knew the plans He had for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and that I was created to bring Him glory (Proverbs 16:4; 1 Corinthians 10:31). That was so wonderful to know! BUT, it evoked even more questions – how do I bring Him glory? What has He specifically asked me to do considering the family I come from, my education, race, gender, past experiences, talents, gifts, personality, temperament, weaknesses, and strengths amongst other things. I knew that I needed to know. I had reached a stagnant point in my life and I was deeply unhappy.
After much prayer, Bible study, counsel, life coaching sessions and a few workshops, He started to reveal my purpose on this earth to me – because let’s face it, only the Manufacturer of a product can tell you how it operates. As a black African woman (bAw), it hardly dawns on you that you have a purpose apart from either a career; family; duties/roles at Church or in the home or even at work; and maybe a business. Even with these roles, nothing is guaranteed and you’re left in a haze of confusion as to why you’re here. Yet even you, bAw, were created by God. Even you exist for a purpose far greater than you could imagine. Even you can have a powerful impact on the world. Even you can inspire others.
God has equipped me with so much just from my parents; the schools I have attended; the subjects I have studied (one of my favourite being English Literature); the places I have lived and visited; the good and bad experiences I have had; the struggles I have had to overcome etc. All of this, I realize, was pointing me in the direction He purposed for my life so that I could fulfil a specific purpose to me and to my lifetime. He cultivated a deep love and concern for people in my heart, especially people who are deemed weaker/outcasts/worthless in society. This is because for a long time that is how I was seen and how I viewed myself. It is how I have lived the majority of my life. Yet, He has managed to bring me through and past that. So I recognise it in others and desire to walk with them to discover the truth for themselves – that they are actually remarkable and worthy. It is especially the case with my bAw. He has chosen to use me to bring hope and encouragement in the lives of those that are striving in the same way that I have and continue to.
I remember a mentor of mine asking me a few years ago what I would be willing to do for the rest of my life and never get paid for. Or what I am so passionate about that I can do it in my sleep. This is where I started to discover my purpose, and this is where you can do the same. Take time to reflect on what you are good at, and on what brings you immeasurable joy. Consider what people tend to say you are accomplished in. What you were created to be and to do flows effortlessly from within you. It is not something that you have to work years on to cultivate or master. It is almost like another one of your limbs. What may be difficult about purpose is bringing it to effect in your life. It is usually much bigger than you or anyone else can imagine and you often wonder how it will be fulfilled. But those are details for God. If it seems impossible, it’s probably where you’re meant to go. Purpose gets you out of bed every morning despite the terrible situations you face, and it makes life that much more amazing! In finding my purpose, I have become so fulfilled. If God has a purpose for my life, He certainly has one for you.
But “what is my purpose?”, you may ask. That’s a great question. And asking it is the beginning of your journey to discovering your purpose. It has been suggested that many of us are depressed or drift in life because we have no purpose (Kristen Dalton Wolfe; Teach Me the Bible). As a creature, you have a function to fulfil and if you don’t figure out what that function is, you will be frustrated for the rest of your life. Purpose is more than your job/career, or your role in life (spouse, friend, sister, colleague etc.). So keep asking those questions. Keep digging deeper. Keep imploring God to reveal the answers to you. Keep challenging your status quo. And I promise you, something beyond you will start to happen. He will begin to reveal it all to you moment by moment, day by day. Thereafter, your life will never be the same again.
Don’t take my word for it though, ask God Himself. He’s waiting eagerly to hear from you. When I began asking God these questions, He answered me. Today I’m in my final year of studying to become a Life Coach. I believe that Christ was the greatest Life Coach who ever lived and I’m just following in His footsteps. Even before I’ve qualified, God has been using me for a couple of years now to coach many different people from different walks of life. My passion is helping people to discover the truth that they are on this earth for more than meets the eye. To discover their purpose in life as God intended.
So, what do you think your purpose is?
Remember – I am praying for you!