To The Girl Who Is Tired Of Trying To Figure Out Her Purpose
Today's post was written with love by Meghan Campbell.
A devotional on finding purpose in the pieces.
Have you ever stopped to ponder the fact that though we might be very fundamentally different as people, we all have a common desire for purpose. It might derive from our belief in a higher being, our quest for reincarnation, or perhaps just our awareness that this is the one and only life we have and it is short, but we all want it to count!
We read and write books about it, sing songs about it, attend conferences and seminars to figure out how to find it!
Some seek it in their career, money, or corporate successes. We might exhaust ourselves climbing an invisible ladder in the hopes that when we finally reach the top we can claim the “purpose prize” and feel accomplished.
Or perhaps we take a different route and prove our worth through our physical stamina. We push our bodies to unbelievable lengths to be the strongest, or thinnest, or to seemingly age the slowest.
Maybe it’s found in the arms of another. Piece by piece we give up parts of who we are because it feels better to be half yourself, and part of a whole than fully yourself, but alone.
Or maybe we have lost hope in our stories so we make someone else our project; our children, husbands, wives, friends. It might be too late for us but at least we can impart wisdom on them. We find purpose in pushing them to be the best, smartest, most accomplished. We have the next Bill Gates living under our roofs and we won’t stop pushing them until we see our potential (oops, I mean theirs) fulfilled!!
We are like ravenous hunters on the quest for that once juicy bite to keep us going. Purpose. Our hearts cry out, “someone tell me that I matter!”
Inevitably scavenging on our own doesn’t quite quench the thirst, because what do our accomplishments matter after all if no one notices them? If a purpose is fulfilled but not recognized did anyone really hear it? SO we look to others for approval, for comparison, for WORTH. We either see ourselves as more accomplished and therefore can breathe a sigh of relief because “at least I have done more with my life than that lazy bum.” Or we scroll Instagram daily to see if we are measuring up to the Super-Mom we all know and wish we were.
Even writing this, I feel the tension rising in my chest because it is all too familiar. I see myself in each and every example and I know that it was NEVER meant to be this way.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we are given a desire for purpose on PURPOSE! Our drive towards meaning in this life is intentional, and not bad in-and-of itself. It is our means of trying to fulfill that purpose that gets us in trouble.
You see, we’ve been universally given a purpose-hole that needs filling, but we’ve approached filling it in all the wrong ways. We look to ourselves, and our selves are universally imperfect.
I am here to tell you that our united need for purpose also comes with a united solution. Our answer is not us, its Jesus.
Now, if you have read anything I’ve written before, chances are you are thinking something like “yea, of course, your answer is always Jesus.” To that I say, “you’re right! But stick with me on this one, because I think there is someone out there who needs to hear this. You’ve been trying to find your purpose and you are exhausted. Nothing has turned out how you pictured it, nothing feels like you imagined it would, and you feel lost. Your insecurity is at an all time high and you just want an ounce of relief. I am here to tell you that it is possible to find FREEDOM and REST without sacrificing PURPOSE. Keep reading!”
“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us. Had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone."
Ephesians 1: 11 MSG
You see, we have been viewing it all wrong. Or at least, I have. I see myself most of the time. My lens is “me” and “my life” and what am I going to do to make it matter?
But lets zoom out for a minute, what if my life is just a piece of the puzzle? What if I am the supporting character who is essential to the story, yet not the lead role?
Sure it seems so glamorous from the outside to be the ‘star of the show’ but hasn’t current events shown us that the lifestyles of the rich and famous aren’t necessarily the answer to happiness and fulfillment?
“Long before we first heard of Christ, or got our hopes up (felt called to purpose: my words), he had his eye on us, had designs on us of glorious living..”
We are NOT the story. Pressure- OFF! You do not have to be the answer to the world’s problems, cue sigh of relief! The world already has its answer and He existed before you did so take a deep breath! Our world is not perfect, but its creator is and He is working on it, so you can relax!
If you did nothing but sit on your couch all day, God’s plan would STILL be fulfilled and His purpose still lived out. If you needed freedom this is it; its not ON you. You’re already covered!
Yet, He goes a step further. He knows our hearts. He loves us. He knows that the vast majority of us do not want to sit on our couch and watch our lives pass us by. He knows we desire purpose because He gave us that desire. He also gave us the opportunity to fill that desire by seeking Him, and entering into the story He has already written.
You see He is the leading role. He is not only the central character to the story, but the answer to our story. When we seek Him, we find ourselves. The more we know of Him, the more we know of who we were created to be and how we were designed to live.
We don’t have to be the story, but we get to be a piece of it, and in being content to be the piece we are created to be we see God has put other pieces around us. No longer are other people’s lives competition, but rather partnership. We connect our pieces and we watch the story unfold. Without us the story goes on but we miss out. We miss community, and joy, and meaning. But by choosing to seek Him we get to participate and thus we find our purpose.
What would happen if we all zoomed out a bit on the lens of our lives. If we thought big picture instead of close-up? If we embraced the truth that we were created to be just as we are on purpose, for PURPOSE, and we trusted God to use our lives in the bigger story?
My friend, stop running a race you were never meant to win. Drop the load you were never meant to carry. Jesus said, “It is finished!” The story is written. You get to play your part by seeking Him and in that simple act of faith, you can KNOW that your piece of the story matters, your Purpose if fulfilled.
WORSHIP + REFLECT //
Listen to: Pieces by Bethel Music (Amanda Cook)
* What is season you have felt stuck in? How did God provide?
* How are you spending your free-time? Do you spend more time on instagram, or in the Word? Make a list of your daily activities and times spent on each; reflect on where God might be calling you to spend more time with Him.
* Make a list of the things God has provided in your life. Meditate on gratefulness for these things during this week.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
LET'S PRAY //
Dear God, thank you for being the author of our story and thank you for the FREEDOM that comes in that. Thank you that you know our hearts and have put good desires within them. Help us to seek to fill those desires with YOU and not with the things of this world. Fix our eyes on you Lord, and take the off our ourselves. Help us to feel and know the joy that comes from seeking you and watching our lives pan out from there. Make your Son our FIRST priority. We love you! Amen.
GO DEEPER //
Read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren to learn more about Biblical purpose
ABOUT THE WRITER // Meghan Campbell
Meghan is married to her amazing husband Tim, and mother to the sweetest little boy named Everett. She currently lives in Sheridan, Colorado, but has spent time in a lot of different places. She was born in Illinois, moved to Malaysia for two years in elementary school, lived in Missouri for high school, went to college in Kansas, and spent 5 years in downtown Chicago, before ending up in Colorado! Her family plans to stay in Colorado for a while, but she knows that ultimately, the Lord is in charge! She spent years selling wedding dresses, but once her baby boy was born, she decided to stay home with him. She also teaches Pure Barre classes! Meghan is an integral part of Hope Rises Ministries, and we are so grateful that she is a part of this project! Click here to visit Meghan’s blog!