Are you in prison? Have you recently been released? Since being released, what are you doing to live a purposeful life? If any of those scenarios apply to you, or even someone you know or love, these questions can be difficult to approach. More often than not, individuals have lived a life in metaphoric prison because they were in fear of the unknown. Afraid of reprise. Not imprisoned solely as in the physical setting, but imprisoned as in the mental and emotional state. We may have allowed our past and current situations to hold us in emotional prisons. This could include, toxic relationships, dead-end jobs, personal goals, spiritual goals, etc. Trust me, I have allowed myself to live in fear of the unknown too many times. More recently, the fear of the unknown kept me from starting a blog last year (that’s another story). The fear of inadequacy, being judged, rejection, failure, uncertainty and change have set limits on what I was capable of tackling. The fears had me questioning many aspects of my life. Many of the above fears are the reasons we stay in unhealthy environments, enabling our captive strains to inhibit what could be.
Our fears can be the unconscious drivers of our actions and decisions. In that format, fear is the driving force of our life actions, setting a ceiling for our growth that without acknowledgment of the fear or strains, prison becomes normalcy. Because of our fears we avoid situations, we become content with living a life with no purpose, a life of just existing, not living, an imprisoned life. Living a life without purpose is a life without a destination. I think I have read “The Purpose Driven Life” about 4 times this year. When I feel confused about my purpose, that is my go-to along with fasting and praying. Everyone’s purpose will look different, so lets not compare ourselves with the next person. We all have been tasked with a gift and a purpose. This is my journey, your journey will differ from mine. But to define my purpose, I used the following strategies:
- Ask God to reveal your purpose. But you have to be willing to listen and obey. Don’t ask Him for something you aren’t ready for. Last year, I felt the need to do more. I prayed and fast. I started reading the Purpose Driven Life. I went to church the following Sunday and he answered my prayer. I immediately completed a packet and started training as a Stephen Minister. I graduated from my class in January 2018.
- Create a mental image of how your life would look. What’s your motivation? What brings a smile to your face? What is your passion? What brings you peace? How can you serve others?
- Make a plan, write it out, create a vision board. Do whatever you need to make your purpose come to life. Discuss your purpose with likeminded people. People who believe in you. This is not for their approval, but more so for their support.
- Accept your plan. Move forward with your plan. Enjoy the process, even the struggles. Joshua 1:9
Your purpose shouldn’t change. However, your role will change. Last year, Chief and I prayed about a new role in our lives. We are thankful for the vision God has for us. He is using us in such a special way (more to come). Be patient with the process. Sometimes, his vision is not immediate to us. But he is definitely waiting for you to ask him “how can I serve you and others?”
We all have a purpose. According to the Purpose Driven Life, our purpose is created with a combination of skills: Spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experience.
Are you living intentionally with a purpose? Or are you just living?