From Prison to Purpose

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. How to find your purpose in lifeNot 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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 godprayed 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?
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34 thoughts on “From Prison to Purpose”

  1. I know our PCS overseas has made me question my purpose on so many days. It may be because I suddenly have too much time to do all this questioning of God! But what if He provided the time on purpose? It’s an interesting thought I have often, trying to discern what’s in store for the time we have left here. I like your recommendation of fasting and prayer. I think I should give fasting a try.

    1. That’s a good way to think about it. Fasting and praying have brought me through a lot. It allowed me the time to focus on God. Build the relations and focus on spiritual growth. Thanks for visiting.

  2. This has really moved me today. Thank you very much for sharing. This is SUCH an important message. My husband is a deputy sheriff and is currently a jail deputy. The stories of some inmates are heartbreaking. My boss is a part of the Kairos mission that goes to maximum security prisons to share messages of hope (or religion if appropriate.) I love your comment about creating a “mental image of how your life would look.” I may use that one (I’ll give you credit 🙂 )

  3. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing it! I think so many of us live in our own form of prison because we don’t think we are worthy of anything else. And for those actually in prison, goodness what power there is in the hope in your words!

  4. I think its so important to imagine what your life could be like! Otherwise you can be floating with your ideas and not really making progress! Great post 🙂

  5. Great piece. This reminds me that I really need to write my purpose in a clear place and review it every day. I read a lot of books and listen to lectures about creating a purposeful life but then I get caught up in the busyness of life and lose momentum. I like that you read the Purpose Drive Life four times because this kind of thing really does need reinforcement.

  6. I really believe that finding your purpose in life changes everything and makes you look at life on a different perspective. I want to say that I have found my purpose and everything i do serves for my purpose.

  7. This is very interesting and I like it a lot. Only recently I have realised that it is such a perfect answer to many things. I think I have finally sussed out what my purpose is because I have realised what it is I always want and like to do. It is my thing to give or sell to other people. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  8. What a great post! I do my best to live intentionally, and with purpose, but sometimes it’s hard to keep myself on track. It’s times like that when it’s good to have reminders like this 🙂
    Thanks for writing such a thoughtful, and meaningful post 🙂

  9. Love this! It’s so easy to imprison ourselves and not even realize it. To get stuck or to cease our drive to be better. I love how you integrated your faith and personality into your writing. Very powerful! This post is almost like a call to action.

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