In Pursuit of Purpose



I don’t know about you, but I walk around most days asking God what I was made to do.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was made to be the mommy of this one specific child.  And I know that I was made to be in the lives of certain people.   Both are wonderful reasons to be here, but if that’s the extent of what I was made for, then why, at every turn, do I feel that I’m still not fulfilling the ultimate chapter of my story?

I feel the tug all the time.  To do more, to be more.   But I haven’t yet received that wonderful email from above saying “go here and do this”.  I look at my life and realize that while I’ve had struggles, I’ve weathered them pretty well and there’s really no excuse for me not to be living in the sweet spot of God’s calling.  

Of this, I am sure.  God wired me to need to feel that what I do matters.  To know that that who I am as a parent will alter the legacy of my generational line.  And that how I invest in others people’s lives will have an impact on them.  But I don’t have a bullet list of five things that will help get me there.  I don’t know that there is any remedy, other than prayer and seeking His will at all costs (which is a big enough challenge all on its’ own).  All I know is that every day, I thank God that I still feel the need to accomplish something amazing for the kingdom and to bear fruit in ways that only I can do.   As one of my authors, the incomparable Erin Healy said recently, there are worse things than death.  For me, walking through life never knowing what my role in the story is would definitely make the list.

Any words of wisdom?  Where did God plant you for a purpose only you can fulfill?

11 thoughts on “In Pursuit of Purpose

  1. I finished reading the Donald Miller’s new book last weekend for Thomas Nelson’s blogger review program, and my two big takeaways are these:

    1) You are the leading lady of your own story. What kind of leading lady will you be? What kind of story are you telling? I keep thinking about the role of the character arc and God’s work in our lives to get us from one chapter to another…

    2) God has a story He is telling. This is the MEGA story arc, the story that is bigger than all of us. What is your role in that story?

  2. The comment here was actually written by Dee, my talented friend who made this beautiful blog site (her computer must still think she’s me) 🙂

    Dee, great reminders about the story and what role we choose to play.

  3. Jen,

    I love your blog. I love that you are so open and vulnerable. I love that you are a person of faith, that you are searching for purpose and meaning. I love that you will touch and inspire so many others your age to live their lives with purpose.

    I’m much older than you, was raised as a “missionary kid” in Malaysia and Singapore in the 60s, and have spent over 50 years trying to understand what God wants me to do, why He puts me in the places and situations He does. For it is clear that there is divine intervention in my life. It’s not the what that’s difficult, it’s the why.

    Why does God seem to intervene in some lives and not others? Why do some of us feel “the tug,” as you phrased it so well, when others have no idea what we’re referring to?

    I don’t have answers for you. I don’t think there are answers.

    I think the point is to let your light shine here, now, for as long as you can. God will find a way to use you to His purpose, It only makes sense looking backwards. That’s the only way the dots connect.

    An oblique, yet very moving book on faith, which you might like, is “The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene, an unlikely source of spiritual insight.

    Keep thinking out loud. Keep sharing your thoughts. Try to quiet the inner storm of voices that fill your head with doubt and anxiety, that distract you from the one voice you were born to hear.

    God is always nearer than we realize.

  4. Interesting post, Jen,

    For the first twenty or so years of my life, as a protestant evangelical Christian, I think I was almost obsessed with wanting to know God’s will and be sure I was doing it. After becoming Orthodox in the late 80s, I found my focus gradually shifted from trying to know God’s will to just living a prayerful life and trying to make increasingly better choices as I mature. My pastor has a saying that I love: “Pray and do the right thing.” Keep on posting!

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thanks for offering a different perspective. What’s apparent to me is that there has to be a reason the call comes over all the noise of life. Living quietly hasn’t worked so well for me. It just shows how carefully God creates each of us…a specific purpose and a specific time.

  5. One of the biggest challenges for me is the patience to _wait_ for God to reveal that. The big thing he has for me could be 20 years in the future and my impatience now (which leads me to tackle things that aren’t his will for me) could actually interfere with his long-term plan. Ha! No pressure, Susan. Which is the other challenge, right? To not get caught up in doing everything “right” but living what we know to be God’s will for us in the small things every single day. If you’re doing that, it’s hard to miss when he brings the big thing in.

    1. Hey Susan,

      You’re right–the patience part is hard. What I think we have to trust is that if we don’t listen to the longing inside when it hits and work towards that next step, we may not be in the right place when the reason for us to be here comes to fruition.

  6. Great post, Jen. This is a big deal for me — destiny, purpose. So many walk around not knowing if they are doing what God made them to do, or are unsure He created them for anything special.

    But Psalm 37 is about God writing His desires for us on our hearts!

    For me, my heart desires have always been fulfilled when I completely surrender to God. I get to a point where I don’t care about myself, praying something about, “God, I want what You want. And You are SO good, whatever it is, I’ll love it.”

    I’m so convinced He wants us to walk in good things more than we want for ourselves. I just try to keep my heart alive and open before Him. Otherwise, I’ll fail miserably!

    Love, Rachel

  7. Young people struggle with direction in their life so frequently that sometimes it concerns me. I remember giving a presentation on writing to a group of middle and high-school students and I told them that if they were having difficulty knowing what to do in life they should pick one of their dreams and pursue it. In some way or another God will lead us through our gifts, but only step by step. Only by taking the small steps can you reach the big ones. Meaning comes from following the path God is directing you to follow… but it is a narrow, winding way.

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