For as long as I can remember I have always felt an innate sense of “purpose”. I can recall many nights as a kid lying in bed and literally staring into the darkness dreaming with excitement about my future and thinking over in my head “there is something very specific I am supposed to do with my life.” Even at a very young age, no one had to tell me that God had created me for a purpose and with a purpose, I knew it with deep conviction and I knew that it was somehow related to law and government. (I seriously started watching presidential elections when I was three years old).
Fast forward a few years into my early twenties and I had things completely mapped out in terms of how I would get myself to this ethereal “thing” I was supposed to do with my life. Well, the reality was that by that time the driving force had really now morphed into more of “what I wanted to do.” Somehow, that excitement and sense of divine purpose that I had as a young girl had turned into an extremely competitive and self-centered career oriented life plan. I was focused and well-intentioned but the truth is that I had it completely upside down. Purpose wasn’t driving me, self-centered ambition was driving me.
Thankfully, right about that same time some people who I deeply respect and honor came into life and graciously helped to refine and teach me that despite what the world tells us, self-actualization is not the end game. In fact, the end game for a Christian is quite the opposite. It is dying to self. This realization was simple, but pivotal. This changed everything for me. It was not something that took hold in me immediately, it was more of an internal process, but through it all God repositioned my heart and ignited a true and pure sense of purpose within me. As I truly began to understand the breadth and magnificence of the family of God and the interconnected role I have in it during this time in history, I became more intentional about my life than ever before. My sense of purpose was no longer rooted in this idea of “some specific thing” I was supposed to do or accomplish but instead became more an approach to life that is focused on impacting lives and keenly being aware that there is a much “bigger picture” than just my own life.
It has been a little over ten years since that season. Overall, I have learned that discovering my own purpose is an ever-unfolding adventure that becomes more defined with each step of faith and obedience. There have definitely been many natural guide posts along the way such as my own personal interests, natural abilities, and passions, but ultimately the true key to understanding and cultivating my purpose truly came when I began to willingly approach every major life decision by starting off with the questions “My life is not my own, God what would you have me do?” and “How does this decision serve the Kingdom of God?”
I learned to see my life through heaven’s eyes…forgiven, chosen, believed in, and born alongside so many others for such a time as this. That the bigger picture is the reality that we are all a part of one family, each uniquely stationed at a different post, tasked with carrying out the message of the gospel. Everyone’s post is different and of equal value in God’s eyes. When we begin to see life through that lens…everything changes. In fact, it infuses a sense of purpose into everything we do from the seemingly mundane to the obviously profound because everything choice we understand that every choice we make has ripple effect on the Kingdom of God.
The older and further along in my career that I get, the more I see that my post will most likely continue to be in the realm of government and public policy making. But I didn’t always know that, it has been a journey. One day at a time. It began as an interest in government and law, eventually lead to law school and into various different dream jobs. Sometimes I still pinch myself that it is even real.
So settle into the unfolding process. Trust, obey, take risks, and ride the current. You will not be disappointed, I promise.