In my last blog I mentioned the latest book I read, "Sacred Rhythms" by Ruth Haley Barton. Before I finished Chapter #1, I was captured by the feeling that I was FINALLY reading words that God had intended for me to think about - REALLY think about. We had been in the car driving for over 8 hours and had just sat down to read before getting in bed so that we could make the return trip in the morning. I was tired but what kept me from putting the book down and going to sleep, were the following words quoted from Chapter 1: "You might think that your woundedness or your sinfulness is the truest thing about you or that your giftedness or your personality type or your job title or your identity as (husband or) wife, mother (or father), somehow defines you. But in reality, it is your desire for God and your capacity to reach for more of God than you have right now that is the deepest essence of who you are." It was like God grabbed a megaphone and hollered out "You are looking to the wrong places for your passions. You are still going to miss what YOU WERE CREATED for!!"
That has been the story of my life, like an old favorite country song of mine, I have been "Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places." I have been searching for my purpose in life, my passions, my favorite hobbies, my true self, the essentials of "me" - MY ESSENTIAL PURPOSE. I've been looking for it in a new job, a new way to organize my home, a new homeschool curriculum, a weekly menu app on my phone that miraculously turns itself into a shopping list so that I don't have to make one, and everyone can rally me on how efficient and "homey" I am. Why did it not occur to me to look for my purpose from THE ONE WHO CREATED ME? Surely no one can know my purpose better than the God that created me -- only He knows "why" He created me.
So why do we run ourselves into circles, looking for answers that are right in front of us? If you are like me you may think (subconsciously of course) that things are meant to be harder than they really are. What I have learned through reading God's word is that He created me to worship Him, show His love to all the world, build a Christian family, and to have a relationship with Him. If anyone asked me to describe the life a Christian is called to live, that is the answer I would have given them. So if I already know that, why would it not occur to me until just now that I ALREADY KNOW MY PURPOSE in life?? I mean I know I miss things (like softballs pitched directly into my batting zone haha) but how could I miss this? I believe the answer is simply that we have an enemy in our world who would like nothing more than for me to forever forget what I am supposed to be doing with my life. If he can't get me to break the Ten Commandments (those would be clearly visible sins), you better bet he can get me to take pride in things that are "just for me" (like a job, some more education, a prestigious title in my community). While those things are GREAT, they lose their importance when they distract me from my PURPOSE IN LIFE.
It turns out that Ruth Haley Barton is right -- my true passion is to be the woman that God created me to be. Only when I fill those shoes will I be truly happy, fully content, at peace with myself, living the dream, fulfilling my purpose as a child of God. All of my desires to be a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend will magically fall into place BUT those roles DO NOT DEFINE ME. My definition is ... I AM A CHILD OF GOD. Period. And by the way, that is way less stressful. That actually feels like a goal I can attain!