For the past 19 years, I’ve been enjoying the summer season of my life. It has been a high-energy, fast-paced, energy-draining, wild ride … and just like my favorite roller coaster, I’d get back in line and do it all over again if that were only possible.
This season arrived with a clearly defined purpose — to be a God-honoring caregiver, nurturer, teacher, and mom. I was armed with my maternal marching orders to “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (Prov. 22:6 NLT). I’ve done my best to be obedient. This purpose has become so intertwined with my identity that the thought of change makes me uneasy.
Modern psychology tells us that we humans need purpose. In an article entitled, “Having a Sense of Purpose,” Anthony L. Burrow of Cornell University states, “A sense of purpose is integral to the human experience … We are confronted with the ups and downs of life, but purpose is an active ingredient that helps us stay stable.”
Unstable. That’s how I’ve been feeling for quite some time.
For the first time in 20+ years, I’ve struggled to determine my new purpose. If not Mom, who am I? Initially, my crisis of purpose — or the impending lack thereof — caused me to chase after some things that made no sense. I needed to find my forward-looking directionality, but I was moving in every direction except forward.
My endlessly patient Heavenly Father used my crazy ideas and bunny trails to recenter me. As God’s children, we never need to search aimlessly for or try to define our purpose. Romans 8:28 tells us, “… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
What is His purpose? … Love.
I Corinthians 13:2 (NASB) “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
Regardless of my role or vocation, how much I accomplish, or how much money I earn, without love, it’s worthless.
When autumn arrives, the tree is still a tree. It may look somewhat different, but it doesn’t matter if its leaves are green, gold, or gone; it’s still the same beautiful work of God’s creation.
Likewise, God knit each one of us together — purposefully — equipping us with gifts, talents, abilities, and personalities that are uniquely ours. Though the seasons of our lives change, we are still the same beautiful work of God’s creation. My eyes have been opened to the reality that my purpose may look a little different from one season to the next, but that purpose has been, and always will be, to honor God by using the gifts, talents, and abilities He has given me to demonstrate my LOVE for Him and to be a living example of the selfless love of Christ to others.
- Are you facing a change in your season of life? Do you feel unsettled and lacking a clearly defined purpose? Take a minute to think about your talents, gifts, and abilities. Write them down.
- It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO or a retired grandma; we all share the same purpose and can use whatever season of life we are in to fulfill it. Ask yourself, “How can I use the gifts and characteristics that God created in me to demonstrate my love for Him and others?”