Friday, February 12, 2016

To the One Looking For Purpose

WHAT. A. WEEK. I've had all the feelings. Every last one. So deep. I felt sadness, joy, frustration, relief, brokenness, healing, despair, hope, exasperation, forgiveness, love, loss, overwhelmed, empty and everything in between. I posted this image on Facebook, because for realz….

It feels like decades of stuff has happened this week. It's funny, but not. So I had to take a moment to laugh at it. Because if you can't laugh at life sometimes, you're doomed. 

So, hey y'all, my name is Sara and I'm an emotional-hot-mess. I feel like I feel things more intensely than your average individual, and I feel like it's easier for me to pick up on other people's emotions than it is to deal with my own. When someone I love feels sad, so do I. When someone I love is on top of the world, so am I. Seriously, I'm a bawling mess every time I listen to an Adele album because I start feeling what she's singing. Sometimes it has felt like a gift and sometimes it has felt like a curse, but I definitely learned to accept that it's a gift. Some people are good a fixing broken air conditioners, some people are good at fixing people's finances, I'm good at fixing people's broken hearts. I love people so ridiculously hard it hurts; but it also heals. Loving is what I do. 

It's been hard to figure out how to translate that into a way to make a living. For a while I thought I was supposed to be a stay-at-home-mom, for a while I thought I was supposed to work in ministry, for a while I thought I was supposed to be a counselor. I'm still open to all those things, but one by one all these ideas of mine have fallen through in one way or another. So many times I thought I just wasn't good enough for any of these, and that I had no purpose in life. Relate? Sit down, pour a cup of coffee, and let's chat, mi amiga. 

When I was little, I put my slipperiest socks on and "skated" and twirled around the kitchen like I was Nancy Kerrigan. {If anyone relates to broken dreams it's her!} ….and good grief I'm the klutziest person I know walking on flat ground, no way I could ever be a champion ice skater. But dang, it was fun to play around all twirly and swirly. What did you want to be when you were a little girl? A teacher? A vet? A singer? Cinderella at Disney World? A mom? A lawyer? An astronaut? POTUS? A marine biologist? I bet you played outside and imagined a world where you were grown up and had reached your dream, and you just couldn't wait to grow up and be that. And now… here you find yourself, grown up with your dream evaporated into thin air. You grew up, and you had to get practical. You have to think logically, because reality ran over you like a truck. Maybe you have overdue bills to pay, maybe you have kids to raise, maybe you have an addiction you're wrestling with, maybe you're in the midst of a health crisis, maybe you're not getting interviews, maybe you're not getting into the college program you wanted, or maybe you already have your degree but you're stuck serving coffee and doing something that feels like it's beneath your skill set. Everyone else seems to be updating their LinkedIn profiles, they're getting promoted, they're getting the corner office, they're chasing their purpose…. And you? You're wondering why God is holding out on you. And you're so frustrated, worried, brokenhearted, or just plain pissed. I know, sweet girl. It sucks. 

I picture you clocking into that shift at a job you hate, or praying for the phone to ring, or begging the power company to keep your lights on, or praying for that acceptance letter, or sitting in the coffee shop choking back tears wandering through all the want-ads online. You have no direction, and everywhere you turn feels like a dead end. So sorry. I wish I could grab your hand, sit down with you, punch up your resumé, pray with you, and tell you exactly what to do. I want to point you in the right direction.

Here's the thing: I also wish I could point ME in the right direction. I'm a personal chef, and it pays the bills, but I just don't love it the way I love people. I'm wondering all the same things. I wish "broken-heart-fixer" was an occupation, I keep looking for ways to do that, and I keep getting doors shut in my face. God, You see me, right? You see what I need, what I want, right? Is this not what You want? You don't want me to use You to mend broken hearts? Do You have a plan for me? Hello? Is this mic even on?

Read Psalm 139 here. Of course he has a plan for us. He tells us this over & over. 

So let's walk through this weird spot together, sweet one. Let's figure this mess out.

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice. 
Blessed are those who wait for Him!" 
Isaiah 30:18

He is telling me to wait, and that He longs to be gracious to me, and that He will come through. He's telling all of us, His children, to lay down our pride. That pride is drowning out our calling, it's drowning out our ability to say "YES" to Him in this current moment. Do you believe that God created you? Do you believe that He knew you before you took your first breath? If you do, dry your eyes, breathe Him in, and breathe out fear. Walk in His truth. This doesn't mean that you'll walk away with all the answers for what to do or where to turn… BUT it does mean that that you can remember to whom you belong, hold your head high, and straighten your crown, dearest one. 

Close your search engines. Get off social media. Put down your phone. Unplug. Close your computer. Breathe. Close out the world, and open The Word. Don't place your hope in people. Don't place your hope in a job title. Don't place your hope in yourself. Don't place your hope in the world. Work as hard as you can, and confidently trust God to do the rest. Spend time with your Father. Learn from Him, learn about Him, and use the abilities He gave you to make Him famous. Move mountains for Him, not for you. That isn't just a good employee, that is a conquerer. She is a force to be reckoned with.

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