I wrote this guest post for The Story Unfolding website. Unfortunately, the site no longer exists, as such I’m posting my story here on my site for you to read.
On Knowing Your Purpose
It’s the question man has asked for hundreds of years: who am I, and what am I here for? To know one’s self is so important on the life journey. To know your purpose is part of knowing self.
Photo 1 Texas Sunset M. Davidson
These things have not always been easy for me, but I’m finally walking in the knowing and it’s wonderful. At times it has been my undoing, but to be honest, I need the undoing. I was walking in a cloud of misgiving, preconceived notions, and misappropriated passions. I kept chasing other people’s dreams trying to make them my own. It didn’t work. I can’t give you any one reason why I did it. Perhaps I was searching to “find myself.” I wasn’t ever really lost. I just wasn’t tapping in to the essence of who I was meant and made to be. To know your purpose is to know yourself and to allow all you do to come from that place.
Here’s brief definition on the word “know.” It has multiple meanings. Ponder these words on what it means to know (Know 2013).
To perceive directly
To have direct cognition of
To have understanding of
To be acquainted or familiar with
To be aware of the truth or factuality of
To have a practical understanding of
To be convinced or certain of
If you were to ask me my favorite definition, it would have to be “to be aware of the truth or factuality of” – I think this is how God moves in my life. He’s been bringing me into the awareness of who He is and who He made me to be. It hasn’t been easy. I’m like the New Testament Bible disciple, Peter. I have to hear it three, four, and sometimes even five times. Awareness of knowing my purpose has been beating and breaking down walls that have kept me from being. It’s just been that kind of season in my life. It is the area where the Savior has been fighting for me. I have sloughed off so many old, destructive ways of thinking. And not to be cliché, but I feel and think differently.
There have been many times in my life where I felt I didn’t have an original purpose and idea of my own. Of course, that is only a feeling, and it was not the truth. Take little journey with me.
In life we often expect things to go as planned. The reality, as I’m sure you already know, is that life is unpredictable. We can make our plans, but life still happens. We can have our dreams, our visions and our goals, but life can come and disrupt our pretty little order and how we meant for things to be.
Sometimes in the process of interruption, we are shaken to our core. Our sense of self may lie in tatters – a wreckless and unintended mess.
Does this change our knowing? Does this change our being? Does the messiness of life redefine or repurpose the essence of who we’re made to be? Does the chaos of life-change mean we had it wrong? Does it mean we have to start all over and find another purpose?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but this much I know is true.
I am who I am no matter what happens. When I know who I am, then circumstances don’t cause me to have internal crises of faith, belief, or knowing. My purpose remains unchanged and steady – rock solid. These truths will never change no matter what I do or where I am: to love God, to love others, to do what the bible says – these truths have transformed the way I think about purpose.
Sure I’ll cry, feel out of sorts, and even shake my fist at the sky, but that does not change who I am and what I’m called to do. Even the writer of Psalm 139 knew this: “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them” (NKJV, p. 1020). We were made with purpose before we came to be – what we would do and how we would live out our lives, God already knew. This truth is further echoed in Ephesians 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (NKJV, p. 1985). That’s good news today!
Maybe you didn’t or couldn’t believe you have meaning and purpose in your life like I once did, but the truth is that we do! Words that ring out in my heart are that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a treasure – loved wholly and wholly loved. These words meld to my soul. I know it and believe it. Recently I’ve seen it born out in my life, my writing, my relationships, and my endeavors. It’s like God’s little reminder that my purpose can’t be stripped away from me. It is guarded. It is a part of me. It always has been a part of me and always will be. It spills over into the ordinary-everyday-mundane of my life – meeting with friends, spending time with family, encouraging others, and even the work I choose to do – all organic and nothing forced. Ever were I to change careers, my purpose would remain the same. It can be expressed no matter the work I do because my purpose is part of my being.
I believe this truth. It cannot be shaken, and though storms of life may violently assail me with or without warning, they do not alter the truth of who I am.
When I choose to accept the knowing, the awareness, and understanding then the hellish things have no power over me. When I falter and step out in ways unsuited to me, then I feel the warring inside bidding me to return to the uniqueness of God’s call on my life – to be His, a beloved daughter who loves God fiercely, learns to love others better, and do what the bible says. That’s my purpose. It will never change.
To know your purpose is good. To know thyself is even better because that knowing becomes the power that drives your unique purpose into being.
To be able to articulate the truth of certainty in self-knowing is to be better equipped to weather the ebb and flow of life. We were made to know and to be known. That knowing informs and shines light on our purpose.
Perhaps today is the day you choose to know, to believe, to perceive, to be convinced, to understand, and to be more intimately acquainted with who you were made to be. Perhaps today is the day you choose to take a step of faith in living out your purpose. A revelation such as this steadies the soul, enlightens the heart, and allows you to fully and wholly be. Maybe, just maybe today is the day you dive deep.
So only this remains: Do you know who are you really are? Now, it’s your turn.
Now, go live by just…being! Let that being become what you do. It was always who you were.
Know. 2013. Merriam-Webster Inc. http/::www.merriam-webster.com:dictionary:know.
NKJV Study Bible. Radmacher, gen ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997.