Recently God has been taking me on a journey of reconnecting with my roots-in a variety of ways. He’s been reminding me of who He is, and speaking purpose and direction into my life. To be honest, there was a season where I wondered if that “purpose” would ever be revealed. I’ve always believed that we (all of us!) are here for a reason. We have a purpose, a calling, a divine reason for existing. But I wasn’t quite sure what mine was. And even if I did…what was I supposed to do about it? Over the past year, God has been slowly chipping away at the walls I had built and doing a work of restoring my heart. And it is in that process that he also begins to whisper to us… “This is what I made you for!”
Last year, I turned 30-and I couldn’t have been more excited. I just had this sense that I was starting a new season. Maybe its because I was entering a new decade of life-leaving my 20’s and entering my 30’s-and everything felt fresh. Maybe its because my 20’s were sort of crazy- graduating college, two cross-country moves, getting married, having kids, pursuing a career only to discover God had a completely different plan for me and entering unexpectedly into ministry, getting ordained, going from being a stay at home mom/former teacher to a campus pastor in 5 years… I felt like my 20’s were a decade of growing up and just trying to figure life out. (As they should be!) But I was ready for my 30’s. I was ready for a little stability and clarity.
And for the most part, that has happened! Not because 30 is some magical age where you suddenly figure out who you are-but because I had finally exhausted every other avenue for self-discovery and had come, exhausted and fully surrendered, to the feet of Jesus and cried out “Lord I’m done! I’m done trying to figure it out. I’m done trying to control everything. I’m done working to earn my identity. I’m done evaluating my value by what I do. I’m done trying to please everyone else. I don’t know the answers! And I need you.” And then I collapsed, face down, too tired to even cry, and mumbled into the carpet “I give up.” (Picture the typical 3-year old temper tantrum, you know the one where they just go completely limp and you either have to pick them up and throw them over your shoulder, or just let them lay there…got it? Yea that pretty much describes where I was.)
And it was in that moment that the Lord got down on the floor with me, said to my heart “Good, now you’re ready”, and started the work of breathing new life into me. Since last December, He has been walking me into a new season of transformation. Rewriting some of the lies that had been written on my heart. Restoring me. Redeeming me. And reminding me that “I know the plans I have for you…they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
This work that the Lord does in us doesn’t HAPPEN in an instant. Our entire lives get to be one incredible journey of transformation and renewal. But it does BEGIN in an instant. It begins the moment that we say “YES” and accept Jesus as our Savior. It begins the moment we fully surrender to the power of the Spirit at work in us. It begins the moment we let go of control and open our hearts and hands to receive all that God has for us.
There is no magic age for this.
Perhaps your moment was years ago as a young child or teenager, and you are familiar with this story because you’ve been living it for most of your life.
Perhaps, like me, you wrestled through a few years on your own first before hitting your moment in early adulthood.
Perhaps you’re in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or beyond and you haven’t reached that moment yet…and you are still asking “who am I and why am I here?”
Perhaps your moment is today.
Regardless of where you are in life, the good news is that our Heavenly Father operates outside of time. He rejoices the moment we say YES to Him, and every moment of surrender after that. He is not concerned about what we can DO for Him. He simply wants us to know Him. There is no wasted time with Him. He redeems everything about our lives, moment by moment.
Over the past year, he has been teaching me that I spent years asking the wrong questions. I kept asking “who am I?” and “what am I supposed to do with my life?” But you see the problem with those questions is they are focused on ME, and he tells us (repeatedly, throughout scripture) to keep our eyes focused on him. The right question, then, is not “who am I?” but rather “Lord, who are YOU?”
I am learning to ask the right questions, in the right order.
Do you know WHOSE you are?
Do you know WHO you are?
Do you know WHY you’re here?
Do you know WHAT to do about it?
It is only in knowing HIM, that we discover who we are.
It is in getting close to HIS heart, that he reveals the purpose and passion he put in ours.
It is in the time spent at HIS feet, that he then directs our steps.
Intimacy (getting to know our Heavenly Father) leads to
Identity (knowing who we are in Christ) leads to
Vision (discovering what He has called us to do) leads to
Obedience (faithfully and joyfully being able to walk out the purpose for our lives).
Which of these questions best reflects your season of life right now? Getting to know whose you are? Who you are? Why you’re here? What to do about it?
I don’t have all the answers, but I know the one who does. And I share my story in hopes that it can encourage yours. Its a beautiful journey that we get to walk together! And I’m praying for you as you continue to discover all that God has for you!