I often founder when it comes to my purpose, especially in my current transitional season. Just when I think I alighted upon it, the latest cultural shift takes the West by storm, and I immediately question everything, confused and suddenly anxious.
But I sense God shaking things loose. Particularly my desire for control:
- Impression management
I think the light is dawning on the horizon of understanding. God got down on my level with a little show-and-tell.
First, He tenderly revealed my tendency towards control: my fear-based desire to keep me comfortably at the center of my universe.
It’s been a stressful season, and anxiety has reared its ugly head these past few months. My desire to manage loved ones (and my) circumstances has created space for anxiety’s gnarly hands to twist my thoughts and entangle my peace.
Next, He engaged me in tender conversations through His Word, wise counsel and soul-to-soul chats regarding these tendencies.
This whole time I’ve been waiting for purpose to appear on the horizon—for the next right thing to divulge itself. But I’m slowly (and stubbornly) learning patience and persistence are godly character traits worth developing.
During a study on purpose this spring, new light was shed on very familiar verses, transforming my understanding in profound ways. Don’t miss this eye-opening rendering of the Beatitudes!
“You’re blessed when:
“you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.
“you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” Matthew 5:2-9
This translation conferred insight into God’s Kingdom economy in ways I’ve never fully comprehended.
It felt like my pen was gliding along the pages of its own accord.
“My purpose is to ‘loose’ everything I hold most dear. When I do, I am most happy and whole.
I will be blessed because I’m free. Free when I realize I never had control in the first place.
In truth, I only possessed what I thought was control, which turned out to be anxiety in disguise, dressed for a party I never wanted to attend.
When I let go of self—my fear-driven domination—less of me equals more of God and His rule!
My purpose? Care less about me—focused on what others think—(wholly different from self-care) because I’m cared for more than I can possibly imagine or dream. Then I’m free to care for others.”
So what is my immediate purpose with this fresh revelation?
- Work towards becoming un-offendable.
- Let go of feigned control.
- Live every day fully embracing what God does for me.
- View myself through the lens of Jesus and His work for me, not what I do for Him.
- Rest in all the goodness Jesus brings to me, then let it flow through me, instead of trying to create a counterfeit version of goodness forged from the inner workings of impression management.
- Discover beauty in everyone.
- Catch Jesus’ vision for my life, and let go of what’s most dear, placing it all into the infinitely capable hands of my Good Shepherd—catch and release!
Is there something you need to lay down, let go of, and place it into the competent, gifted, grace-filled hands of your Good Shepherd? Maybe something causing angst or overwhelm?
Why not ask your Good Shepherd for help laying it down? And if you pick it up again (something I do regularly), ask again.
I would love to end with a prayer for you. Take a few moments and ask the Spirit to breathe life into the angsty places in your soul. He’s waiting, dear one…
Good Shepherd, please help me release what is most dear to me into your loving, tender, faithful hands because control is ultimately futile and leads to despair.
As I struggle on this faith journey, come to me, fight for me, protect and defend those I love, and relieve anxiety and distress.
Show me your goodness and glory, and reveal a sign of your favor and goodness today.
Make the boundary lines around me fall in pleasant places, so I can envision my beautiful inheritance.
Counsel me in the night, and set your goodness before me, so I won’t be shaken. May my whole being become keenly aware of your with-ness, causing me to rejoice, even in the dark.
Meet me back here next week for more strategies on finding your purpose in any season!