3.13.23 The Purpose of Our Lives
I am writing about my journey today to finding out my purpose in life for the express purpose of asking you to do the same. What challenges have you been through in your life? Have they been healed and repurposed in your life? There is a purpose in all that we go through—it is to allow God to heal our pain and sorrow and to help others who are suffering the same horror to deal with it and to teach them all that you have learned as you have been healed. For who do we turn to when we have a problem? The person who “knows” what you need to do, but has only offered an opinion formed by no experience or the person who’s “been there, done that?”
God has a purpose for you that will be immensely fulfilling as you live your way into it. Through your prayer and God’s healing and transformation of your pain, he will reveal your purpose to you. As you begin to help others, you will find total fulfillment. That’s what I have learned from the Lord. Think about your own journey through life as you read mine below.
After years of following Jesus, I had two dreams in 2011 that pointed me to my purpose. In the first one I am talking to a favorite minister of mine and saying, “your job is to inspire the congregation, mine is to connect the dots.” As I pondered that dream, I realized that what I was meant to write about was the teachings of Jesus and to connect them to 21st c. life. Later that same year I wrote something down in the middle of the night and read it the next morning: “to make the kingdom real.” And so that is my task in everything I do. I am just writing about God’s invitations to us to leave the world behind and to join Him in His kingdom.
My purpose connects directly to one of the great challenges of my life—growing up in a hell-fire-and-damnation church. For 11 years I absorbed that lesson, but the imprint it had on my life lasted for years. By my early 20s God was a raven sitting on my shoulder ready to zap me for what I did wrong. By my late 20s I’m out of the church. But my attachment to that negative image of God has been a major driver of my life. I had to find a God that I could love. My husband and I later joined a cult in California that was focused on the life of Jesus, but not His divinity. There I learned that there are other interpretations of the Bible than what I learned.
For whatever reason the leader of the cult decided that we should all give our lives to Jesus, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it. Soon after that failure, we left the cult and, with relief, I began to think about what I really wanted to do instead of what the culture and my family had pointed me toward. Within a year I was able to hear God calling me and I said, “Yes!” I walked on air for three days until I came crashing down to earth with this thought: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” For three weeks I listed all the gods that came between me and God. That was the beginning of my true spiritual journey.
As I look back on my life today, I can see God’s footprints everywhere from putting me in that church to leading me into a whole new life in Him. Now, forty years after I gave my life to Him, I have faithfully followed whatever suggestions He made to me, surrendered to all kinds of stuff that I wouldn’t have chosen to be in my life, but which taught me so much about who I am and how I should thing about my life and so much more. About 20 years ago I heard that the Mercy Center in Burlingame CA was training lay people to be spiritual directors and I ran to sign up. I was already trying to help people in their spiritual lives.
The focus of that training was so much on listening and being present—to the directee, to the Holy Spirit, and to myself(for later reflection). There I really learned to hear God’s Indwelling Spirit, so my growth in the Spirit was much enhanced. Interestingly after years of being a spiritual director and then a supervisor of directors, today I actually am more of an author and a blogger whose lens is that of a spiritual director—how do I, how do we live this life in Christ?