Sometimes we make this whole pursuing-your-life-purpose thing so difficult.
I get it.
Because I do it.
I texted one of my very best friends yesterday, spilling my soul on what was really going on in my life, and she reminded me of something so important that I often forget:
Pursuing our life purpose starts first and foremost with loving God, not getting caught up in what we can do for Him.
And this is so difficult for me to truly grasp sometimes, because I just want to go do something, anything, that I’ve felt like’s the right thing for me to be doing.
And yet day after day, it all really comes back to love.
I see what my God has done for me, I let myself be flooded with this overwhelming sense of awe, this majesty and speechlessness that drives me to live fully in every moment.
And in all of that, purpose becomes more of a passion to pursue, and less of an obligatory item to check off a list.
Maybe I’m the only one that does this, or perhaps you do it too, but I really love to make things black and white, define them as right or wrong, go for something wholeheartedly or not at all.
I like to make my purpose a string of assignments, boxes to check off, something tangible that I can’t avoid doing.
But honestly, I believe it’s so much more than that. Purpose is complex, but the pursuit of it is simple.
It starts with embracing the beautiful, wonderful, love and grace of God in our day-to-day lives. It can’t all be about what we do, because it begins with what has already been done.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
See, in these verses here, we see that God’s love and purpose for us are inextricably linked. He loves us, and works out His purpose for us in our individual lives. In turn, we can look to Him and love Him – and find our purpose, starting right there.
It’s frustrating at times, for me at least, to have this as my default thought: “But God, I want you to just tell me what to do so I can do it! I want to be doing the right thing!”
But maybe that right thing is…right here.
Maybe it’s…right now.
Maybe purpose can be found in studying, in washing dishes, in texting, in smiling, in crying, in doing what we love, because we let ourselves be driven by the love of our amazing Father.
The deep-level purpose will come, it truly will, in so many other forms.
But it starts with the everyday moments, those conscientious decisions of what’s right for today, of living in grace, of letting my heart be brought to the right place when it comes to my motivations.
And those things? They’re the product of love, of the love freely given me, and the love that I feel in turn.
Instead of chasing the big things, let’s fight for joy in every moment. Instead of running after to-do lists, let’s embrace our solid identity, right here, right now. Instead of trying to earn love, let’s find it freely given, right. here.
My friend – yes, you – you are loved so incredibly by your Creator who wants to know you deeply, personally, intimately. And when you’re looking for that purpose? Look to Him.
16 Replies to “The Roots of Life Purpose (And Why We Might Be Running Too Hard With This Mystical Idea)”
Well written as usual Amanda 🙂
Thank you so much, Latoya. 🙂
Beautiful and such an important message!
Thanks, sweet girl!
Aw, you’re so welcome!
Wow, so much truth here. Your posts are always so encouraging and thought-provoking, Amanda!
I really, really appreciate your kind words, Jessica. 🙂
I’m learning about contentment right now, I think. When I start to feel restless or unproductive or just plain bored, I’m learning my purpose and my fulfillment come from God. I can be content with where He has me right now and look for how He wants me to grow and serve and love Him. 🙂
Ooh, contentment. I love that take on this – being content with where He has us, even when it seems boring or aimless. Thanks for sharing. ❤
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Yes, yes, yes! I am a future-oriented person; it’s my nature to want to know “what’s next.” What do I have to do to get through today so I can get to what I really want to be doing, down the road? Get through high school? Okay, if then college, and then… It can go on forever for me. I think I tend to get so caught up in this way of thinking that I’m not focusing on enjoying the moment and the things God has planned for me not in the future, but *right now.* What does God want me to do right now? If it’s being there for my family – even in small ways, like helping with the dishes – I should do it with joy. Thanks for that reminder in your ever-beautiful, perfectly written posts Amanda. 🙂
Ha, I’m totally the same way about that.
Thank you for your comment, Emily. Sometimes we Christians see “living in the moment” as a bad thing, but when it means trusting God day by day, and doing what’s right for right now, I think it’s wonderful. ❤
Amen! I LOVE this message, Amanda… so well written and encouraging.
“Maybe I’m the only one that does this, or perhaps you do it too, but I really love to make things black and white, define them as right or wrong, go for something wholeheartedly or not at all.” < I can SO relate to that. A feeling of wanting to jump in with both feet or not at all, and wanting to KNOW right now. Thank the Lord we have such a loving Father who invites us to trust HIM and not let our hearts be troubled.
Great word to start the day with
Thank you so much, Katie! Oh yes, you are SO right about that. ❤
Thank you for writing this, Amanda! I’m right in the middle of my senior year, so all of a sudden scholarship applications and gap year decisions (and probably some disagreements with my parents at that :/) are taking a front seat. This is such a good reminder. I’ve been learning recently how God is glorified even through small things, little moments which might seem meaningless or worthless but in God’s economy they’re for His glory. This post was right at the perfect time for me. =)
I totally understand what that’s like! Trying to figure out life is challenging, to say the least. But you are so, so right. God can be glorified in anything we go through, no matter how difficult! Glad to hear it. 🙂
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