Lately I've been feeling purposeless. Maybe I should read the purpose drive life - then I'd know my purpose...right? This feeling usually surfaces after I explain to someone why I came to Texas (very awkwardly - I'm not really convinced that I even know why I'm here - it just feels right - I just followed my heart). Different people have different responses.
One guy asked, "So where's God in all this?".
I awkwardly spurted out an answer that I knew wasn't really what was on my heart, it just sounded better than I don't know - or worse - He's not! I felt invalidated, and well....purposeless, like God wasn't behind anything in my life at this point because I couldn't articulate it.
Another guy said, "That's cool. So what's your plan now?"
"Uhh. I'm subbing to make money and get on my feet financially. And I might join a seminary my pastor is putting together, but I'm not sure when that will happen. I'm just focusing on subbing, becoming a 'real teacher', dialoging with my church, and playing music."
"That's cool man (smiles), I'll pray for you."
Then he explained that he would pray that God would give me some direction.
Why do so many people feel like you have to have your life charted out 30 years into the future to have any 'direction'. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but it just makes it hard for me to do what I'm doing right now when I feel like everyone thinks I'm not on the right path or that I need to figure out what my 'ministry' is going to be.
Here's what I believe: I'm on a path that God has blessed. I believe that God is waiting at the end of many, many paths with his arms opened ready to embrace me. I believe that it's more important to try to be true to who you really are and to love like Christ taught regardless of the path you choose. I don't believe that there is one set path that is God's will for me and that I'm out of God's will for making one 'wrong' decision. Being a follower of Christ has more to do with out you live your life on that path rather than the path itself.
So if that's what I believe why do I feel so purposeless? I think it's because I'm still very broken, and that I really believe that I'm only important and significant to God if other people think I am too. If I really believed what I mentioned above, then I wouldn't be feeling purposeless. I suppose those are things that I'm striving to believe for myself. When I first got here Ken told me he though my greatest weakness of a lack of self confidence and that I would need to learn how to self-differentiate (to know the difference between what I believe, what someone else believes, and that it's alright to believe different things). This is really hard for me because I've spent a great deal of my life 'earning' my self-worth by making others happy. Despite my addiction to approval - I was able to follow my heart out here to Texas and decide to stay indefinitely against what some thought was best. Brenning Manning put it well in Raggamuffin Gospel:
"The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all."
I believe I'm in a good place and that God will take care of me. I believe there are people in my life that are here for a reason and that my purpose it to follow Jesus - love God and love people that is (journey to find out what that means!). I believe I'm doing this - or at least trying to. I'm grateful to the people who are helping me along this journey and hope I can help others on their jounrney.