A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life

“A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”

Proverbs 18:16 (New King James Version)

I took to the stage the last Sunday morning of a women’s retreat in South Africa.

“I am pregnant!” I shouted at the top of my voice. The two-hundred-plus attendees began to shout expressions of jubilation and joy. “Ladies, I already told you that I am not going to be mother!” The room calmed down, and my next words took them by surprise: “You are all pregnant – pregnant with purposely! 

I explained to the ladies that God had placed something great inside each of them, much like a pregnancy. Their job was to pushout that “baby” so they could have a unique impact on the world, for one’s “baby” cannot be birthed by anyone else.

Even though I have never been pregnant, I have read about what pregnant women experience: morning sickness, back pain, hot flashes, heartburn, swollen ankles, and fatigue. I am convinced that sometimes women who are “pregnant” with purpose fear that their growing “stomach” (purpose) may be offensive or unacceptable or may make others uncomfortable. They may choose to band the stomach to hide their purpose. Other pregnant-with-purpose women may be fearful about “pushing” the baby out into existence. As a result, they try to hold the baby back, fearful of the responsibilities living their purpose would bring.

That day at the South African women’s retreat, I shared a personal story about my sister, who, while in labor, had a very difficult time pushing out her baby. In fact, my mother recounted that the baby went back inside four times, almost leaving my sister dead. Then there may be other “pregnant” women who are fearful of judgment from others and simply feel unprepared to “mother” their purposes.

Every woman who is pregnant with purpose has to realize that she must give birth to what God has placed inside of her. She cannot push it back inside because it will make her sick. Doing so may even leave her “dead” because her unbirthed purpose weighs on her as she proceeds through life on autopilot, just going with the flow. That way of living, however, only causes her more pain. She will constantly experience feelings of disequilibrium because she is not living in her true purpose. Rarely will she experience great peace because she is not doing what she was meant to do.

The only choice that you have as a “pregnant” woman is, in Gods strength, to push!

REFLECTION

Do you know what your purpose is in life? What were you put on earth to do? What were you meant to achieve? Many of us grapple with these questions. While there is no specific formula for figuring out one’s purpose in life, there are principles that can guide us towards discerning and understanding our divine callings, seeking to understand our divine calling. While there’s no precise formula for discerning God’s plan for our lives, certain guiding principles can point us in the right direction.

1. Seek Divine Guidance

The first step towards discovering your purpose is acknowledging that you are God’s handiwork. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT). Prayerfully ask God to reveal His plans for your life. Remember, our Heavenly Father knows us intimately and has a divine purpose for each of us.

2. Identify Your Strengths and Interests

Reflect on your talents, passions, and skills. What activities bring you joy and satisfaction? What do people often compliment you on? As the Bible says in Proverbs 22:29 (NIV), “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Identifying your strengths and interests can provide clues about your divine calling.

3. Pay Attention to the Holy Spirit’s Promptings

The Holy Spirit often guides us by instilling a strong inclination or passion within us. If you feel a persistent urge to pursue a particular path, or if you admire someone else’s work and can envision yourself doing it, this could be the Holy Spirit nudging you towards your divine purpose. “[The Spirit] will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13 (KJV).

4. Align Your Purpose with Scripture

God’s purpose for your life will never contradict His word. Whatever path you choose must align with the teachings and principles laid out in the Bible. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105 (ESV). Strive to ensure that your decisions and actions are in harmony with God’s commandments.

5. Seek Counsel from Godly Mentors

Involve trusted, God-fearing individuals in your journey to discovering your purpose. These could be mentors, pastors, friends, or family members who can offer wisdom and insights. Consider creating a short survey asking questions like “What am I best at?” or “What do you see me doing well?” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV) says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Their responses may provide valuable perspectives on your strengths and potential purpose.

REMEMBER

Understanding your divine calling may take time and patience, like the time it takes for a baby to form in the womb. But rest assured, God has a unique and beautiful plan for your life. As Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) assures us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So, keep seeking, keep praying, and keep trusting in God’s perfect timing. When your divine calling is discovered, in God’s strength, PUSH!

More about Dr. Nadine Joseph-Collins.

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