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.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Nine months ago, I couldn’t foresee any future for my life, nor could I find any purpose. I resigned my position leading children’s ministry, without an ounce of energy left. Children’s ministry was no longer my title, or my purpose. School began and for the first time, ever, I only had one at home to school… second grade, total time needed… 2 hours. Homeschool teacher of three with days full of books, papers, lesson plans, and projects was no longer my title or purpose. I spent last September wandering around my home aimlessly, tired and worn out, and restless… all at the same time. As a middle aged stay-at-home homeschool mother whose children needed me less, I seemed to have outlived my purpose.
or did I?
My God is merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness. He allowed this weary soul rest, first. I began to embrace the slower days of having just one student at home. We celebrated by staying in our pj’s all day, reading together propped up by pillows and nestled under the covers of the Big Bed. The one who has spent her life being the caboose of the family embraced the moments when I allowed her to be the engine and she directed our days. I rested. She reveled in the one-on-one attention. Perhaps, this is my purpose, I mused.
it didn’t seem like much, but it was all I seemed to have
As my soul rested, He refilled it. I didn’t realize that I had allowed myself to become so busy… so purpose driven… so ministry minded, that I allowed my very soul to become dry and brittle. I had not an ounce of energy left because I allowed my heart to become as hot and dry as the Sahara. As He gave me time to rest, He slowly renewed, for my Creator knows that hot, dry, and cracked ground cannot absorb moisture. With His tender mercy, He renewed slowly until the parched became soft, warm, and pliable again.
and then it rained
For days… weeks… He rained down on me. He poured Himself into me through prayer, His Word, encouragement from friends, time with my mom and sisters, and a couple of weekends away gleaning from those with more wisdom than I. My soul became a fountain again. Fresh living water sprang forth. I found my energy restored… my faith renewed… my purpose remembered…
What is the chief end of mankind?
to glorify God and enjoy Him forever
This purpose is forever… not just until circumstances change. This is the purpose that set the hands of time into motion when He spoke, “Let there be light!” This is the purpose that created redemption, so that I might live up to my potential. This is the purpose that gives me purpose with every breath I take. And, when I remembered this purpose… my purpose… I realized, again, that I can never outlive my purpose.
Instead, I need to live … on purpose
For me, on purpose means embracing the calling I answered to eighteen years ago when I said, “until death do us part.” For me, living on purpose means I follow through until my last breath with the commitment I made to “train up a child in the way he should go.” For me, on purpose means exercising the gifts and abilities He has given me to pursue writing that brings Him glory. For me, a life on purpose means a life of purpose…
What does living… on purpose mean to you?
I’d love for you to leave me a comment letting me know how you live on purpose.