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Do you feel stuck in an endless cycle of repetition? You know, that perpetual hamster wheel?
It was only a couple of years ago that I felt like this as I struggled to meet everyone else’s needs and expectations of me. The commitments I had to my family, work and church had become overwhelming. It felt like my life was reeling out of balance.
I wasn’t getting enough sleep or taking care of my health. Neither was I spending as much quality time with my family as I should have been.
I felt stuck and frustrated, no longer passionate about my job or anything else in my life for that matter. I was not enjoying life and felt like it was passing me by.
One morning, about 2 years ago, I was doing morning devotions. I read Psalm 139:16 for what must have been the millionth time since I had given my life to Christ. This time, for some reason, the second part of the verse jumped out at me.
It read, “… but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed.” (Complete Jewish Bible).
It then dawned on me that somewhere in heaven, there was a book and written in it, was my destiny… I had a PURPOSE!
There were things written in that book in heaven that I needed to make happen here on earth.
I realized then that all of the frustration… the increasing dissatisfaction with my life that I had been feeling for the last couple of years… was God pushing me to this point of frustration. The point where I would yearn for and seek more from Him for my life
To walk in my true purpose. To fulfill my destiny on this earth.
Can you relate? Are you walking in your purpose? If my story sounds familiar to you it might because you’re not walking in your purpose
Looking back, I can see the signs that God had been using these experiences to push me towards my true purpose. Here are the top 6 things that stood out to me.
YOU’RE NOT WALKING IN YOUR PURPOSE IF YOU’RE STUCK, STUCK, STUCK!
One of the first signs that you’re not walking in your purpose is that you’re stuck. My life had felt like it was an endless loop of repetition. Like I was in the movie Groundhog Day or Fifty First Dates.
Maybe your days consist of getting the kids off to school and then struggling through the day at work. In the evenings, you dash off to extracurricular activities or weekly church ministry. Then you fall into bed way too late only to rise way too early the next day to do it all over again.
You know that there must be more to life than “this” but you have no idea how to get off the merry-go-round. This never-ending loop is one sure sign that you’re not walking in your purpose.
YOU’RE NOT PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO
After being a software developer for 20 years, I began to lose my passion for the profession. I didn’t know it yet but it was a clue that I was not walking in my purpose.
It also didn’t help that I worked a full-time job i.e. 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 1 hour for lunch, from home (there are cons, believe me). It was a constant struggle to separate work life from personal life. I’d leave home for lunch or to run an errand and never want to go back (the cabin fever was real).
Then I had the opportunity to volunteer during an island-wide evangelism campaign. Impact World, organized and staged the events.
I started and lead a small group for a group of nine-year-old girls. It was an amazing opportunity. I got to help them strengthen their relationship with God and discover their own purpose. Finally, I had begun to feel as though my life was making a difference.
After I started volunteering, I realized that I was more focused at work. It was because I had become involved with something that gave a little more meaning to my life.
Are you in a job or career that you’re not (or no longer) passionate about? Ask yourself if it’s time to take a closer look at what you ARE passionate about and do something about it.
YOU’RE SIMPLY NOT ENJOYING LIFE
At some point, I began to own up to the fact that I wasn’t enjoying my life.
When I looked at my family all I could see was “work”. I spent all of my free time making dinner, doing laundry and cleaning. MEH!
After a few hours at work, all I wanted to do was escape into the sunshine.
I still had a strong relationship with God (He heard a lot from me about this whole situation believe me). But even the act of going to church each week seemed like a ritual.
My life had become full of obligations and things that I thought were important… things that I thought NEEDED my utmost attention. I didn’t even realize that I was hardly spending any quality fun time with my family.
I couldn’t remember the last time we’d sat down to watch a movie together. Or even gone to the cinema. Or out for ice-cream or something.
God created this earth for us to enjoy and Jesus came that we “might have life more abundantly” (John 10:10). It’s true, life isn’t always going to be a bed of roses, but it’s important to spend time with our family and enjoy the world God created for us.
If you’re not enjoying your life as it is now, it could be a sign that you’re not walking in your purpose.
YOU CONSTANTLY FEEL LIKE THERE’S SOMETHING MISSING
From the outside, it looks like you have it made. But there’s something missing and you can’t put your finger on it.
This is a sure sign that you’re not walking in your purpose. You feel a general dissatisfaction with your life as it currently stands
You’re not even be stuck or frustrated. It’s just that the cycle of housework, the standard 9 to 5 career, and weekly church services aren’t going to cut it for you anymore
You want more
No longer satisfied with walking or even running, you want to FLY!
YOU CRASH AND BURN
In my first five years as a new believer, I looked like the most dedicated Christian there ever was. There were four worship teams at my church and I’m assigned to one of them. Anytime there was a need for a volunteer on another team I was there!
Whenever there was a conference, I was there …sometimes twice a day! I also tried to attend at least one weekly service (usually two) besides Sundays
But then my mom passed away and the seasons in my life changed. I now had to look out for my dad along with my other responsibilities. A lot of these activities became burdensome. Even though I’m sure my relationship with God looked great on the outside, my personal time with Him began to suffer.
The truth was that I was too tired. I was trying to be “all things to all people”, and couldn’t spend the kind of quality time that I needed to spend with God.
Eventually, I crashed and burned… hard.
I thought to myself, “There is something wrong with this picture.” Serving God wasn’t meant to be like this. Jesus said that His burden is easy and His yoke is light (Matthew 11:30). Serving Him wasn’t meant to be this hard.
Burnout is a sure sign that you’re not walking in your purpose. The Christian life isn’t a piece of cake but you shouldn’t feel like you’re carrying a heavy yoke around your neck ALL THE TIME.
YOU’VE REACHED THE POINT OF ULTIMATE FRUSTRATION
There’s one final sign that you might not be walking in your purpose. You’ve have reached the point of ultimate frustration.
You’ve become completely and utterly dissatisfied with every area of your life. You yearn for new meaning in your home, professional and spiritual life
You want to build a better relationship with your family; have a profession that makes a difference in the lives of others; and a deeper, more passionate relationship with God
It’s the place I had reached that morning when I read that verse in Psalm 139 (vs 16). I understood that God always had a plan for my life. It was meant to touch others… to inspire and encourage them in a unique way and help them find meaning in their own lives.
If you can recognize these signs in your life, it’s time to pause and take stock of your journey so far.
Are you satisfied or do you feel like there is something missing?
Are you enjoying the work you do? Or are you stuck in a career that you hate?
Are you chasing after your dreams and pursuing your passions or have you placed them on the back burner
If you’re not satisfied, what are you going to do about it?
My challenge to you this week is to write down your hopes and dreams. Take them before God and ask Him how He wants you to pursue them.