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Do you feel stuck in an endless cycle of repetition? You know, that perpetual hamster wheel?
Do you dread Monday mornings and the thought of heading off to a job that you used to be so passionate about?
Does it feel like you’re just NOT enjoying life or like there is something missing?
It could be that you might not be walking in your purpose.
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
I wasn’t getting enough sleep or taking care of my health and I also wasn’t 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.
About 2 years ago, while doing morning devotions, I read Psalm 139:16 for what must have been the millionth time since giving 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 in it, my destiny was written… 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 do what I was sent to this earth to do.
Can you relate? Are you walking in your purpose?
If my story sounds familiar to you it might because you’re not doing what you were created to do.
As I look back I can definitely 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 STUCK, STUCK, STUCK!
One of the first signs that you’re not walking in your purpose is that you’re stuck.
My life back then 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.
They involve dashing off to extracurricular activities or weekly church ministry and then falling into bed way too late only to rise the next day way too early 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
I’ve been a software developer for 20 years but when I began to lose my passion for the profession, it was a clue that I was not walking in my purpose.
There was a time when I couldn’t imagine being anything but a software developer. Now the thought of sitting behind a computer desk for the rest of my life threatened to make me break out in hives.
It also didn’t help that I worked a full-time (8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 1 hour for lunch) job from home either. 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 come back (the cabin fever was real).
When I started volunteering during the recent Impact World campaign and
Then I became a volunteer during the recent Impact World campaign here on the island. When the campaign was finished I also became a small group leader.
I felt like I was finally beginning to walk in my purpose.
If you’re in a job or career that you’re not (or no longer) passionate about maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what you ARE passionate about.
YOU’RE JUST NOT ENJOYING LIFE
At some point, I began to own up to the fact that I really wasn’t enjoying life.
As mentioned in the previous points, I felt stuck and my professional life was no longer satisfying. I was definitely not having the best time of my life during this season.
When I looked at my family all I could see was “work”. There was dinner to be made, laundry to be done, a house to be cleaned… meh! And when I was at work all I wanted to do was escape into the sunshine!
Though my relationship with God was still strong during this time (He heard a lot from me about this whole situation believe me), even the act of going to church each week seemed like a ritual.
My life had become so full of obligations and things that I thought were important… things that NEEDED to be done, that 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 seen a movie together, whether at home or at the cinema or gone 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 not always going to be a garden of roses, but if you’re not enjoying life it could be a sign that you’re not walking in your purpose.
YOU CONSTANTLY FEEL LIKE THERE’S SOMETHING MISSING
Another sure sign that you’re not walking in your purpose is feeling like there is something missing from your life. A general dissatisfaction with your life as it currently stands.
You might not even be stuck on the merry-go-round of life. You might have just realized that housework, the standard 9 to 5 career (even if it is traditionally a good one) and weekly church services just aren’t going to cut it.
You’re no longer satisfied with just walking or even running, you want to fly!
YOU CRASH AND BURN
In my first five years as a new believer, I probably looked like the most dedicated Christian there ever was.
There were four worship teams and I was assigned to one of them but 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 as the seasons in my life changed, especially after my mom passed away, a lot of these activities became burdensome. Even though I’m sure it looked great on the outside, my personal time with God had begun to suffer.
The truth is that I was literally too tired from trying to be all things to all people, to spend the kind of quality time that I needed to spend with Him.
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.
YOU’VE REACHED THE POINT OF ULTIMATE FRUSTRATION
The final sign that you might not be
You’ve become completely and utterly dissatisfied with every area of your life – home, professional and spiritual life.
You yearn for new meaning in all three areas… a better relationship with your family, a profession that makes a difference in the lives of others and a deeper, more passionate relationship with God.
This is the place I had reached when I read that verse in Psalm 139 (vs 16).
This verse showed me that my life 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 a take stock of your journey so far.
Are you satisfied or do you feel like there is something missing? Are you being all you are meant to be?
Are you doing all you have been called to 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?
What are you going to do about it?
My challenge to you this week is to write down your hopes and dreams