One of the hardest parts of being 20-ish is the overwhelming pressure to figure out what you are supposed to do and be for the rest of your life. I was a wreck after college graduation.
I felt like the biggest loser in the history of the planet when I moved back in with my parents after a series of comically horrible interviews. Since I had no idea how long I would be home, I had outrageous insomnia and a forehead full of zits.
But--wait!--I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel. In July, I landed a dream job with tons of potential...selling pens door-to-door. It sucked. To top off a super-fun pen-selling summer, my grandma died in August. I went to her funeral visitation on my 23rd birthday.
Could it get any worse?
Unfortunately, yes. Things did get worse for me for a season (much worse, actually) but I learned some valuable lessons about defining my purpose and living out the plan God marked out for me.
2 STEPS TO KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE:
1. DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE. The Bible describes humankind as being created to bring God glory, but each human brings glory to God through unique gifts. We all have the same ultimate purpose, but our specific purposes (or the ways we use our gifts) are different.
The ultimate reason you were created? To bring God glory, to make Him famous, to adore Him. That's your God-given purpose and the reason He made you:
Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them. - Isaiah 43:7
God created you in His image to glorify Him with all the special talents He gave you before you were even born. You honor God when you use your gifts out of love for Him. You might be a teacher, a doctor, a bus driver, a writer, a mom, a garbage collector...your occupation can be a platform to use other gifts you have like encouraging others, helping others, leading others:
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.- Romans 12:6
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.- 1 Peter 4:10-11
2. DISCOVER YOUR PLAN. Figure out your gifts, and use them to bring glory to God.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11
Learn your specific gifts through trial and error. I was not meant to sell pens forever, but it taught me a thing or two. Try new things. You will hate some things, love others.
Remember what you loved as a kid. As a kid, I loved writing stories and performing commercials for hours on end in the mirror. Now, I write and give speeches as the Executive Director at Lane of Roses.
Take a personality test. Sometimes what's obvious about our personalities is hard to determine up close. There are all kinds of free personality tests on the Internet. Google or "Strengthsfinder" or "Myers-Briggs." And - fun fact - our Director of Operations, Rebekah Perryman, is Myers-Briggs certified and can walk you through a detailed report of your responses to the MBTI test? Check it out here.
Appreciate your past and imperfections...they might be what sets you a part and fuel your passion. Julius Caesar and James Earl Jones worked hard to overcome speech impediments and later became famous for their voices. My unpleasant years between 18-23 fuel my passion for encouraging women through Lane of Roses.
My purpose is to bring God glory (honor Him and love Him back for loving me) through using the unique gifts He gave me. Our ultimate purpose of bringing God glory is the same, but the specific way our gifts are expressed will look different. Discover your plan by figuring out what brings you joy. God loves you, and when you celebrate the gifts He gave you, it gives Him joy too.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you have to try a few careers (pens, anyone?) before you find the perfect fit. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Remember, 1 Peter 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
Looking for a place to get connected after graduation? FIND COMMUNITY
Want to know more about a relationship with God? EXPLORE FAITH