Purpose Discovery: 6 Steps to Discover Your Purpose
I spent my entire weekend in the bed. Not entirely but more like the majority of it. I was slowed to a crawl by a cold. I decided to make use of the time. I slept, crocheted, read, sipped tea and thought…about you.
Many of my friends used my time in bed to chat and catch up. Last night while lying awake I thought about the common thread throughout the weekend. Each conversation, movie, interaction left me with an overwhelming sense of what’s next… Where is this thing going?
I believe my initial response is from those key interactions as I had with others. I took time to listen and share. And they did the same.
But beyond them I thought about this blog and my upcoming projects. I prayed for the readers enrolling in the Bible in 90 Days program (starting August 20, 2012). I prayed for the students scheduled to study John with me in September. I prayed for the wonderful women I’ve interacted with online, She Speaks, and those I interact with wherever.
Do you ever sit back and wonder what’s next for you? Do you see how the individual encounters you have connect to your purpose?
What do you do then?
Me? I like to doodle.
Yes. I’ve shared this before but thought we’d dig a little deeper today.
To begin, I take out a clean sheet of paper and I doodle. I start with one thought or concept. For this particular session the thought was my work here. Thus, I started with my purpose.
I believe this is part of my purpose, or at least the beginnings of it. But I have to stay tuned into my purpose to see progress.
I usually draw a circle with MY PURPOSE in the middle. Then I’d add thoughts that come to mind off from the circle. Here’s an example.
These thoughts could be anything.
But this time I did something different. I’d like to invite you to join me on this little adventure.
I’d like to share a couple of caveats–brief explanations. I want to ensure we are on the same page or at least in the same ballpark when considering your purpose.
What does it mean?
I will not dig too deep with this word. However, this is to establish a basis for the exercise and your consideration.
To propose as an aim for oneself (Source)
To set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself (Source)
I see and read these definitions. I am always drawn to several scriptures when I consider purpose. I think of words such as “purpose”, “work”, “plan”, and so on. In the end, I usually find myself meditating on these few scriptures:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 (emphasis is my own) (Read in context)
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (emphasis is my own) (Read in context)
…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 (emphasis is my own) (Read in context)
Now, I’m not a biblical scholar. I do not hold a seminary degree. I am an open vessel for God to use and I pray daily to be usable by Him. These verses have caused me to believe…
1. God created us for a purpose.
2. God ignites the desire in us toward our purpose.
3. God creates the plan to accomplish that purpose.
Thus, to my human mind and my limited perspective I deduct…it’s in there.
Your purpose is in you. It has been there all along. The next logical question is How do you get it out?
Living Your Purpose
How to live your purpose is a loaded question. I believe it’s not as complicated as we’d like to make it. But these are so many factors in our lives which make this seemingly easy task difficult.
I say seemingly easy task because in the beliefs above God is doing most of the work. It’s like planting a garden. He provides the dirt. He plants the seed. He causes it to grow. My only task in the equation…obedience.
Now, I could really deduct we have two major roles: (1) seeking Him and (2) obedience. But I sort of hop over seeking Him. Not because it’s not important. It’s just that I believe this is naturally what we are created to do. To seek Him and be in fellowship with Him.
I will unpack this more in a future post.
It’s number 2: obedience that trips us up. Well, I’ll speak for myself…It can trip me up.
In seeking God He answers. It’s the answers that sometimes floor me.
I think…you want me to do what?
Even…are you sure you’re not talking about Sister Such-n-such?
This is me making a seemingly simple task complicated when all that is required in my obedience.
What about you?
Have you sought God concerning your purpose? Did He answer? If so, have you acted on His prompting?
Finding Your Purpose
This exercise may seem out of order. I assure you its right where we need it.
You see, I believe many of you want to know…Lord, what is my purpose? You have prayed. You have cried. You have tried. You have forced, pushed and pulled.
Yet, you don’t believe you’ve quite identified what it is.
I mean, how can you exhibit your obedience if you haven’t yet identified your work, your plan, your purpose?
Additionally, I have used this exercise on several occasions to ensure I’m on the right path.
Because as stated above, our purpose is identified. Our jobs are to seek God’s will and bring it out. From there our role is to be obedient.
Now, this is just the beginning but a good one. Here’s want I did….
Step 1: I created a foundation. In the foundation I wrote my purpose.
Step 2: What is needed? What do you desire to build on your foundation? What is necessary for your foundation to be constructed into a fully functional structure?
Step 3: Don’t think just write. This is a tricky step to explain. As you think about Step 2 and add to the diagram try not to think. You want your thoughts to flow from your heart to the page. The intent of this flow is not to affirm or reject a thought. We can always do that later. This is a step of exploration.
Continue until you feel like your task is complete. You may fill the page. You may stop at one level. Either way, go until you feel you’ve captured all the thoughts surfacing through the exercise.
Step 4: Step away. You should put the drawing aside. In this step I’d suggest praying. Ask God for direction. I also consider areas in my life where He has already answered and/or provided confirmation.
Step 5: Revisit your diagram. This step can happen the same day or weeks later. I’ve found that there is usually one area that I need to explore more. I may need to remove parts, add to it, etc.
Step 6: Capture your thoughts. As you go through the steps capture your thoughts in your journal or notebook. I find that this free-flowing of my thoughts reveals much.
But I can miss it if I don’t write it down. The diagram is like a map. But your writing the thoughts helps actualize the potential plan at work.
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
In this post I’ve said a lot. I know. But I hope in the end you go back and explore. What caused your heart to leap? What areas are standing in agreement with a current problem or dilemma? What are you attempting to run from but this content is bringing it back to the forefront of your mind?
It’s time to face this area head on and I believe starting with this exercise will help.
Question: Do you know YOUR purpose? If so, what is it?
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