Every year can bring with it life-changing events, economic struggles, unexpected sicknesses, or even those tiny moments that become the biggest memories of that year.
At ADRA, our mission is our purpose—to serve humanity so all can live as God intended. We respond to new crises that impact the most vulnerable nearly every day. We meet families who have lost their livelihoods and their economic ability to thrive. We learn that education is not accessible to all girls, changing the future for generations to come. We watch communities who depend on the environment around them for food lose nutrition due to changing conditions.
Every day there is news of more pain and hurt, but our purpose fuels us to keep going.
In recent years, life changed for everyone and the way we lived out our purpose was affected. Many of you have likely had your own experiences and are again trying to connect with your purpose again or find your renewed purpose.
Purpose is a personal thing.
You might think of it as your calling, your unique contribution to the world, or just that “thing” that elevates the path you take in life. However you define it, many of us have experienced the frustration of thinking we’ll never find our purpose, or even that we’ve got it wrong.
There are plenty of reasons that may cause the spark of your purpose to fade, so today we’ve got three easy steps you can take to help you find your renewed purpose!
- Pray & Listen
Many of us have heard all of our lives that that God has plans for us. For others, it’s a new concept. Either way, this may seem like the go-to thing to say with no real action, but prayer is an action that gives us the opportunity to connect with the source of our true calling.
Open your heart to Him, share with Him your joys and frustrations, bring Him your difficult questions, and ask Him for His guidance.
Should you expect an immediate lightning bolt of inspiration after you pray? Probably not. God’s most powerful answer to prayer is often a gentle reminder to be patient and trust Him.
2. Get to Know Yourself
One reason we might think we’ve lost our way and missed our purpose is simply because we’ve changed. It’s natural that our interests, talents, and personalities develop and evolve throughout different stages of life.
So, who are you now?
Take ADRA for example. When we plan a project to support a community, we need to get to know the people within that community first. The more we can know about their lives, the more we can recognize needs, vulnerabilities, and available resources more accurately and support them most appropriately.
Here are a few fun questions you might consider to get started:
- What are my strengths? Think about the skills you’ve learned and what talents you’ve perfected, but don’t overlook the things that come naturally to you or don’t seem important.
- What traits do others appreciate about me? Sometimes our most valuable qualities are things we have a hard time recognizing in ourselves.
- When do I feel most like me? It’s a weird question, we know, but pay attention to the times you feel truly content, inspired, or challenged. Think about who you’re with, what you’re doing, and where you are–do you see any repeating factors?
- What makes me different? You may be tempted to ignore the little things, the quirky things, the unconventional things about yourself, but that would be a BIG mistake. If you shy away from what makes you unique, you might just be overlooking your greatest strength!
After you’ve spent some quality time reconnecting with yourself and talking to others, go back to Step 1. Learning more about yourself might be interesting on its own, but there is no one better qualified to give you guidance on it than the One who created you.
3. Start Serving
It’s easy to overthink something as important as this, but you’re not likely to find renewed purpose inside your own head.
One surefire way to get your mind off yourself is by serving others.
You probably know people or local organizations that could use your time, resources, and talent. What you may not realize is how transformative the experience can be.
Whether you stock shelves at a food pantry, help a neighbor with yardwork, take a shelter dog for a walk, there is great value in spending time with new people (or animals) and trying new things.
Who knows, you might just find a spark of something special while you’re serving!
One thing you’re guaranteed to find as you seek your renewed purpose is that it’s not something you can just check off your to-do list. You may experience some twists and turns (and maybe even a few detours and flat tires), but it doesn’t mean you’re not on the right path.
There is no time limit for the plans God has for you, and you will not be disappointed if you put your faith in Him.