This is the final installment of the series The TRUE me: A new approach to goal setting. While each piece can be enjoyed individually, please check out the earlier parts for a complete picture!
You have waited so patiently for the conclusion to this series, my friends. The past few weeks have indeed been a bit of a roller coaster, from health concerns for my dad to a much-needed getaway to strep throat in my house. But more than anything, I have (quite ironically) just struggled to write this particular post. Though it ties in nicely with the idea of being intentional in how we live and in being capable of doing what God puts before us, it is also a separate and important idea… But one with which I continue to struggle.
I sit back and look at the statement above, and one word rings in my head: boldness. It is bold to declare that I have a purpose. It takes boldness to share my story with others. But when I look in the mirror, bold is not the word that comes to mind. Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. In fact, when I listen to women around me talk about purpose and sharing themselves, doubt seems to fill the air. A few key questions seem to pop up over and over.
What do I have to offer?
When I’m writing parenting articles, I’ll often seek input from friends whose kids are a little older than mine. Almost without exception, they will begin their advice with, “Well, not that I am any kind of an expert…” or “I don’t know if anyone really wants to hear what I have to say, but…” We are quick to invalidate our experiences and insights.
I love the Bible’s story about Esther, the unlikely queen who saves the Jewish people by boldly approaching her husband in their defense. Esther initially balked at the idea that she should speak to the king. Who was she to stand before such a man? Why would he listen to her? Mordecai, her uncle and guardian, urges her to embrace her purpose: “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Granted, most of us aren’t trying to save an entire race from destruction or gain an audience with a king, but the sentiment remains: for such a time as this. You are not here by accident, my friend. You were created on purpose and for a purpose. Your life is anything but insignificant. The God of heaven looked at the world, saw a need, and filled it by creating YOU.The God of heaven looked at the world, saw a need, and filled it by creating YOU.Click To Tweet
We are called not merely to exist, but to use our lives for God’s glory. We take the experiences He has given us, we learn and grow, and we use what He has taught us to build others up. Whether that means standing before the king or knocking at your neighbor’s door with a plate of cookies.
Couldn’t someone else do it better?
As a writer, I have heard the words in my own head echoed by my writer friends: “What do I have to say that anyone might possibly want to hear? Hasn’t someone else already said it—but better?”
I promise you the answer is NO.
God has given you a story no one else has, and an ability to tell it like no one else can. Don’t remain silent because you think you are not important enough or eloquent enough.
You might read this and think, “I’m not a writer or speaker. This doesn’t apply to me.” But that’s not really the point. I’m not talking about writing a book or standing in front of crowds of people. Sharing your story is about encouraging others “with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV).
Have you struggled with infertility? You are the perfect person to give a hug to the woman who just took another negative pregnancy test. Have you struggled with loneliness? Invite the new family in your neighborhood over for dinner. Did you see the weary mom with the unruly kid in Target and think, “I’ve been there!”? Give her an encouraging smile—and maybe a Starbucks gift card (only because a glass of win might be frowned upon in the aisles of Target). Let your story be a gift to the people God puts in your path, whether one or a million.Let your story be a gift to the people God puts in your path.Click To Tweet
What if I get rejected?
To a people pleaser, fear of rejection can be debilitating. We seek the stamp of approval from the people around us but are terrified of being denied. So instead of risking the rejection, we choose to remain silent, allowing ourselves the illusion of control: “I can’t be rejected if I never try.”
In the musical “Waitress,” Dawn worries to her friends about an upcoming blind date. “What if when he sees me,” she sings, “he’s only disappointed? What if I give myself away only to get it given back? I couldn’t live with that.” Dawn’s solution is to hide from relationships so that she avoids the hurt. It seems safe, but it is a lonely way to live.
We all long for a stamp of approval, but what if I told you that you already have it? How would we live differently if we were starting from a place of victory rather than uncertainty?
As Jesus hung on the cross, he declared, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and he didn’t merely mean his life here on earth. He had accomplished so much more—he had finished his work, paying the price for the sins of all people. There is no more we must or can do to earn God’s approval, the work is done. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us… raised us up with [Christ] and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4&6 ESV). We are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. We already have God’s stamp of approval!
Do you know what this means??? We no longer have to live for approval. We can live from approval! Can you picture how your life would be different if you truly lived like you already have all of the approval you need? Is it just me, or is it absolutely exhilarating?
Over the past six (or so…) weeks, we have talked about creating a personal mission statement, setting your priorities, and identifying who you are—and want to be. I have encouraged you to use those statements as a jumping-off point for setting better goals. And I have shared my own mission statement with you, explaining how it informs who I am and what I do.
Friends, I can think of no better way to end this series than with these words.
You have a purpose to fulfill and a story to tell. Go tell it.You have a purpose to fulfill and a story to tell. Go tell it.Click To Tweet