For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling with understanding my purpose in this season. I graduated from college in the spring, started a new job, and moved to another state. I had absolutely no desire to do the latter but thought God wanted it of me, so I did. One of my close friends and I started a group at the local homeless shelter this past January and I assumed that God wanted to station me in this particular location to continue the group. But that hasn’t come to fruition as I thought it would, and I am certain that when God wants something to happen, it happens. No questions asked.
Since that realization, I’ve been stuck with the lingering question, “why am I here, Lord?”
Not only do I feel completely void of purpose, but of guidance and instruction as well. To be completely honest, I feel really really lost right now. And to add to that, I can’t seem to get a grip of myself. It’s like my brain knows I’m in a place that I’m technically familiar with, but I still feel a bit out of place in, so it’s acting all wonky and weird. I can’t seem to communicate the things I want to with the new people I meet, my usual slightly awkward personality has been multiplied by a gazillion, my anxiety and stress levels are constantly on like 95%, and then of course, there’s the homesickness.
But you want to know the worst part? The enemy knows how to kick you when you’re down, and boy has he been stomping all over me.
Within just a few weeks, all of those feelings turned into a looming, gray cloud of constant guilt. Mainly for not knowing what to do and feeling like a complete failure; feeling completely useless because I can’t seem to pinpoint my passion and gift that I can put to use for the Kingdom; and feeling incredibly ungrateful for my discontentedness because God has graciously blessed me with an amazing job and living situation right out of college, both of which are quite rare.
Lately, I’ve found myself thinking, “okay, you need to shape up, or ship out,” as if God will somehow give me the boot for not having enough faith in situations like these.
But He hasn’t. And He never will.
Sometime during the onslaught of my inner turmoil, I saw a movie called 8th Grade with a friend. It was about a young, socially awkward tween preparing to enter the, you guessed it, eighth grade. Throughout the movie she struggled to make authentic friendships due to her social anxiety, and also with bridging the gap between who she was and the person she wanted to become. Frighteningly, as a twenty-two year old, I related to her A LOT, except for the fact that I’m not quite as awkward or lacking in confidence, though both are things I’ve had to actively work on over the years. One night, she had a major breakdown in front of her father. She’d been trying so hard to be a better version of herself, but felt as though she was failing miserably. I’ll paraphrase their conversation as best as my memory will allow me:
“Dad, are you sad?”
“No, why would you think that?”
“Well, I think if I had a daughter like myself, I would be sad and disappointed all of the time. And I-I don’t want you to be sad.”
“What? I-I…. Honey why would you say that? I’m not sad or disappointed (some other mushy stuff). I think you’re great and you make me so so proud. I wish you could just see how I think of you….”
That last part brought me to (hopefully discrete) tears, as I started imagining God speaking to me with those exact words. It was almost like He was reaching through that screen telling me to stop the madness because His love for me is a vast, forever kind of love. I cried because it was a much needed, refreshing reminder that He is not only God Almighty, but is personal and paternal as well.
Sometimes, in my overly-analytical mind I tend to think of Him as far away and incapable of understanding my simple human problems, heartaches, and burdens, but it’s actually the complete opposite. That scene reminded me that I am His child who, regardless of all my failures, uncertainty, and borderline depressing feelings, He sees through a lens of grace and love. Most of all, it forced me to see Him as the loving, caring father that He is. He won’t throw us away when we fail or lose our way. And He won’t kick us when we’re down.
On the contrary, Jesus encourages us to
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I’ve found rest in these words. They remind me that He’ll always be the one to pick me up, and lift me higher even. I mean, God gave everything for us, He’d never abandon His sheep so easily.
Not only will He take care of all of our burdens, He has a plan and purpose for our lives as well. And truth be told, that doesn’t always resonate with me as much as it should. But in this particular situation, I realized that although I feel lost and without direction, God doesn’t. He’s sitting on His Heavenly throne fully aware of everything that will ever happen throughout time. He knows every single what, where, when, and how of my life.
Perhaps, I don’t need to see the whole picture right now, I just need to trust Him to hand me all of the right pieces at just the right times.
So tonight, I’ll rest. I’ll give God the reigns of my life and let Him direct me because like any good father, He sees me as His beloved child and will never ever leave me to take on the world alone.
Thanks for Reading Xxx
Let me pray for you….
Do you feel lost in your current season?
Are you having a hard time seeing yourself how God sees you?
What area of your life are you struggling to give to God?