When We’re Searching For Purpose In Every Season of Our Lives
My birthday’s coming. It’s right around the bend.
My husband threw me this beautiful shindig to honor the occasion.On a perfect late summer evening with the perfect sky, he gathered my favorite people along with some beautiful music and food, to help celebrate.
Fifty is a big birthday.A hallmark, they say.
One of those moments that causes you to pause and re-evaluate everything – the beginning from the ending, to determine where you are in the middle of it all and what it all means anyway.
Birthdays are markers of purpose, marking more than just the passing of time, but marking the quality of time, whispering in our ears if we’ve lived well, walked well, stayed close to the side of the One who has called us and is guiding our journey.
I believe birthdays are like the days leading up to New Year’s Day.They are times to reflect, to be thankful, to heal, to dream, to cast new visions, and to open ourselves to the blowing wind of the Holy Spirit in order to measure our steps and appoint our days.
This birthday has been particularly challenging.The number itself means little.I’m proud of the fifty years I’ve traversed this meager little corner of the universe.
What’s been particularly difficult has been the pressure from external voices around me.I keep hearing people describe being 50 yrs old like the best is over, like life is winding down, like I am now living the denouement of my story.Somehow I’m supposed to be settling in, relaxing, surrendering as I meander quietly into the sunset.
That’s what gets all over my wiry, 5ft 7inches of grit-and-girl self.
This birthday as I see it, is a beautiful gift of humility and gratitude, for the older I get the more I realize my story is more about the people God has miraculously infused to teach me, encourage me, to build me for the work to which I am called today. These are the heroes of grace, who willingly poured themselves into my life to befriend, to accept, to make a difference.
So as I stand here on the eve of this birthday season, I need to declare —I’m not done.
God is still at work in my life.The story of my life is not yet finished.I have no need of a beguiling stallion to ride me off into the sunset.
Moving in the direction of healing will always be the cornerstone of my life.And God’s healing doesn’t come with an expiration date.His purpose doesn’t end with a number.It doesn’t.
If you are struggling with purpose today, here are a few things I’m discovering about God’s purpose for my life through the seasons, even at fifty years old!
When we are seeking Him, His purposes are being accomplished in our lives
I used to live feeling the weight of the world on my shoulder.I was young and naïve, believing that I had to work, to strive, to do in order to accomplish His purposes for my life.
The older I’ve become, I’m learning that God never intended that I carry such a heavy weight.Jesus says to take His yoke, that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
My job is to walk by His side, to follow in His steps, to move in the direction of Him.He accomplishes the rest.Though I can’t know what that will look like, can’t predict the end result, I can rest knowing that, The one who calls [us] is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24,NIV)
Philippians 2:13(NIV) adds, For it is God who works in [us] to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
What peace, what relief!His purposes for me are not dependent on me, but on Him, and we can trust Him because He is faithful and He will do it.He is doing it.Rest. Trust Him today.
We can trust His purposes for us are good
I spent a huge part of my twenties believing that God was playing a trick on me, trying to dupe me out of His blessing, making His will like a corn maze that never had an ending, but always left me lost and in a state of perpetual confusion.
Growing to know Him, His character, His heart towards me as His Beloved, I now know His plans and purposes for me are good.He loves His children.His desire to bless us, to give us a hope and a future is sure.
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Do you believe God is trustworthy today?Do you believe in your heart that His plans for you are good? If not, what stands in your way?
When we look at God, we will either see our wounds or we will see Him.Our scars or His beauty.Our cynicism or His faithfulness.
What do you see?
His purpose for us is always to pursue holy
We live in a culture that tells us constantly that God has BIG things for us, that our greatest dreams are right at our fingertips.I just don’t know that I buy it anymore.Or want it, for that matter.I can’t find it in Scripture.
At times I’ve fallen victim to believing God’s purpose involves a stadium, a book tour, my name in lights.That is seldom His desire.His desire for each of us is simple.Pursue holy right where we are.Embrace holy.Become holy.
Joshua 24:15(NIV) states that we will each have to make a choice, saying, But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
In 2 Timothy 1:9(NIV), Timothy describes God’s calling, He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
Micah 6:8(NIV) echoes this by saying, He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humblywith your God.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, are you pursuing holy?Do you wake up in the morning with the heartbeat to live and serve the Lord?Do you make it your aim to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly?
It’s really that simple.
What has God given you to do today? Do it. Do it with all of your heart.
We don’t have to wait until we’re fifty, sixty, or even seventy years old to discover His purpose.We can live it right in this moment.
Turning fifty is a blessing.I know I’m not done. I know God’s not done.
I can’t wait to see what God has in store for each of us.Whatever it is, I know it is good, because He is good. Yes, good.
About This Community
Don't we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that - a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my new book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I've discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/155392891