You may look in the mirror and wonder who you are now, what’s next—and what’s your God-given purpose in this season. You’ve been shepherding your children on their journey to adulthood and engaging in work inside of outside the home to provide for the needs of your family.
Are you feeling unhappy because your career as a working mom isn’t fulfilling to you? Or maybe you are a stay-at-home mom busy homemaking or who started doing a job in your spare time, but find it is more draining than energizing? You could be an empty nester who once had a profession before you stayed home to raise your children, but now you don’t know how to fill your life with meaning again and don’t want to go back to the same position?
Whatever your situation, your heart longs for a sense of purpose. And whatever your season, God has purpose for your life which will provide meaning and fulfillment as you pursue them wholeheartedly.
The 3 Levels of Your God-Given Purpose
As believers and disciples of Christ, we have 3 levels of expressing God’s purposes for our life. The first two general purposes are the same for all Christians. The third is unique to each person. What they all have in common is that God is the source of knowledge and power to walk in all of His purposes for us.
Pursuing the two general purposes God calls you to live out in your life will draw you closer to God. As you are more intentional in Christian growth, your heart will desire what God does, your mind will reflect Christ, and your spirit will become more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. A more intimate relationship with God will enable you to grow the fruit of the Spirit and other godly character traits in your life to reduce stress and enrich relationships with your spouse, young or adult children, other family members and friends.
As you no longer feel connected to your work outside the home or your children no longer need you to walk as closely with them day by day as they grow, your need to walk more closely with God day by day can be filled. And your journey with Him will fill you with hope and help you fulfill your specific purpose in life to live with more passion and impact. All that the world has to offer, can’t compare to the promises God has for you—“more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”. (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
1. General Purpose in the World
- All believers are called to the purpose to love God and love others. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied that the first and most important was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV) Prayerfully reflect on how your love for God as well as your love for others in your home or in the world can grow and be expressed more fully in words and actions.
- All believers are called to the purpose of making disciples. Jesus told His disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV) Consider how the attitudes, words and actions others see in you are a witness to the new life available to them through Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- All believers also have the purpose to grow in Christlikeness and bear fruit to God’s glory. Jesus stated, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5,8 NIV) Assess your heart and life for areas that are bearing little or no fruit, seeking God’s direction and power to begin to grow to become and act according to His will.
2. General Purpose Specific to Your Daily Life
We must intentionally focus on fulfilling God’s will in the different areas of our daily life. This is a general purpose for all believers, but the path you take to reach it will be specific to you, your family and your life situation.
We may not always consider how the choices we make, tasks we perform and interactions we have with others in our day to day life can either be to God’s glory, just our own glory, or maybe have no glory at all. The condition of our spirit, heart and mind can impact our influence on others as well as how they perceive God. The condition of different parts of our life can affect our ability and effectiveness to achieve our goals and God’s other purposes for us in various ways.
Though there are many parts of our life we can seek to align with God’s will, there are some listed below that impact us daily and in the present and future, thus require regular attention. You can learn more in my post about the 5 Areas to Seek God to Find Purpose as a Christian Woman or in any season of life.
- Spiritual Life
- Physical Wellbeing (body, mind, emotions)
- Relationships (family, friends, peers, strangers)
- Work (homemaking, career, vocation, ministry, volunteering)
We must ask God for wisdom and guidance to transform from the inside out to fulfill His desires for all areas of our life. If we don’t move toward God’s purpose in these areas, we will not reach our potential for impact or fulfillment. In which of the 5 areas of life do you feel the least amount of satisfaction, and perhaps find that your mindset, habits or lack of partnering with God in them are limiting your progress?
3. Specific Purpose to Your Design
In addition to the more general purposes God has for us in the world and in our daily life, each of us was created with a specific purpose to fulfill. This specific purpose is often referred to as our Christian calling, God-given calling or life’s work, but we will continue to refer to it as purpose in the context of this post. Even though your heart’s passion may be similar to someone else’s focus, because God didn’t create anyone else exactly like you, the way your God-given purpose shows up in the world will be unique to who you are as a person—one of a kind.
You may be asking yourself, “What is my purpose in life?” if you don’t know it yet. Or you could be wondering “How do I fulfill my purpose in life?” if you have some revelation and either may be ready to step out in faith or may feel unsure if you’re really equipped for it.
You specific purpose may not be clear until God begins to reveal it to you. God usually doesn’t reveal everything all at one time. In the beginning, you may only have a God-given vision of what you feel called to do in the future, but not yet know the path to get there. And it can be made known to you in parts and even shift focus as you become more prepared for it over time. As God reveals your purpose for this new season of life, you’ll see how your unique design, passions and life experiences fit perfectly into His Kingdom purposes.
During your years centered around education or exploring careers or parenting and homemaking, you might not have had any idea of what God designed you to carry out in your future. Or you may now realize that you had parts of it revealed to you without you knowing it was God’s plan for your life. Perhaps you were aware of what you feel specially made to do, but you were still focused on starting to make a living or raising your family and didn’t feel led to or have time to begin to explore it.
In any situation, it can seem overwhelming to think about getting from where you are now to where you need to be to bring to reality His will for your life.God is the real source of the answers to your questions and of the preparation and confirmation you need, so you must seek His wisdom, direction and provision. What’s important is that you patiently and joyfully embrace the journey and don’t try to rush out ahead of Him. Trust me—I know from personal experience. His timing and His ways are best.
However, while you wait for clarity, there are some steps you can take to explore your design, find clues to your specific God-given purpose and move forward on your journey.
5 Reflections to Find Your God-Given Purpose
The first place to look for signs pointing to your specific purpose is at how God uniquely designed you. Some ways to explore your design are prayer, self-reflection, self-assessments, life purpose coaching and classes. As part of the process, below are 5 questions you can reflect on to start on the path to discovering your purpose:
1. What lights a fire inside of me?
- passions and interests I could do all day
- world issues that burden my heart
- messages I feel led to share with others
2. What can I do very well without much effort?
- natural strengths
- natural abilities
- special talents
3. What is unique about me?
- personality traits
- values or life principles
- spiritual gifts
4. What are my significant life experiences?
- prepared or inspired me to help others
- found meaning in the experience
- learned major life lessons
5. What dreams are in my heart that won’t fade?
- types of people or situations I usually help
- messages I feel led to share with others
- a role or activity I keep imagining myself in
Steps to Fulfill Your God-Given Purpose
When you have partial or full clarity on your specific purpose, you may ask, “What are the steps to fulfilling God’s purpose for me?” Of course there are steps that are very specific to who you are and your life situation that will be determined in time as you move forward. And there are some steps that only God can reveal and lead you in taking. However, there are steps you can take to further your understanding and progress on your path to purpose.
Seek Wisdom and Clarity
Finding your specific purpose is a process that often takes much reflection and revision over time. Below are some steps you can take to help you gain wisdom, clarity and progress in the purpose discovery and fulfillment process:
- Ask God to help you discover how the unique things about you and your life reveal His purposes for you.
- Examine more deeply how the unique parts of yourself and your life may relate to how God is at work in the world.
- Gather input about what you seem to be naturally made for from those you can trust who know you the most.
- Write out a purpose statement draft that describes what you think your God-given purpose may be. Include who you feel called to impact, what you feel called to do, how you feel called to do it, and what the outcome of your efforts would be.
- Research how this issue is already being (or maybe not yet being) addressed in the world. Write down ideas of how you might approach the issue based on your unique perspective and experience.
- Prayerfully reflect on your unique design and life experiences, as well as your purpose statement. Listen to your heart and spirit as you go through your days. Ask God to give you clarity and vision.
- Write out a detailed future vision of what carrying out your purpose may look like. Include who, what, when, where and how aspects. What do you envision yourself doing? Who are you serving or is with you? When is this happening? Where is this occurring? How are you doing it? What scenery do you see? What words do you hear? What do you feel? What do those you serve feel? How are you changing lives? How does what you are doing serve God’s purposes in the world? Modify this vision over time as you feel led to do so.
- As Spirit-led or appropriate opportunities arise, get involved in existing endeavors or start something on your own to seek further knowledge and clarity around your purpose. Be flexible to modify or stop the opportunities if they are not a true fit for who you are, your life situation or what God is actually calling you to do.
Take Action from the Inside Out
Whether you are working to find, prepare for or fulfill your purpose, be intentional to take action toward your Christian goals both inside and out. Below are some principles to follow in the goal-setting and action planning process:
- Trust God and believe in yourself. Your confidence is based in knowing that He has designed you and called you to your purpose and He will help you in fulfilling it. Replace any limiting beliefs or negative thoughts with the truth of God’s word.
- Seek to transform areas within yourself and your life where God is leading you to grow. The more you develop the heart of God and mind of Christ, the more you will sense and respond to the Spirit’s leading.
- Keep focus of your vision instead of outside influences. Remember that you are moving toward God’s plan for your life rather than following the external influences.
- Make choices that fit who you are and your life situation. Be authentic and realistic in making decisions about what you do, timing and strategies to avoid unnecessary stress.
- Plan simple and clear action steps you are equipped to take. Setting goals that stretch you is beneficial, but make sure your actions are attainable and have a workable schedule so you can build confidence while progressing.
- Make a plan to manage existing or potential obstacles. External obstacles (eg. overcrowded schedule) or internal obstacles (eg. unhealthy mindsets) must be addressed both before and throughout your action steps.
- Set up accountability or support with a friend, group or system when needed. Letting others know what your goals are to help keep you on track can help you more effectively focus and move past doubts and procrastination. Also getting expert support to work on aspects of your path you are struggling with is wise to avoid pitfalls.
- Be flexible to reverse or change course if something isn’t feeling right. If your feelings are based on self-doubts or fears, it may not be a true sign to rework your plan. But if something seems to be taking you farther away from your natural design, passions, vision or purpose foundations, then pray for God to give you guidance on making the right decision.
It may take days, weeks, months or longer to be completely certain of every aspect of your God-given purpose. And though you may start walking in your purpose in one way, it may shift over time to more closely match what God continues to reveal to you. However, these steps will lay the foundation, and as you keep intentionally and prayerfully exploring and experiencing, more details will be revealed in time. Be patient to move within God’s pace and timing.
Bible Verses About God’s Help to Fulfill Your God-Given Purpose
There will always be ups and downs, periods of progress and pauses. But you are never alone. God is always at work to fulfill His purposes for you on the inside and out. The following Bible verses give insight into the faithfulness of God:
The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Psalms 138:8 NLT
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 NLT
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 NIV
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NIV
Trust God to Fulfill His Purpose for You
The many types of work that women do from stay-at-home moms to working women inside or outside the home is not always easy. Many moms have only focused on the purpose of their role as a parent and homemaker. Often women only consider their purpose related to themselves as a business owner or employee. You may feel like you don’t have anything more of significance to offer beyond motherhood if you are a stay-at-home mom. You could feel like you have gone so far down the path of your career that it is too hard to change work focus now. As an empty nester, any mom may feel a loss of purpose when your children are grown up and your role in their life changes—even if they don’t leave home yet or need to return home for support after leaving. But purpose is not tied only to those things. Purpose is more than a role you do. It springs out of who you are and can bloom in many different ways in different seasons.
God has a purpose for you–in every season. You simply have to look up to God instead of looking around at your circumstances.
He has purpose for you with all believers, in all areas of your life and in relation to your unique design. And He will reveal your God-given purpose and help you to fulfill it every step of the way.
Do you feel like there’s no way you could have a unique God-given purpose?
Are you struggling with the process of finding your specific purpose?
Do you need help building confidence and a plan to step into your purpose?
If you need support in finding or fulfilling your God-given purpose, Christian Life Purpose Coaching can help you to close the gap between where you are and where God has a vision for you to be. I welcome you to contact me for a complimentary ‘From Tired to Inspired’ Strategy Session if you may need someone to walk with you on your journey.