Struggle For Meaning

Struggle For Meaning

It’s Been a Struggle

I have been struggling for a little over a week now.  When I tried to determine when the struggle began, I couldn’t pinpoint it at first.  As I thought about it more, though, I realized it came from seemingly the oddest of places.  My struggle began after I wrote New Life.  To me, that seemed like an odd place for it to start because I seemed to have received such clarity and joy from the dream in the story.

I know the dream followed me into reality when I woke up.  I had never known, with such certainty, what a dream was really all about as I did with that one.  I felt the dream was so clear about questions I had asked that I felt I had actually received answers to what direction my life was supposed to take.  But here’s where the struggle begins…I only knew that I wanted a new life to leave a legacy pointing to Jesus.  I wanted it to be something I could do for my life’s work.  That’s where the clarity ends.  I had and have no idea what that looked like in real life.  I said it was to be done in writing and speaking, but that was really just a guess I was making because I’d been told I should write and have been led to write a few things.  But I’m actually completely clueless.

When I put a voice to these questions, I am asked by the person to whom I’m talking what it is I want to do.  The answer is usually I don’t know, that’s what I need to find out.  I feel like I have no idea at all and like I have nothing to offer this world.  I don’t have a purpose and I struggle for meaning from and for my life.  When the question goes further, it is met with the same thoughts that my counselor asked me today – am I searching for purpose based on man’s thoughts or God’s?

I know how I’m supposed to answer that question and I truly believe that it is God’s.  But, still, what does that look like?  I know I am only here because God created me and He did so with a purpose in mind for my life.  I often talk about how each and every one of us is created for a purpose, and I know this statement is completely true, but I can’t take the explanation any further with examples because I have no leading as to what that means or looks like in my life.  In my way of thinking, there has to be something tangible and clear for a life’s work to actually be determined as such.  So, in a way, the answer is God’s purpose on earth with man.  Just saying I have a purpose, but never being able to say or show what that is, makes the words mean nothing.  My words hold no value.

Struggle For Meaning

Life’s Purpose? It’s a Struggle For Meaning

Struggle For Meaning = Looking For Purpose

What does my purpose look like in this world?   I have never felt a calling to do any of the paying jobs I’ve ever worked.  Not one of them.  I have also never had a leading to make something for the masses. (What I do create I question whether they are good enough or if anyone would want them.  So, I give them to my friends.  Umm…what does that say for and to my friends?  I hope it, at least, says they are worth the time, effort and thought I put into making the jewelry for them.)  I have also never  had an idea I felt I could teach others that would be something they’d either want or need to learn.  It just hasn’t happened.

This leaves me feeling I have nothing to say when I’m asked where I work or what kind of job I do.  I tell them I drive people in my house around, buy stuff we need and do whatever work is needed – oh, and I write a blog (that’s usually how I say it, too.)  I then have to tell them it makes no money and I don’t have many readers.  This then, at least with those who have asked me, pretty much takes all credibility of being a writer away because I have nothing to show for it.


I pray throughout my days and listen for God’s leading.  However, none of those leadings have given me a glimpse of a life purpose, except for being a stay-at-home mom for so many years.  I know that was important and gave my boys stability in a not-so-stable home life.  I also know every Christian’s purpose is to share and show Christ’s love and be a reflection of Him so that others may come to have Him as their Savior as well.

But…what…am…I…supposed…to…DO…for my life’s work and purpose?

That’s a huge question, especially for someone who has lived in abusive relationships and/or families and been told they would amount to nothing, had no value or anything to offer the world.  When I consistently have no guidance or direction pointing me into a direction for my life, ALL of those hideous comments become my story and are validated in my mind.  They play inside my head and even come out of my mouth when I am struggling like this or am in a rough place.

Struggle For Meaning

Where Does Writing Fit In, If Anywhere?

When I was told someone felt God telling her I should be a writer, I took it to heart (because I value and trust the person), but didn’t act on it for years.  Now I’m writing what I believe I’m supposed to write, but I see no movement forward into eventually making a living from being a writer.  This brings me back to the point of being confused and I start questioning whether I’m really hearing correctly and, if my friend heard correctly, maybe I didn’t act on it in the right amount of time, so now it’s no longer an option.

Or maybe writing is just another venue for me to point others to God and I am to do this in my free time.  As far as a life’s work, maybe I should just get whatever job fits my schedule (as a single mom of two teen boys and the only driver) and gives my life a different feel or something to challenge me.  Maybe my purpose is following His lead day-to-day and no big direction for my life is forthcoming – maybe it just doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do.

And there’s the problem…if what I do doesn’t matter, is there a purpose for my life?  I can’t speak purpose into the lives of others if I have no tangible evidence or definite leading to my purpose.  I hold no credibility without it.  So, even my writing, at this point, really has no lasting purpose or meaning.

So, where does that leave me and where do I go from here?

~ Joanna Lynn

8 thoughts on “Struggle For Meaning

  1. “I can’t speak purpose into the lives of others if I have no tangible evidence or definite leading to my purpose.”

    Have you heard of the “Butterfly Effect”? You never know when one of your small words will have an effect on one person, then they will effect others………….My fellowship friend always tells me, “Just do what you do and leave the rest to GOD”. Are you following your calling? If the answer is “Yes” then you are in the right place. 🙂

    Just do what you do. The evidence is in your knowing that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are not responsible for what others do….don’t look at the stats….look at your own self and know that you are doing the right thing…. 🙂

    You never know who might need that “one” word or post that you make that will change their life.

    <3 <3 <3

  2. That’s very true. I continue to write and say what God leads me to say. As far as my purpose, I know I’m home with my family – my mother, who doesn’t drive, also lives with us and my middle brother and his son have been living with us for about two months. I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to do at this moment for my family. I guess the biggest thing is I have never had a dream or a passion to follow. I know a big part of that is I gave up trying when being told I had nothing to offer. I think this feeling of finding purpose is bubbling up from the healing that is going on.

    Thanks so much for your encouragement and direction. It means a lot to me.

  3. You have joy in your heart, Joanna! I wish you pure joy amidst your struggle in finding and (even in not finding) that purpose. God wants you to dwell in the moment, not in finding His will, but just to be in the moment, finding Joy in His presence in your everyday life. You have enumerated a number of them in your post. I hope I can give you an affirmation in saying that God takes delight in you and loves you even if you find that purpose or not. More than the purpose you are seeking, our God ultimately just wants to bring you Joy — everlasting, unspeakable, indescribable joy! You have that joy in you. The purpose you are seeking does not define you. God doesn’t define you by what you can give Him back, only the joy in your heart is enough for Him.

    It took me a while to see that myself but that’s another story. I just want to share this with you as God would want me to. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You can always contact me thru my blog if you wish to. 😉

  4. Thanks so much. Many years ago, I decided that I would live my life in the moment because I had no future with those around me in my life. I am filled with His joy because there is no life without it. I’m glad you see it in my writing and thanks for the reminder.

    I know part of this struggle is a search for a dream or a passion. I believe it’s part of the journey to figure out who I am aside from what I’ve been told I am…or am not. I truly believe God is sending me on this journey. I believe He has told me the next job I have will be related to the plans He has for me. And, so, I am on this journey.

  5. I think you are already walking in your purpose. Continue to share your story. You’ve already sent some strength my way. It has been refreshing to read your honesty and learn more about myself because of it.

  6. Thank you so much. I’m glad my words could help you. I wrote a little more about it in the last post I wrote in that I think i have lived moment to moment each day because I’ve had to all my life that I feel like I should have more of a direction now as to where He is taking me in this writing or in my life. But as I was doing my Bible study today, I feel God telling me to go into His Word daily with prayerful consideration and this is where my purpose will be revealed.

  7. Yes, keep seeking Him in HIS Presence while reading His Word, praying, and listening. Write out prayers and the Word that inspires you in a journal. I write poetry often when I spend time with HIM and it has been very special and rewarding in and of itself… As you do, themes and/or promptings may begin to make HIS will clearer for you. You may or may not hear HIS still small voice in the quiet. Be patient, for it takes time. HE will reveal HIMSELF more and more or HE may put a burden on your heart for a particular group of people you are to reach out to through your writing or for going to serve in the community you are in or both.

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened…” Matthew 7:7-8
    Praying for you to receive what you’re asking for, for finding HIS purpose, and the door open as to how you’re to be and do…

    Keep asking, seeking, and knocking…

    This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

    Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

    You may already have that special desire in your heart that GOD is bringing to the forefront for the purpose and lifework to do… If you don’t know yet, that’s alright for as you delight in HIM, you’ll begin to discover one of those valuable desires of your heart which will lead to a purpose and hope, a life work…

    For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

    I believe you are already doing HIS will in how you serve and love your sons and taking care of extended family. (Huge, meaningful, purposeful, needed, loving, giving) But it is also very rewarding and worthwhile to discover a life purpose and dream to pursue for HIS praise, honor, and glory…

    Be inspired and encouraged…

I'd love to hear from you.