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 = 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.
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