One of the most significant things I have learned is that the journey to fulfilling your purpose can be lonely at times. Reason being is that not everyone will “get it.” Whether ill-intentioned or not, there are people who tell others what they think that person should do with their life. And unfortunately, the result is that people are persuaded into doing something that isn’t part of the plan that God has for them specifically.
When we allow others to convince us of what they think God has for us then we run the risk of living an unfulfilled life.
Often times, my students will come to me to get advice on the career path they are interested in. One of the first questions I ask is if they have chosen their path or if their parents have chosen the path for them. There are a few reasons for this. One, I teach college-aged students, so I really don’t want parents showing up to my office (not a good look students)! Two, it gives me an idea on how I tailor my advice to them.
If their parents have chosen the career path for them, I know I’m going to be limited in the advice I can offer them that they’ll truly be able to follow. However, if they have the full support of their parents to choose any career they want, then I know exactly what to say. And one of the things that I always tell them is this—be careful who you listen to. Why? Often times the majority of people will have a difficult time truly understanding and supporting what you were created to do.
There’s a story in the Bible God has been showing me lately about Caleb and Joshua; two of the twelve spies, who were sent out to examine the land of Canaan (the Promised Land). These spies were all to report back to Moses on what they saw there since he was in charge of leading the Israelites out of slavery. Out of the twelve, Caleb and Joshua were the only two who brought back a positive report. Here’s the thing though; there were many negative things they could have reported back on and that’s exactly what the other ten spies did. They told of all the obstacles that were going to be a problem. Caleb and Joshua didn’t ignore the obstacles or pretend they weren’t there but instead they chose to focus on the positives. The end of this particular story was that God rewarded Caleb and Joshua for not going with the crowd. In this instance, the majority wasn’t right.
When you step into your purpose, it’s going to require full out faith and obedience to God. Often times, it will feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it will feel scary. Some days you’re going to focus on all of the things that could go wrong instead of focusing on all the things that could go right. The majority of people will suggest that you settle. They will want you to play it safe. But living within your purpose means there are going to be days where you’re flying solo.
In the middle of going through my divorce, one of the things we had to figure out was finances. I made significantly less than my ex-husband so that played into how things would work out. One day my ex-husband told me that 80% of people do a job they don’t like and that I was choosing to make less, when, because of my degrees, I could go somewhere else and make more. In other words, he was telling me to go with the majority. The problem with that was that I knew I was stepping into my God-given purpose with the job I worked so hard to get (and was offered by the grace of God). I don’t know if his 80% statistic was accurate or not, but I do know that a lot of people are not being fulfilled by their jobs because they’re unwilling to be uncomfortable.
My encouragement for you today is this—take some time to figure out what you are supposed to be doing. Is there something within you that just won’t go away? What is that thing that you can see yourself doing that truly makes you happy regardless of the amount of your paycheck (and regardless of what the naysayers believe to be true for you)? God will never lead you astray and He certainly doesn’t want you doing a job that makes you miserable.
Living within your purpose is going to require you to step out in faith. It’s not always going to be comfortable and it’s certainly going to bring about moments where you have to encourage yourself. But I promise you, it’s completely worth it! Stand strong and live out that purpose that God has for YOU!
You can get there. You will get there!
And remember— the majority doesn’t always win. 🙂