Sadly, for many years I believed that my purpose was tied into some far off destination that was going to drop into my lap someday. And, I stumbled over my wondering and worrying about what my purpose was and what my goals should be to help me accomplish whatever my purpose was.
Even though I was married, had a family and worked part-time, I somehow excluded all this from being part of my purpose in life.
Therefore discovering my purpose in life was on hold. It had to be on hold because I did not have the time nor energy to pursue anything else. My hands were quite full.
Then I made the fatal mistake of comparing myself to other women, who worked, had families and were in leadership roles in their community and accomplishing great things while successfully raising their kids and supporting their husbands.
As former US President Teddy Roosevelt once quipped, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparing myself to these women caused me to stumble over what was right in front of me and the joy and challenges of marriage, kids and work.
There were happy times and difficult times in all these aspects of my life, but they were part of my path and my purpose. And, I did the best that I could and learned from mistakes, upheavals and failures along the way.
This verse in the Bible has helped me in so many ways to not get caught up in the what ifs:
And so, I have come to understand that over all these years my purpose has been unfolding through all the seasons of my life. I don’t have to look beyond the horizon, I can look at what God has put before me and focus on that. I have learned from my mistakes, accepted my failures and survived upheavals and disappointments.
As Mother Teresa said:
Mother Teresa accomplished great things in her life by paying attention to what was right in front of her and finding ways to meet the needs of the many hurting, wounded and lost people she saw.
And, so this is how it really is and must be in order for us to fulfill our purpose in life. We walk through it and attend to what is directly in front of us our spouses, our children, parents, people in our workplace and community.
We walk carefully, paying attention to what is before us and attend to it with great love and care. We learn to rise to the challenges, overcome through our blunders and mistakes and walk on, learn and grow.
We do not look to far ahead but pay attention to the people and experiences along the way.