As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been struggling a bit with the feeling that I am not walking in my purpose. I know that seems like I’m painting my uncertainty with a broad brush, but it’s the best way I can explain it. I am surrounded by people who are clearly walking according to the purpose for which they were created. Artists, singers, IT specialists, teachers, entrepreneurs, and the list goes on. They have combined their gifts, talents, skills, and life experience and they are using it to do incredible things. They inspire people, provide for their families, influence culture, and in many cases, they are changing the world. AND THEY ARE LOVING IT. You take one look at these people and think, “this is what they were born to do”.
This is what I’m craving for myself. For so many years, my job was a means to an end. I had two young kids to provide for (which I was doing by myself), so I did what I had to do. Get up, get kids ready, put in my 40 hours at whatever job would pay the most, go home, feed kids, sleep. Repeat.
There was seldom room for any advancement no matter where I worked because I didn’t have a degree. I hit the glass ceiling on the second floor. And it was enough…at the time. I was thankful (am thankful) for what that work was able to do for myself and my kids. I was so busy trying to hustle and keep a roof over our heads and food on the table that I didn’t really have time to think about whatever dream or calling I was missing out on. But then seasons changed. I got married and had another baby and make no mistake about it – being a wife and mom is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. But there’s a knocking on the door of my soul that is begging to come in and plant new roots. When I first noticed that longing develop, I felt guilty. Shouldn’t “wife and mom” be enough? They are both such important roles in the fabric of our home and this world, so shouldn’t my work in the lives of my people be sufficient?
I began to search for the answer to that question by rediscovering my creative spirit, which for me, begins in books. I’ve always loved to read and it’s always the place that I find inspiration. Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, humor…doesn’t matter. Within the pages of a book, I am able to both lose and find myself. I’ve finished five books since January, which is a lot given my lack of distraction-free moments. I decided to finally open a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for about five years and while I’m only one-third of the way through it, it has changed my perspective in ways that I did not expect.
The title alone pretty much nailed this inner turmoil that really feels more like a creative mid-life crisis. As I read this morning, I exhaled with relief at the notion that I am not alone in this conundrum. The author put words to what has been brewing in my mind about this deeper calling that I’m trying to put my finger on. For a bit of context, the author explains, “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” Resistance, he goes on to explain, “prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius.”
And sadly, Resistance is usually us standing in the way of our own call to greatness. It takes many forms and shapes and manifests in a myriad of ways, but always has the same goal: defeat. What he said next hit me right between the eyes, because it precisely how I’ve been feeling.
What does Resistance feel like? First, unhappiness. We feel like hell. A low-grade misery pervades everything. We’re bored, we’re restless. We can’t get no satisfaction. There’s guilt but we can’t put our finger on the source.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my life. God has blessed me with a deep, lasting, holy love in my marriage, and five beautiful children. We have everything we need and we live in a safe community. We love our church and the people in it. LIFE. IS. GOOD. But there is a longing beneath the surface and we all have it. We are all wired uniquely and beautifully to not only be happy but to influence, inspire, create. It looks different for everyone and this is the precise thing I’m trying to discover for myself. What does that look like for me?
This is my quest: to surround myself with the creators, inventors, influencers, and world changers. To soak in their wisdom and experience. To no longer compare myself to their purpose but to be inspired by it to discover my own. To those of you who are following along with me while I dip into the waters of self-discovery, thank you for indulging me.