Lately, here in the goodsoil, I’ve been talking about our purpose. Over the past few weeks we’ve covered some important territory regarding God’s purpose for our lives.
Living on purpose requires us to first recognize why God created us. He did this with intention for us to live a life of impact and intimacy with Himself. You can read more about these four purpose driven principles in this post.
- God chose us
- God called us
- God gifted us
- God placed us
Second, we must understand who God is and who we are. The road to this understanding includes several practices. You can read more about those in this post.
So here we are, asking… How does this actually play out in our day to day lives? Today I want to offer a couple of areas where God leverages our lives for His purposes. The specific means by which He uses will be unique to our very own space in which we live and the gifts and resources given to us by God. Still, I’d like to give us some living breathing examples to get us thinking.
God Leverages Our Experiences
For one thing, we have an opportunity to steward our experiences for greater purpose. God divinely positions us to use what we’ve overcome, walked through, and learned… In order to encourage, edify and spread the hope of Jesus to others.
Adopting a baby…
Although there are countless examples of this in your life and mine, I’d like to offer one of my favorites. Jen, who happens to be my very best life friend, found herself adopting a baby after birthing four children of her own. She and her husband chose as their own, a precious baby girl, who’s teenage mom just wasn’t able to provide for. Their later-in-life-step-of-faith, became an amazing God story that He used far beyond their own family.
Because of this adoption process, my friend, received an up close and personal view of teen moms and their very real struggles. Years down the post-adoption road, Jen found herself leading a ministry for teenage moms. Did she go looking for this? No. Did she know exactly how it was going to go? No. Taking her personal experience, a heart willing to trust God, and a passion for new mamas, she stepped into this divine opportunity.
As a result, Jen became so instrumental in the lives of these teen mamas.
Then adopting some baby mamas…
By God’s really cool orchestration, Jen and I both had our fifth born babies, albeit by different means, within a couple months of one another. (See my before delivery and her after adoption in the photo above). I was able witness, not only Jen’s adoption story but also it’s far reaching fruit in the lives of teenage mamas. First and foremost, she loved them… by offering compassion and truth. Second, she met their physical needs – throwing them baby showers and gathering donations for their fragile living situations. Third, she offered hope – sharing the grace that comes from knowing Jesus and His desire to redeem our lives for good.
Jen’s adoption experience resulted in an up close and personal experience with a desperate teenage mom. Which offered her an opportunity. An opportunity to make an impact, an eternal one. On a forgotten group of teenage moms.
Friend, God created you for a unique and specific purpose that includes what you’ve walked through. Your personal experiences, the marvelous and the miserable, position you to touch people’s lives in a way no one else can.
God Leverages Our Place
Additionally, we have an opportunity to steward our place for greater purpose. This “place” can mean a myriad of things. For instance, the actual neighborhood in which we live, the school we’re involved in, the company we work for, the community we belong to, or even the position we’ve been given, act as our place.
As someone who has moved all over creation my entire adult life, I know this from experience. You can read about our latest move here.
Some quick stats…
Twenty-eight years ago, my husband and I were married. Since then, he and I have lived on three different continents, in four different states, and ten different cities. That’s twenty-eight years of marriage and eleven different homes. Thus, God has used our place, for purpose beyond what I could have ever orchestrated or dreamed up. Y’all, this nomadic landscape is the fertile ground in which God cultivated my understanding of His purpose. It’s no wonder that this is my life verse…
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God,Acts 17:26-27
In light of our migratory life, there was the time we moved from Belgium to what this Texas gal referred to as the tundra (aka Chicago). With several young kids at home, I was desperate for a mama’s night out. So, I headed to a scrapbooking night at a friend’s house. Naturally, we got to talking about mom stuff. After whining over the lack of space in our lives to discuss some of these things and wanting to grow in our relationship with God, we decided to do something about it.
The next thing you know, we’d started a Bible study. Without blinking, my scrapbooking buddy gathered a handful of her friends who were struggling with the same needs. Following suit, I invited some of my neighbors, and opened my home. Given that I had just painted my entire formal dining and living room with three coats of red paint, I felt it necessary to have others enjoy it! By no means do we need to redecorate our homes! However, if you so happen to be going through a new paint color phase, why not use it for others?
In fact, our little mama group met every week. We would send the kids to the basement, study the Bible, share snacks, our victories and our defeats. It’s worth noting that the famous “newborn brownies” originated in this very group. You absolutely must have this recipe in your life! I’ve linked it here for you. Beyond brownies, we built friendships, stronger marriages, and a better parenting game.
God created you for a unique purpose within the sphere in which He placed you. Friend, the space between your own two feet has been divinely appointed for you. To touch people’s lives the exact way only you can. Your passions, whether scrapbooking, prayer, rocking babies, talking to teens, or painting may very well be the tools the Lord uses for eternal purposes. Start asking Him.