I love to have guests come to my house. So, I figured why not have a few guests come to my blog? Welcome Wednesday is a new feature we’re trying out.

My guests will be writing about different topics regarding purpose. Today’s post is by Christa Sterken, a writer and photographer. Christa talks about discovering your dream.

DSCN0347There is a disturbing trend among adults in the season of mid-life. It is a suffering spirit stemming from lack of purpose and loss of joy and confidence in knowing each day matters.

This may be because no one ever taught us how to live with intent. Much time is spent in our youth on things that are not very valuable in shaping our lives. The goal is the best score on the SAT. The test designed for academic placement and standards doesn’t reflect who a person really is, yet an inordinate amount of time is devoted to it’s preparation.

What if?

Imagine the possibilities if we spent an equal time preparing teens to understand who they are designed to be. It is a misguided focus. Teens should be understanding their personality, strengths and natural abilities. They need time to develop the things that truly bring them deep joy.

Remember meeting with your guidance counselor in high school to hear the verdict of what occupation would suit you? If you’re like me, the job suggested was one you never wanted to do in a million years. What would it have been like to have been raised with an appreciation for your unique abilities?

There are those like me who are all grown up, supposedly, but still don’t know what they should be doing. I understand. My whole life, I have wanted to know I made a difference; that my life mattered. I couldn’t quite articulate the root of it, but there was and is a deep longing to know why I am here. Can you relate?

Step into your purpose

If so, it is never too late to step into your purpose. Never. Need some place to start? Here are some things to think about when looking for your purpose.

  • Who—Know this, who you are is priceless. Look to people who influence you in positive ways. What is the draw? Perhaps you have a similar gift.
  • What—Research areas that utilize your skill sets. Make lists, no matter how far-fetched some ideas might seem. Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5).
  • When—Don’t distress if there is not an immediate answer.  Things take time, experiences help define us. If you can’t see the big picture, wait for it. It will come. Enjoy the place of today.
  • Where—Look for places to use your talents. When you are unsure of how to narrow your focus, serving can help. Having a purpose isn’t for your own delight, though likely that will follow. There is deep satisfaction in offering your life to others. When you serve others it will become apparent what is life draining vs. life restoring.
  • How—Seek resources. Read Gift of Purpose: How to start living your dreams and think about what it is you want to do. Try taking a test for spiritual gifts and see what comes up. Ask for input about the gifting other see in you. This can be scary, as you might be a touch insecure about their views. It is valuable to see what might be obvious to others. Be gracious! Listen and reflect on these insights.

No matter what you fill your life with, either experiences or material possessions, it doesn’t compare with knowing who you are. Living with intention and delight and knowing what you have to offer will give you confidence to live richly.

God created you special

It might never be completely apparent what difference you make. That is ok. You can rest in the knowledge that God created you to be special. Knowing who you are isn’t about you. It starts there and takes off exponentially.

When you live a life of contribution, you don’t need all the answers. There is a quiet assurance in knowing that the work of your hands and heart matters.

And that is the deepest fulfillment of purpose.

010Christa Sterken writes with a passion to see the details of the everyday. She blogs at www.christasterken.com. You can also reach her at [email protected]

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.