When You Struggle with Knowing Your Purpose…
Jeannette emailed me recently and said: I would like to know what is the purpose of my life when I’m disabled, single, can’t work, can’t drive and am 50 years old.
Our purpose in life can be a mystery if we are equating it with happiness or fulfillment, or thinking of it in terms of work, productivity, or a career.
Our purpose does not always equal “the life we’ve always wanted.” Nor does it automatically mean “happiness” or even “fulfillment.” However, there IS a sense of joy and fulfillment that comes from knowing we are living out God’s intended purpose for us.
Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
There it is. We were created in Christ Jesus (that means recreated, by the way, through our salvation in Him) for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. In other words, we were created to glorify God.
- One can be disabled and still glorify God. The apostle Paul said “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (Second Corinthians 12:9).
- One can be single all one’s life and still glorify God. Marriage is not the key to glorifying God. Paul wrote that he wished everyone was single, as he was, because they would be able to focus on God, rather than have divided interests. In 1 Corinthians 7:33-34, he wrote: “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.”
- One doesn’t need to drive or be employed to glorify God. We can glorify Him with our lives by praising Him in our pain, being thankful in all things, and letting others see our love for Him, no matter what we are doing. First Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Perhaps God receives even more glory, Jeannette, from a woman who is disabled and can’t work, yet praises God as if she could.
Finally, no matter what your age, we are never too old (or too young, for that matter) to glorify God.
So, dear sister, I believe the question is not “What is the purpose of my life considering my disabilities?” Rather, the questions are:
- “What has God done in and through my disability?
- How has He ministered to my heart through these years of being single?
- How has He been my provision in my inability to work or drive?”
The bottom line is “How can God be glorified in and through your life?” You can answer that by thinking of ways He has shown Himself strong on your behalf. And then reach out to others who may be in the same or similar circumstances and give them the reason for your hope.
A good book to help with this is When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts, as it deals with a lot of the “why” questions and emphasizes God’s ability and desire to redeem our pain (and all of our experiences, really) into our purpose. Another book that may help is When a Woman Discovers Her Dream, as it will help you form a “mission statement” and give you ideas of what you can do to glorify Him in your present circumstances.
God will be glorified when we give to Him all that we have, and don’t have. Praise Him — and glorify Him — wherever you are in life — and you will be living God’s purpose for your life.
What are YOU struggling with? Ask me your question below (or email me at Cindi@StrengthForTheSoul.com) and I’ll address it in an upcoming blog.