After leaving college in 2011, I felt as if my life was ruined. I couldn't afford to go back to the school I was attending in South Carolina. Honestly, I could've gone to school in my home state, but at the time it wasn't an option for me. See, it wasn't education that I was so concerned about. Truth be told, I enjoyed the lifestyle I made for myself--the drinking, clubbing, and playing house with a guy I called myself being in love with.
I thought this was all it was to my life. And at the time I thought leaving it all behind meant that my life had been stripped from me. I was angry and confused. The word purpose never crossed my mind, because I didn't think such a word existed in my life.
Even though I returned back to North Carolina, it didn't stop me from traveling to South Carolina on the weekends to party with my friends. I had a lot of fun doing this, and it seemed hard for me to let go of this lifestyle--simply because I didn't want to...
All of this crossed my mind when a coworker asked me a question-- "How can you find out what your purpose in life is?"
After all of the partying and running behind my friends and the guy I dated at the time, I began to grow weary. Prior to this feeling, I planned a trip to Alabama with an organization I was a part of. I spent quite some time planning for it with my friends. In the mean time of me planning the trip, I started finding comfort in reading the Bible. As it grew closer to the day of the trip, a tug of war began to go on with my heart. I knew that if I would've gone to Alabama, I would've spent my weekend drinking, clubbing, and doing whatever else I considered fun. The lifestyle I made for myself in South Carolina was tugging me one way, and God's was pulling my heart in the opposite direction.
I knew I had to make a decision. I had to decide to either go on the trip, or let it all go to pursue a relationship with God. It didn't take long for me to make my decision. I told God I would leave it all behind to pursue a relationship with Him. In addition to that, I asked if He could forgive me for my sins and make something out of my life. Shortly after letting go of the sinful lifestyle I was living, I started seeking Him. I asked if He could show me the purpose He had for my life. He did exactly that. That's right! The Lord answered my prayers.
DECOVERING YOUR PURPOSE
In order to discover your purpose, you must first understand who you are and why you were created.
"Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness..." (Gen. 1:26 NIV)
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Gen. 1:27 NIV)
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph. 2:10 NIV)
The world tells us that we are to live a life of self; self ambition, self pride, self pleasure--self, self, and more self. Reality is, if you knew who you are and why you were purposed to be here, you wouldn't live that way. You would want to live a life in Christ--where your true identity is.
We were created in the image of a God who is the author of life, and sin is not in His divine nature.
You will never be able to find your purpose while indulging in sin. Why? It's simple--God is not the author of sin. Sin brings death.
This explains why I was left weary after all the fun I had while clubbing, drinking, and running behind a guy who didn't even care about who I was and why I was created.
I wasn't living out the purpose God created me for, so I was dying on the inside. A life of sin began to dry out my bones, and for a minute, I thought it was sucking the life out of me.
. God is the author of life. And in order to find your life, you must first lose it--willingly.
" Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses it for my sake will find it." (Matt. 10:39 NIV)
But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." (James 1:22 NLT)
After reading God's word, I was able to recognize Him tugging at my heart. Even though He was pulling, He couldn't make the decision for me. I had to first decide to let my life of sin go. Once I did this, I began to apply God's word to my life.
I began to renew my mind. The word of God brought such a conviction to my heart. I began to weep over the sinful things I did. Because of this, my desires began to change.
I no longer desired my life of sin. I wanted to know God's plan for my life.
"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom." (James 4:8-9 NIV)
Whenever you become sick and tired of living life aimlessly--whenever you become weary of living a sinful life, that's the moment I believe God is trying to capture your attention.
I grew up in church, but I was straddling the fence. I had no personal relationship with God. Although I was in church almost all of my life, I was ignorant to His ways--simply "Double minded."
It all comes down one thing--your decision.
You have to decide if you're going to chose a life of sin, or a life in Christ?
THE GRACE OF GOD
I was upset then, but now I thank God for taking me out of school and pulling me in another direction. Most importantly, I thank Him for forgiving me for my wrongdoings. God looked down on me with kindness. I thank Him for showing me that He still has a great purpose for me.
He gives us grace--grace that we don't deserve.
God already had a purpose planned for our lives before we were even conceived. (Eph. 2:10)
If God forgave me and showed me my purpose after giving my life to Him, I know He'll do the same for you.
It' not too late. Surrender to Him, and walk in your God given purpose.
If this portion of my testimony blessed you, please share it, in hope that others will also be blessed.