Embracing What You Have

When is comes to pursuing your dreams and living on purpose, there's been a lot of talk out there lately.  Should we pursue our passions or should we embrace the journey God gives us? 

I've been wrestling this question to the ground as I clarify my marketing message on what I do, how I help women live wholeheartedly and change their life from the inside out. 

With that said, I'm extra passionate about finding purpose where you are today. In the midst of our everyday, go to work, mundane life - we can find purpose.  And the reality is that there's a tension in every life well lived. Pursue your passion while you find your purpose in today. 

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The journey of a thousand steps

I'm passionate about this because my own journey reflects this. After becoming a Christian in college, I knew I wanted to do something significant with my life. I wanted my life to have purpose and meaning and change the world.  No small thing really. 

The problem? I was on track to work some kind of business/foreign relations job. Coming home from college, my passion was to help people grow in faith and freedom while my day job included classifying shipments for U.S. Customs clearance and getting companies their shipments of stuff.  It sounds exactly as glamorous as it was. Including sitting desk to desk with my friend Lucy who could, without getting up, answer my phone comfortably. You get the picture. 

From those early days of adulting, I knew I was made for more. I began this quest for the perfect job - the one that I would feel fulfilled in every moment of every day. Soon, I had narrowed it down. A job in a church. Helping people grow in faith.  That was the ticket. 

Before I knew it, I had made my purpose a destination. A job I needed to have. When I have that, I will arrive. 

Taking the long road

I knew exactly what I needed by the ripe age of 24. However, the "job" seemed to elude me.  I decided to help God along, of course. I needed to be educated in the field. I signed up for night classes at a local seminary.  When that wasn't working, I found a seminary in Minnesota that would help me finish with classes at night. So I moved 3 states away. 

After graduating, I knew I would finally arrive at a church job. You may have guessed that the job offers did not come pouring in. Instead, I kept working the import job while I pursued my passion. 

At the age of 35, I was both desperately wanting to get a job with purpose and learning how to embrace the journey God had given me. Part work, part mundane, part fun, part pursing passion. 

I finally got a job in my passion - helping people with faith and life. And after a few years, realized that job, like the many others before it, included tasks I loved and tasks I could do with out. And in those moments, I realized that finding purpose was not about a job or my passions or gifts. Finding purpose was about seeing God at work in the middle of my everyday life. Finding purpose was about choosing to live on mission regardless of the tasks I was assigned. Finding purpose was about being present to places and people and the things God gave me. 

Embrace what you have

I've talked about this before, so if you're a long time reader you've heard the story. But last week I was reminded of my love for helping women find purpose today instead of looking for it in tomorrow. 

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Last week, I tuned in to Jen Hatmaker's podcast. On her show, she interviewed a gal named Chrissy Kelly.  Chrissy and her husband have two young sons both diagnosed with autism.  In the interview, Chrissy answers all the questions you may have as she tells her story. Like what do you do when the story you've been telling yourself is nothing like the story you are currently living. How to grieve your dreams so God can create new ones. And how she embraced what she had before her, not what she wished she had. 

Preach! 

That's all I'm saying. Sometimes what we had dreamed up from our little girl days or our college days or even when we started out being an adult, is nothing like what we imagined. Who am I kidding? Almost all the time, am I right? 

For me, embracing what I have includes years of waiting to live out my gifts and passions in a job I thought was just OK. Embracing what I have includes approaching 50 as a single, never-been-married woman when I dreamed of the white pci. Embracing what I have includes grieving old dreams so I can say yes to the new dreams God has for my heart. 

I've got a question for you. What life surprises is God asking you to embrace today? What are the things you have that you never expected and quite frankly, never really wanted? That job that feels mundane. A marriage that needs work. Kids that have needs you didn't expect. Dreams you're still waiting on. 

You see, all of us live with the tension of our dreams and our reality. All of us long to find purpose by working in and living out our passions. But sometimes, just like Chrissy, our purpose comes from embracing what we have and being unapologetic about our spaces. One foot faith trusts God to transform our unexpected paths into steps of grace and courageous faith. 

Embracing what you have takes courage.  I know first-hand that the grieving your last dream is filled with hard work. I'd love to pray for you on your journey. Drop your prayer request here and send me a message through my contact form

Danielle AllenComment