January 13, 2017

Purpose ≠ Perfect

Something amazing happened late last year. After the most tumultuous almost-year of my young life, (including such existentialism as “who am I?” and such practicalities as “where in the actual eff am I going to live next week!?”) I accepted a job doing EXACTLY what I want with EXACTLY the population I want and EXACTLY the responsibilities I want. How amazing, right? This is the job I imagined, I prayed for, I meditated on. And it materialized and I’m living it.

And it’s kicking my ass. Like, hard.

I was not close to prepared for the struggles I would face in this position. I was not prepared to doubt my abilities. I was not prepared to reach into the depth of everything I have learned from every job I have ever (like, ever) had. Every day asks for everything I have. Sometimes I rise to it, sometimes I don’t. However, in all of this, I choose not to doubt that this is where I need to be, this is where my present purpose lives.

I find comfort in believing that just because we are meant to do something, does not mean it will always be rose-colored awesomeness. A great sermon I heard right before I started this job was about how being led to something does not mean it will work out as we planned. From a Christian perspective, this means that while it may not go according to what we plan, it will always go according to God’s plan, or the plan of the grand and wonderful universe.

Difficult as this job can be, at the end of every day I know it is congruent with what I know to be one of my greatest purposes in this life. If you cannot say the same about your circumstances, then it’s time to do some soul searching (see Juan’s post from Monday). Having expected to just walk down a daisy lined path into my new job and be adored by all my clients and always have the energy to cook dinner and do my hair because my job is just that fulfilling is quite clearly ridiculous now, but I know that just because it’s been (really damn hard) work doesn’t mean it’s not only worth it, but destined just for me, for now.

This applies e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e in life. I want to encourage you that if something isn’t going as you planned, is it because you need to make a change? Or because you need to remember that your purpose will not always feel perfect, but challenge leads to humility and learning and growth and self-actualization–which is so much better than ease and simplicity.

The victory is not in our circumstances, friends. The victory is in a beautiful purpose, beyond our small and earthly ideas of perfection.

Read more about Emily here.

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