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Have I Failed in my Purpose?

“God, have I failed in my purpose?”

I typed on my phone and waited to hear Him. I knew what He’d say. It’s against His character to say I ruined His whole plan. He’s bigger than that. But I needed extra reassurance.

I had just seen that a college friend of mine was doing great things in anti-trafficking work.

In college, I worked with him in some anti-trafficking efforts. At that point, I thought I would go on to eventually lead a movement. I’d go and lay my life down to help someone become free.

I thought about how fearless I was back then. How did this much time pass since college? My life looks so different than I thought it would. Am I totally ‘off’ my calling? I asked God and listened.

I heard a simple, yet strong, “no.” He showed me my journey to get to where I am now. I worked with trafficked victims for a bit, but then- one step at a time- God led me to other things. I kept saying “yes” to His next step. And now, here I am, and I love where He’s led me.

Then God told me something interesting: following God doesn’t look like the ‘most Christian’ path.

Let me explain: If, at this point in my life, I chose to go into anti-sex trafficking work, I imagine Christians around me would commend me for following God well. I’d seem very “Christian.” But for me personally, I wouldn’t be following what God is telling me to do. I would be following my idea of being a good Christian (and I imagine I would do a lot of good) but I wouldn’t be following God.

Because to follow God means to follow where He is uniquely taking you- not where Christian culture tells us is best. What is best, and what is holiest, is praying, seeking His peace, and seeking the Bible to see how He uniquely wants to use us. He might want you to be a preacher, but He might want you to be a hairdresser, or to work against trafficking, or do any random thing.

God is right when He directs us to love others. He tells us to serve the poor, heal the sick, and give generously. But we don’t need to be in ministry to do this. It isn’t holier to be a preacher than a businessman. True holiness is following where God uniquely leads you- through sitting with Him and discerning His direction and peace.

Why? Because to do as He leads is to follow Him. To do as He leads is to trust Him. He wants to use you to to serve the poor, heal the sick, and give generous gifts, but He sees so much more. He sees how your destiny is such an important puzzle piece in His kingdom and He doesn’t want you to abandon the unique call He has on your life because pastoring sounds ‘holier.’ Again, there is nothing holier than looking to God and chasing what He has for you. This is the way of ultimate trust in the Lord.

So instead of wondering if we are doing enough, we can tune in and ask God if we are in alignment with His unique plan for our lives. And if we feel anxious because we don’t know (which is very normal), we can pray to God and surrender our lives to Him. Then, we can trust that He will lead us. He is big enough.

As for our destinies, I thank God for my college friend and how he is helping women, but I also thank God for every hairdresser and businessman who surrendered to God and chose their professions because they followed His lead. This is how we can trust God- and what is holier than that?


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