There was a long time in my life, where I was searching for my “purpose,” and trying to figure out what it meant to be me. Day by day life was sometimes a struggle for me, and I constantly compared myself to what the world deems as important, or successful.
Since I lived a simple life, and chose to be a wife, mother, and homemaker, versus a successful business woman or rocket scientist, I was lead to believe that somehow I was a failure as a woman. That I was a let down to the feminists of this culture…who seem to thrive on the “me first” philosophy of life, and the idea that children or family should never hold a woman back from the glory that she is…or should be.
I was being pulled in two opposite directions. The world was pulling me in the direction of finding what “I” needed to be happy, and my heart was pulling me in the direction of striving to find ways to make my family happy.
This constant battle in my heart and mind caused discontent and confusion. I had no idea what it was that I needed, and certainly did not know who this elusive “me” was. Down deep, I knew that there was much to learn about myself, and knew that it would not be an easy thing…to find my true purpose, and to feel comfortable in my own skin.
My main struggle was that I honestly believed that I needed to be perfect…look perfect, act perfect, and have a perfect family who lived in a perfectly clean home in order to be even close to the level of anyone else in the world. So I tried day after day, week after week, month after month, and then year after year, to look like all was good.
Except that I knew I could never be perfect in any area of my life, and so I could never be “ok.” It was a conundrum. And I went round and round, searching for who I really was, and what I was doing on this planet.
Even though I wasn’t yet aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, he lead me to the first steps of reading self help books, and then to therapy. Book after book, and each therapy session taught me one tidbit after another, teaching me to love myself and not to be afraid of asking, and sometimes demanding, what I needed to be happy.
When I found my “power,” I realized that I was ok the way I was, and everyone else needed to know what “I” needed to be happy. It was a time of selfishness…it was all about me. In the midst of this process, I learned to accept and love myself unconditionally…both my strengths and weaknesses.
When I learned to accept and love myself, somehow I was transformed.
Without conscious effort, I began to accept both the strengths and weaknesses of my family, my friends, and the people who were placed in my daily life. I learned to focus on the good, and overlook the bad in others. Miraculously, my happiness level rose exponentially.
It seems to me that Jesus was there every step of the way, leading me to continue learning one more thing after another that would ultimately bring me closer to the power of Love…to Him.
I started out as feeling inferior and empty, and then realized that I am a child of God, with unique gifts. The error that I made (and the same one I am seeing over and over in others) was to think that my happiness is the most important thing in this life. That I needed to focus on myself, and in that way, would find happiness.
That was a deception.
True joy and happiness is realized through reaching out and helping other people. It is opening our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, and asking Him to fill us with himself. It is looking for ways to be a blessing to others, and to be humble in our dealings with those who hurt us or cause us to be uncomfortable. When filled with the Spirit of God, it becomes easier to see through hurtful words and actions, and see the hurting heart that lies beneath.
In knowing your true worth…that you are loved totally and unconditionally by God…it is easier to stand your ground in a more loving way. Without anger, jealousy, or bitterness.
I now know that I “found myself” when I learned that my true identity lies in the Lord. His love surrounds me and fills my heart. This love begs to be shared!
It’s not all about me. It is all about Him… that lives within me. And my purpose is where He leads me.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31