Jen’s Gem: God knows your heart.
I believe the number one question everyone asks themselves is “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life?” There’s a b-zillion books out there on the topic. Motivational speakers and life coaches have made a pretty penny trying to help people figure this out.
We’re told to think back to our childhoods and identify the things we enjoyed doing as a first step. We’re also advised to ask our friends and loved ones to tell us what we are good at doing. We’re asked what comes so easy to us that we could do it in our sleep. What would we do all day long for free?
The answers to these questions help us to uncover our gifts and talents, which God breathed into us at conception. But do they identify our life purpose?
I spent years and years, along with countless monies, trying to figure out what on earth I was here for. I longed to be one of those people who at an early age knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. A high school aptitude test said I should be a plumber. Given that I’m a “I just want to turn on the faucet and water comes out” kind of gal, I’d say this test was slightly inaccurate.
My son is a really good basketball player. His dream was to be in the NBA. However, he realized his short stature (six feet) and his inability to dribble easily with both hands would not land him this coveted job.
This desire morphed into him wanting to be a sports broadcaster. His knowledge of the game and his passion was evident as I (and anyone within earshot) listened to countless hours of basketball stats. Yet, when he saw that the broadcasters were bound by network-mandated scripts instead of speaking truthfully, he tossed that career aside.
While he struggled to figure out a career, he took a job as a cook for a local restaurant. This taught him core job skills and enabled him to put away a few dollars, take a couple of cruises with his friends, and purchase items he wanted. He’s even whipped up a few dinners for us from time to time and indicated a slight interest in wanting to learn how to cook.
During the pandemic, he worked out at home with resistance bands and a pull-up bar. He transformed his body in months. He would talk to me about the different moves to build that muscle or that and I thought a career in personal training might be a good fit.
The other day, my son accepted a job in sales and marketing for a local firm, where he will assist them with social media and customer service. He will use his technical skills as well as his ability to communicate to help them grow their business. I couldn’t be more thrilled for him and know that he will be successful.
This job is an answer to prayer – my own combined with the prayer warriors at my church just last week. For months I’ve been sending my son job alerts for him to consider. Each landed in the recycle bin much to my dismay. Yet, this one he chose to as well as chose to listen to me when I advised him to follow up his application with a phone call. He had an interview the next day.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
While only God knows what this position has in store for my son, I’m confident that it has awakened a new purpose in him. I already see changes in his demeanor, his talk of the future, and all he wants to do in the role. He’s excited and I share that excitement with him.
Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and trust where God leads us. Sometimes we have to stop the flurry of activity and simply be still to hear God’s voice, or to be on the lookout for confirmations of what we think is where we should go.
Four years ago, I took a leap of faith and announced at a networking meeting that I was a freelance writer. God put those words in my mouth as they were not contemplated. That day I got my first client.
God knows the desires of our hearts. He knows His will and purpose for our lives. All we need to do is ask, listen, and then act upon what we hear. I asked God for help to set my son on a career path. I listened and waited for an answer. I prayed and asked my church to do the same. My son took the leap of faith.
Today his mother is raising up a Hallelujah chorus.