I had just graduated from college. I said my goodbyes to my boyfriend and my best friend as they left with a team on a mission trip to Romania. I took my parents and my sister to the airport for their flight home to Virginia. And finally, I packed up my apartment with my roommate of 4yrs and loaded everything I owned into the back of my ’93 Mustang. We left in separate cars; hers was headed for Largo, FL, mine, as far as I was concerned, was headed for the great unknown.
I had decided not to return home after college. I wanted to stay in West Palm Beach and see what opportunities I could find there, but for right now, all I knew was that I was alone and felt quite lost. I had been begging God for answers about my life after graduation and hadn’t heard anything. “What do you want from me God? What is my purpose now? Do you even have a purpose or a plan for me?”
In our attempt at self-esteem building, we answer yes because it makes us feel special… but do we really believe this?
Does God have a purpose for my life?
This is a question that we often give a quick “yes” to without contemplation. In our attempt at self-esteem building, we answer yes because it makes us feel special… but do we really believe this? The Scriptures are packed full of stories of God’s purpose and plan for His people.
Hannah prayed for a child and the Lord gave her Samuel who would eventually become a great judge for the nation of Israel. The Lord had ordained his days before he was even conceived (I Samuel 1:11).
David was the youngest of Jesse’s boys and the least likely to become nobility, but God had a plan for him long before Samuel found him tending his father’s sheep (I Samuel 16). David would become the greatest king of Israel.
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; you prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and a delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord” (Luke 1:13-15).
John would grow into a bold man of God, would pave the way for the coming of Jesus, and would die at the hands of a pagan king for speaking God’s truth.
Like the heroes of Scripture listed above, God has known us from the very beginning:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; you works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).
I believe that God has known you since before you were a bundle of cells and that He had a plan for your life before the foundation of the world.
Why do I list these people and these passages? Because I emphatically believe that God has a purpose for your life. I believe that God has known you since before you were a bundle of cells and that He had a plan for your life before the foundation of the world. I also believe that, like Samuel, David and John, God has a plan for your profession in life. God has ordained your days on this earth and He plans to use YOU to bring glory to His name.
Back to my story…
I had always believed that all aspects of my life, including my career, needed to be within the will of God. I sought His will for jobs, friendships, relationships. I sought His will when choosing my college and my major… this is why it was so difficult to not have his direction upon graduation.
From the summer after I graduated until last August, I worked a series of unfulfilling jobs taken primarily to pay the bills. Over these three years, I prayed that God would keep me in His will and give me the jobs He wanted me to have. I know that God provided me with these jobs, but I also know that I felt empty and unfulfilled in what I did every day. I worked hard and did my best, but I felt like something was lacking.
About a year ago, I was having a conversation with God about what He was going to do with my life and I was fighting with Him about becoming a nurse. I had always wanted to become a doctor, but felt like He had told me no on several occasions. Several people had suggested I consider nursing, but I always thought of it as a step down. God asked me if, in order to work out humility in my life, I would be willing to take a job that may appear to be below me and that would probably require me to humble myself everyday. As I thought about my true motives, I said yes.
After years of searching for God’s will for my profession, I’ve found true fulfillment in my work. This is what I was created to do!
I’m one semester into my nursing program. From my first day in the hospital, I knew that nursing was what I was created to do. The more experience I get, the more I know that, from before I was created in my mother’s womb, my hands were ordained to bring people comfort and my spirit to uplift and encourage people in their time of physical and spiritual need. After years of searching for God’s will for my profession, I’ve found true fulfillment in my work. This is what I was created to do!
I tell you this story so that you will be encouraged to live your life with the confidence that God has a purpose for you. God created your hands, your mind, your spirit for a specific purpose and he has a plan for you during your time here on earth. He may have already revealed this plan to you or you may need to go through a season of testing before it will be made known to you, but I am confident that He has created your life with a specific purpose in mind and that He will use this purpose to bring you true fulfillment.