A Promise for Purpose
About twelve years ago we moved to be on staff at a church where my husband was to fulfill a new ministerial role. I was living in a new town, attending a new church, trying to make new friends, and I was lost trying to find my place. For the first time in my life I felt unneeded and unnecessary. One day soon after moving I went walking for exercise and told the Lord about my frustration. In the midst of my complaint, He reminded me of these words He spoke to Jeremiah for His people: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). That day God helped me realize He had purpose for my life, and, over the next few years, He revealed His purpose for me through a life changing process.
I have found myself in another new town, attending another new church, trying to make more new friends, and feeling a little lost trying to find my place. Though this time is not as frustrating because His purpose for me is clear, I have experienced many doubtful moments. I've been asking God for direction and clarity, and, ever faithful, He is answering and guiding.
While on the way to church this past Sunday I was listening to a Christian radio station and a commercial advertising a particular preacher came on with him teaching a segment of a lesson. He said "God has given you a promise that He plans to fulfill." Then I arrived at the church I attend and engaged in worship with my new church family. After we sang a few songs the pastor began to teach his lesson and he gave his title, which was "Living Out a Promise." Throughout his lesson the Lord used him to speak directly to my doubt. When I arrived home after church, I opened my Facebook newsfeed and saw a post from my neice who lives in a different town and attends a different church. Her post was a quote from the lesson her pastor had taught that morning, which said, "Don't give up on the dream God has placed in your heart just because your circumstance isn't what you want it to be right now."
These three experiences were not coincidental—there is no question God spoke to me. I don't usually pay attention to radio commercials, but, though I didn't think much about it in the moment, the one I heard yesterday stood out to me. I believe God used that commercial to get my attention. Then at church my pastor taught three points concerning my responsibility to God's promises to me. God used that lesson to give me direction. Finally, God used a Facebook post to give me confirmation.
God is not trying to confuse us with guessing games. He desires for us to have clarity of His purpose. God speaks back to us when we talk to Him, and He has a purpose and plan for all of us. You may feel like you're stumbling around in the dark, but you don't have to keep stumbling. Take your doubt and frustration to the Lord. If you're really searching, and if you listen intentionally for His voice, He will make His path for you clear.