Purpose Made Simple
I remember when I was eight years old, we lived behind the church where my dad was pastor, and I was playing in the basement with my Barbie dolls. I randomly had the feeling that my dad was going to be in a car accident. I didn’t feel anxious about it; it was just a thought that passed through my mind. So, as I played, I prayed for God to protect my dad.
Several hours later, my dad came home. He had been in a car accident. He was driving down U. S. Highway 41, the main 6-lane highway that runs through the town where we lived, also known as 3rd Street. Two semi trucks came up beside him, one on each side. One truck driver didn’t see my dad and started moving over into his lane. Thankfully, the light in front of them had turned red and forced everyone to stop. The truck had made it over into Dad’s lane far enough to damage the car, but, because they had all been stopped by the red light, my dad was not harmed. If they had not had to stop, my dad would have been crushed in between the two semis.
My first time to hear God’s voice was one year prior to this event when I was seven. God spoke my name out loud. In that moment, He didn’t say anything else. But when I was eight and was called by God to pray for protection over my dad, I knew how to recognize what it felt like to hear God speak to me. I knew how to respond.
For some reason, God called me. I don’t know why. Since then, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve done nothing that people would say is significant. I haven’t been a world changer. I’ve just been faithful with whatever God has put in my hands.
God blessed me with children, but I’ve certainly not been a perfect parent. I wish I would’ve done it better than I’ve done. But when I realized I wasn’t parenting well, I allowed God to change me so I could do and be better. Now my children are adults, and as I listen to them talk about what God is doing in their lives, I can hear God’s voice speaking to them. It’s in the simplicity of those moments when I understand what it feels like to fulfill purpose that is beyond me.
I was late to the game, but at 38, God opened the door for me to fulfill my dream of teaching. I’m not the best teacher. I’ve never been voted teacher of the year by my peers. As a Special Education resource/inclusion teacher, I’m more of a support teacher and in the background. I don’t get piles of gifts from a classroom full of students or hear a lot of thank-you’s. Most of my students’ success isn’t recognized by education bureaucracy as measurable academic growth. But, it’s in the simplicity of sitting across the table from a struggling student and witnessing a light turn on as they grasp a concept they’ve worked hard to learn that I understand what it feels like to fulfill purpose that is bigger than me.
God has more for me to do. These are things that don’t diminish what I’ve already done as a parent and teacher, but they are other dreams He has given me. As I prepare to live out the next purpose God has put in my hand, I remember the child who heard God call. It wasn't muddled with expectation. It was just a simple yes; it was just a simple prayer. These turned into a simple willingness to change and a simple lesson to teach.
God’s call to purpose is simple. It’s not a claim to fame. It’s not about accolades and affirmation. It’s not building a personal kingdom. It’s being faithful to each small thing He puts in my hand.