By Angela Howard
A couple of years ago I was in Seattle attending a writer’s conference. At the end of the night I hopped in the car to drive to my aunt’s house for the evening. Having been there several times before I wasn’t concerned about getting lost, but before I knew it that’s exactly what I was. After about 30 minutes I found myself stuck on a pitch black, one-way street, ready to bowl over a cliff into the ocean. Fortunately, I had my cell phone and my husband navigated me to safety.
Shortly after this embarrassing incident—which I told to nobody—I purchased a cell phone with GPS capabilities. I never wanted to find myself off-course again. It seemed to happen so quickly, and yet I knew there were several times where I should have pulled over to get directions (it’s not just men who don’t ask!).
The same is true for our lives. It can be easy to lose our sense of purpose amid the demands of family, work, friends and community. At times we live simply reacting to the next crisis or organizing this week’s to-do list. It takes courage to live an intentional life! We must engage our wills and choose to regain our purpose.
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:17 (NLT)
5 Keys to Regaining Purpose
Own Up to Where You Are: Come to God with honest confession—I’m off-course. I’m too busy. I’m lacking purpose. I’m concerned that the outward me isn’t matching my inward condition. Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8 (NIV)
Find Your Soul Connection with God: Dallas Willard writes that “You’re a soul made by God, made for God, and made to need God, which means you were not made to be self-sufficient.” (Soul Keeping by John Ortberg) If you are exclusively focusing on achieving and doing you will never have time to connect with Jesus. Connecting with Jesus isn’t a “coffee chat” before you dive head first into your day. Connecting with Jesus is acknowledging you are not meant to live independently of Him, but living in His presence daily.
Identify Your Strengths: It’s time to recognize your unique gifts and strengths! God has designed you with exceptional qualities that will speak to your purpose. The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. 1 Corinthians 12:2 (CEV) For more on this read this post and watch this video.
Identify Your Boundaries: Are you a people pleaser—saying yes when you should be saying no? Are you a perfectionist—unable to move forward because you’re waiting for the ideal circumstance? Are you playing the blame game—unwilling to take responsibility for the correction that needs to happen in your own life? Are you plagued with fear—is fear keeping you from acting on your calling? You can regain your purpose more effectively once you identify your boundaries.
Embrace Community: It’s pretty difficult to live out our purpose of glorifying God when we live in isolation! Let’s move out of our comfort zones and live in community. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:5 (NLT)
How will you take the first step in regaining your purpose today?
An encourager at heart, Angela Howard inspires audiences with her relatable and authentic presence. Her transparency makes you feel like you’re talking with a friend over coffee. You’ll find yourself crying one minute and laughing the next as you realize there’s hope and joy even in the midst of the imperfect life. Having journeyed through both the greatest and the most heartbreaking times, she’s not afraid to reveal her own brokenness, so that you know you’re not alone in yours.
Angela’s international speaking experience covers women’s conferences, leadership seminars, church events as well as live online training. She is a credentialed minister and leads small group discipleship in her local church.
Since 2004, Angela has been on the Northwest Women’s Ministry Team that is committed to empowering women to lead where they are and releasing them to become who God has designed them to be. They do this through annual conferences, leadership training as well as the Her Voice blog. Angela fills multiple roles at these events including emcee, speaker, writer and host.
Pulling from her unique life experiences, Angela’s first book, How to Love Your Crazy Family—52 Quick Reads for No Ordinary Days, is a fun devotional that reminds us that although life is rarely neat and tidy, it can be full of extraordinary experiences as we learn to love our families with the genuine love of Jesus. Angela also worked with international best-selling author and speaker Joanna Weaver to compile her daily devotional, At the Feet of Jesus.
Angela and her husband, Michael have been married 19 years and live in Washington with their two children, Ben (14) and Emily (12). She loves learning, reading, spending time at the beach and laughing WAY too loudly with family and friends.
Find more blogs by Angela at www.noordinarydays.com.