Scripture Basis: Isaiah 43:1 “Do not fear, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name. You are mine.”
To first understand our strengths and purpose, we have to be firm in our identity.
Who am I to others? What lies have I believed about myself?
- I grew up as a people pleaser, conditioned by strong women to understand that blind obedience equals love. With little direction over my day-to-day, I often felt paralyzed by foreign tasks and had little assistance with problem solving. I constantly just did what I was told. Straight A student.
- As I entered high school, I felt very alone with little guidance. I often felt misunderstood, felt alone in my problems and in the way that I thought. I clung to my faith as a vessel for everything and sought guidance from the Holy Spirit in all my actions. I started to question some of the ideals and beliefs that my parents held.
- There were too many lies that I had heard for too long: I was “too much.” I “talked a ton.” I monopolized conversations. At the same time, I struggled with feelings that I was “not enough”. I had a long-term boyfriend once say to me that “You are everyone’s idea of a trophy girlfriend, but I just don’t love you.” Trying to be perfect, I still fell short. I tried so hard to be more meek, less talkative, more pious.
- In a conversation with my husband Dan, he was asking me to share more of myself with him. I was uncomfortable with his probing of my heart. I had no dreams, no freedom of thought, no control of my heart. I felt like I was exposed… I didn’t know my own heart.
Who does God say that I am?
- Lovable for who I am, and there is a place for me in His Kingdom. In my junior year, God spoke into my heart in such a profound way in Europe when I studied abroad. He introduced me to St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila, these fiery, tenacious sisters that I would come to love. He purged my heart from a desire to be anything but who I truly am. I got rid of a lot of my clothing. I bought scarves, and cute Italian boots, and I felt true freedom for the first time in a long time.
- Lover of people with a Servant’s Heart: I spent my high school and college years in ministry. In that time, I gave countless talks, retreats, service, and went on mission trips. I founded and ran a chastity group at Franciscan University. God was showing me that I had a heart for people.
- A Storyteller: I love learning about people. I love learning about who people are and what their story is. God says that I’m a speaker, podcaster, blogger, and storyteller.Gift of Connection: Brene Brown says “Vulnerability begets connection.” People joke around that when I would ask how they were doing, they thought that I could “see into their souls.” I would ask people how they were doing, and they would say, “I don’t know why I feel like I’m supposed to share this with you. I love connecting with people and being able to help them.
- Gift of Wisdom and Discernment – Using these gifts in my ministry when I pray with others. God has placed me in many situations to give advice. I began blogging as a way to share advice and my heart with others.
How can I use my strengths to find my purpose in life? (Using the strengths finder and the Brings/Needs form)
- Communication; I love to chat, and speak with people led to my blogging, podcasting and speaking engagements
- Empathy; Huge strength for anyone doing ministry work
- Woo; I worked for a few months in our burger business and loved meeting with new customers. I ran the front of the house, and worked with vendors, and other clients. Customers would come in just to say hi and visit. I loved that part of my job.Belief; I love that my work with LWGL is so connected with my belief system.
- Developer (this was one of the surprises for me, but when I thought about it, it just made sense); I spent a few months helping hire new employees for my brother’s burger business. I was able to use my woo to get great employees who were passionate about our mission of teamwork and accountability.
Conclusion: Look at what your strengths are and how you are using those to glorify God. How can I use these gift more in my professional and personal purpose for my life?
Takeaway: We do not have only one purpose. God is with us in all our endeavors. God has a purpose for your life, but He first offers you the blessing of who you are, and the freedom to sit in all your gifts.