When You're Not Sure What Your Purpose Is

“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 hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

During my 6th grade year of elementary school we did an activity about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Ever since I can remember I had wanted to be a doctor, so this was an easy assignment. My grandfather was a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon to be exact, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps - become an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in knees, hips, and ankles. You could say I had thought about my future just a little.

As I grew up I stayed on this path, focusing most of my attention on my science classes, finding volunteer work at the hospital, and even looking into the medical schools I wanted to attend. When I started college my plans had not changed. I very quickly was drawn to the science classes, and if you ask my friends I spent a majority of my time in the science building at Furman.

Sometime during my junior year I realized that my plans were not lining up with the path I was going. My interest in medicine was still high, but I began to realize that maybe medical school was not in my future. If you have been planning your future for a long time and it suddenly changes it can be extremely frustrating. It’s like planning out your long-distance drive and then all of the sudden you hit a detour and your path is changed.

I started getting more anxious about what was going to happen after I graduated and what I was going to do with my life. I thought the path I had so carefully laid out was being crushed. I mean you plan something this far in advance and, in my head, I had thought that if this was not the path I should be pursuing than surely the Lord would have redirected me sooner.

However, looking back I realized that had my path changed any earlier I would not have learned what it means to discover your purpose and to really trust in the Lord’s timing and plan. During senior year I decided that the Lord was helping me to discover my path in discovering myself through His love.

I know we have all had times when our plans do not always turn out the way we had hoped, but it is in these times when we can really learn more about ourselves and really learn more about God’s purpose for us. It is easy to get frustrated when things do not work out, but instead I encourage you to seek out the Lord during these times, whether it be reading the Bible, doing a quiet time, or even taking a walk. Let the Lord into your heart and direct your path.

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