by Stevie Tucker
As I have grown to reach adulthood, and more importantly grown to be a woman in Christ, I have sought to find purpose in my life. For years I struggled with who I should be, what I think others think I should be, and who I actually am. I always clung to the Scripture that says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”. (Psalm 37:4) I figured that if I stayed close to Jesus, He would give me all that I wanted; and growing up, I had my “purpose” played out. I knew what my desires were. I knew that I wanted to get married and have a family. I knew (or so I thought) that being a mom was my ultimate goal and my happy ending.
I always knew that my perspective of delighting in the Lord was flawed. God doesn’t work off of a bartering relationship with His children. To take delight in the Lord actually means aligning in the LORD’S way in order to enjoy HIM. We were created to worship our Creator, we were not created to just live selfishly for ourselves on this earth. What would be the point in that?
It has taken me a long time to understand the importance of aligning myself in the ways of the Lord and the purpose behind it. Even after understanding this scripture, I tried aligning myself in Christ’s ways so that I could get the desires of my heart. It was still a bartering operation. I was still missing the ENJOYING Him part, and I definitely wasn’t understanding His purpose for me.
Until my world was shaken. Until all that I had ever hoped for was taken away from me. Or at least that was how my humanly way of thinking was. The last few years had been difficult for me anyways, with family afflictions, loved ones passing, friendships ending, and so much more. I became co-dependent in my thinking, and tried everything in my power to just exist. I thought that if my desires of having a family would come to pass, I would find happiness. My husband and I had been trying for over a year, and after seeking medical help, learned that we are unable to conceive. I felt as though my purpose had been stripped from me.
“But Lord! This has been my one desire, and walking close with you means getting the desires of my heart!”
Or at least this was my thinking. I couldn’t understand why God would let this happen to me. I couldn’t understand why the only thing that I EVER wanted became something that I cannot have.
Bitterness set in. As I watched every other woman fulfill the desires of my heart by having a family of their own, I became very upset. Instead of looking to the Lord to find perfect peace in the midst of it all, I created a worldview through the lens of jealousy, bitterness, hurt, and discontent. Knowing what my worldview should be and what my worldview was created an unsettled heart. I had allowed circumstances to alter my perspective and I had yet to reconcile my hurt so I could look through the lens of Christ and find purpose. I knew that the Lord was telling me I could finally find perfect peace if I would just ENJOY His presence!
So how do we align ourselves in the way of the Lord so that we do not miss out on the enjoyment of living a Jesus-filled life?
This is a question that I struggle with on a daily basis. I know the simple truths of prayer, quality time spent with our Savior, and remembering the need of a Savior every day. But why does it seem so hard to align myself with what the Lord has for me? Why do I feel unsure of my purpose in this world?
I think of the characteristics that Jesus walked in on a daily basis. All that He did exemplified peace, love, goodness, gentleness, patience, joy, and kindness. He was faithful in His promise of the cross-it was a burden that He did not have to bear, but He did for you and for me so that we could have eternal life with Him.
I think of these attributes that Jesus had and I can’t help but notice that He had a group of men who were His closest friends, who seemed to know nothing of these characteristics in their own lives when they began their journey with Jesus. After spending time with Him, the disciples learned how to be kind to the poor, be gentle with the weak, and show love to the unjust. Jesus did not teach these men a trade, He taught them a new world view through the lens of His own eyes. And when the disciples learned how to live a life through the eyes of Christ they had a fulfilled and purposeful life.
As I struggled with “what to do with my life” now that it is not what I thought it should be, I finally opened up to my sisters in Christ. It may have been the most difficult thing I have ever had to share. I learned something incredible though – these women knew how to look through the lens of Christ. They had compassion for me and they cried with me. They encouraged me in the Lord. I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” These women showed me Christ’s love – and where I was lacking in faith, they encouraged me in the Lord to restore my faith in Him.
When I gave my heart to Jesus, I made a commitment to walk through the lens of Christ so that others may see Jesus in me. My purpose is not my career, my family, or how successful I am. My purpose is being a part of the body of Christ and being faithful in preaching the gospel so that people may come to know Him. When I can live my life through the lens of Christ and have compassion for His people, knowing that my purpose is in doing His work to glorify Him, I have found perfect peace and I can ENJOY His presence. When I realize this, I have truly delighted in the Lord, and He is the desire of my heart!