FINDING GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOU
As children of God, I see two fundamental needs to our faith journey. Firstly, being affirmed in our identity through God’s eyes. Second, to know our purpose and calling in this life.
As Mother Angelica fittingly puts it “God from all eternity chose you to be where you are, at this time in history to change the world.”
In this short article, I hope to share a few thoughts about gaining clarity on our purpose in life.
- God prepares you
Whenever I reflect on the purpose of life, I am always reminded about the popular Biblical narrative of how God helped David gain victory over Goliath. David was a simple shepherd boy. Wandering far away from home to take care of the sheep, he perfected his sling shot to keep his flock safe from wild animals. It was this very skill, mastered in the wilderness that God used later to bring down the mighty giant in the midst of all the towns men.
Looking back at my own life, I too am able to now recognize traces of God’s hand preparing and guiding me over the years for what felt like unseen, unnoticed and uncredited work. When my first son was born, I promised that I would teach him to know and love God from the very beginning. For this, I actively prayed with him, read the Bible, and told him stories of saints. I used the opportunity to do more craft and activities to teach and make the content relatable, appealing and enjoyable for my little one. Despite loving art as a child, it was only then that I came to use it with purpose. Today I am a wife, mom, Counselling Psychologist and involved in active lay ministry building parents in faith and giving Jesus to little ones. Three years ago, I wouldn’t believe if someone told me I would be doing what I do now. The desire to lean onto Jesus and allow Him to direct my paths has led me to make some unusual choices and I hope it gives you courage to follow yours too.
- Suffering has a purpose
Life with a toddler is hard. Even harder as an expat with no friends or family around for comfort and support. Going to Mass was a struggle. I couldn’t focus with my little ones all over the place. I missed everything I was able to do previously that enabled me to maintain my spiritual growth. There was no time of silence to pray and when there was, I only wanted to sleep. Overtime, I realised this struggle wasn’t just mine. There were numerous other parents with young children who just couldn’t find the time to pray.
How does one integrate prayer in between busy routines of toddlers and new-borns? My suffering put a burden in my heart for others like me. This led me to build a community for Catholic moms from across the globe, offering a safe space to grow and strengthen their faith and encourage them in their own journey of raising their children up in the faith.
Sister, is there something you are struggling with? A burden, a sickness, a suffering? Know that there is a purpose to everything, including your pain. Nothing is lost in the sight of God. Do not underestimate how God can use your hardships as an instrument of healing and grace in the life of others. The question is: will you allow it His way?
- God calls us out of our comfort zone
Every skill you possess is a God-given gift. God will use both your skills and your struggles to work with them for a beautiful purpose. For me it was in the sphere of social media and technology when I had to create and market my work. It was unknown territory for me and so I had to constantly reach out to others for help. I am still no expert, but today I can testify through the words of Saint Paul – When I am weak, there He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
God is the one who equips us with every resource we need to flourish in our God-given calling. Sometimes that may involve getting out of our comfort zones. You may find yourself questioning: If you are worthy? Capable? Deserving?
The answer is: Not you, but Him. He will show you and through you, show the world that everything being accomplished is His doing and not yours.
- Success, the way God sees it
The world defines success by the number of likes you can garner, the amount of money you make, the strong and powerful image you create on social media. None of these matter in the eyes of God. His measure is your soul.
I recall the early days when I had just set up my own website. The lack of response to a new launch and other creative material that I had worked so hard to put together often left me disappointed. There were moments I doubted my ability and all the work seemed like failed efforts. And there in the midst of all this darkness, a tiny light would shine through an appreciation email or a comment on how useful the resource was or a text on how relatable a post was. This is the encouragement that keeps me going. It consoles me, it reminds me why I do what I do, it grounds me back to looking at things through God’s eyes. Maybe my content was in fact meant for just that one person, that one child, that one soul.
I dote on Venerable Fulton Sheen words, “We always make the fatal mistake of thinking that it is what we do that matters, when really what matters is what we let God do to us.” More than what we do, God is interested in pruning our soul, preparing us for eternity.
A few questions I have found helpful to keep me grounded where God has planted me – Is my calling helping me grow closer to Him? Do I find myself challenged and convicted in areas of my life? Is my newfound purpose leading me closer or away from Jesus?
- Have cheerleaders
Following God’s purpose for your life is a beautiful and enriching experience. But it can often be a bumpy road. Misunderstandings, doubts, and discouragement may arise. The hard experiences are an inseparable part of our pruning and for those times we need cheerleaders.
For me personally, I recall how challenging it was to stay committed to reading the Bible regularly. I formed a group to stay accountable and help me discipline myself. To this day, I continue to have elders, mentors and close friends I can share with freely about my struggles and on whom I count on for prayers. I encourage you, friends, to surround yourself with people who will support and lift you up.
God does not want us to be alone. Seek Him and He will surround you with the support you need.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gilda Rose likes to go with the identity – Daughter of the King! She is a Counseling Psychologist in a private practice. An avid reader who writes, paints and sings, she cannot resist chocolate or the beach. She is also founder of ‘Faith Blocks’, a lay Catholic ministry for Catholic moms of young kids, strengthening the faith of mothers and incorporating liturgical living at home. She lives in Malaysia with her husband and two boys. You can connect with her on www.gildarose.com or follow her on Instagram at @faithblocks