I wish I was better at introductions and segues. I'm not. And with that said, I hope you'll permit me to just dive right in to some of the very personal things I have been processing through.
I believe we are here on purpose, for purpose. We have a destiny, a role to fulfill. I believe we each have a unique place and are the only ones who can fill it - and if we do not, we deprive the world of our gifts. Perhaps you are certain that your place in this crazy world is to be a foster parent. Or maybe to be an art teacher. Maybe a woman who works hard for her family. Maybe a man who invents the next big thing and changes a piece of the world.
But what do you do when you aren't sure what it is you were made for?
I know I was made to be a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother. I AM those things. And I bloody well want to dig deep and be the best of those things I can be. I love my life. And I would be content to remain quiet and small, living well in the life I am in.
But honestly, there is a fear that lurks in the shadowy recesses of my heart. Am I fulfilling my design? Am I living my purpose? Is my role an empty stage presence...obvious to onlookers that something's...missing. Someone is missing... Am I just facing the typical discontentments of life and need to remember to appreciate where I am.
I read an article this week that continued to stoke the fires of question and discovery. I'll give a very botched version, but if you're interested you can read more here. The post was written by author/book mentor, Mary DeMuth, and how so many people she encounters are passion-lost. She suggests three steps in discovering your passion: 1.) ask yourself what the world's biggest need is, 2.) list your three favorite movies and decipher their common thread, and 3.) ask people what your "one thing is" - the thing they'd say best describes you.
I perceive the world's greatest need to be hope. And, in the spirit of hope, to be given the tools needed to rise out of current situations. Tools like clean water, that people don't have to bathe and drink from the same water source. That they may be freed from countless diseases, all because of the tool of a well. Tools like the skills of farming and jewelry-making, that women and children can support themselves and not fall prey to trafficking, property theft and other exploitations. I believe hope is empowering. Life can be different.
My top three (it was hard to choose): 1.) The Four Feathers, 2.) Walk the Line, 3.) Les Miserables. Common thread? Broken people who've made a disaster of their lives and are offered a second chance...and that second chance makes all the difference. Life is never the same for them again. In a word, redemption.
I so do not want to follow up on #3. Talking to my husband one night this week, he told me that I need to risk more. I am a private person. Mostly because there is so much going on in the world and my life is good. In part, too, I am private to protect - myself and my family from vulnerability. In this blog, I wrestle at times with how much and what to share for the sake of that protection. But here I am - sharing more personally than I have, stripping off layers of confidence to admit that my inner life is not as neat as it appears. And I hate asking, but I am. If you are reading this, whether or not you know me well or have commented on a post before, what is my one thing?
It strikes me that you, wherever in the world you are reading this, could be in a similar pilgrimage of question and discovery. A journey of wrestling and wondering. Over the Rhine would sing, The gift of your heart frees me from mine. And I love that, hearts that unfold and disclose together, whispering to each other, you are not alone.