“I feel like I'm having an identity crisis in my mid-twenties,” I muttered to myself over my morning coffee.
As I started to think about this, all I could picture was the image of an empty cup. At first, I thought this was kind of odd, but as I sat there I started to understand that this was clearly a metaphor for my life. From there, I began to really contemplate what I'm filling up my “cup” with. Was I filling myself with truth or was I letting my mind get clouded up with the constant noise of the world around me? Whose voice was I truly listening to? Was it His, mine, or theirs?
After recently being pushed out of the company I was working for (and after my initial “why me God?!” mini-meltdown had passed), it started to occur to me that maybe I had been putting too much pride in my job title. In a matter of days, I went from being an account manager at a growing marketing company to a freelance writer. To be honest, I was completely terrified to tell anyone, including those closest to me, about my career change. What would they think of me? I immediately began to place their disappointed reactions on my shoulders before I had even told them what happened. However, when I actually did end up telling them, instead of them coming from a place of judgment and harsh words like I assumed during my initial freak-out, most came to me with truth and kindness.
Growing up I always prided myself on getting good grades and then when I got to college that pride turned into getting the degree.
We live in a society that is so achievement-driven, so it's only fitting that with each passing year since graduating college, I have felt so much more of an emphasis to get my career together. I thought that if I could just accomplish this goal or get that promotion I would then really be doing something with my – even if the job wasn't the best fit for me. Deep down I believe it was because I wanted those who had doubted me to know that I had it all together; that I finally made it. I wanted to feel like someone was proud of me and to know that all of my hard work had finally paid off; when in reality I had the position, but lacked the purpose. Instead of pursuing all of the dreams that God placed on my heart, I let myself become convinced by the lie that this job was as good as it would get for me. I let this opportunity, which appeared really nice on the outside, distract me from the ultimate mission.
Take it from me, striving for this validation from a job title or a group of people will only leave you feeling empty and mentally drained. The only one who can who can truly fill our hearts (and cups) is the God who made us, chose us, and continues to love us despite our self-perceived shortcomings.
When things don't go the way we may dream or plan, it can be scary. If you're a planner like me, not knowing what is next is enough to prompt an anxiety attack or a sudden urge to dive into a pint of ice cream. When this uncertainty or fear hits, we should cry out to the only one who fully knows us because only He can bring us that sense of peace we so desperately long for when change comes. Having a relationship with God is knowing that even when you feel lost, left out, or unqualified you can always come home.
Looking back on everything that has happened over the past few months, I'm starting to see and believe that losing this position is part of an even bigger picture. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do,” so while I may have lost that particular position, I am choosing to focus on this fact: there is still good work left to do; and while it may have looked like a loss initially, He will use this for His glory in some way.
It's usually during the in-between time where you're coming out of one season of life and going into something new that you learn, develop and grow into the woman you were created to be. That's where you will find your purpose. What I've come to realize is that your life's purpose isn't tied to one grand accomplishment or event, but all of the little moments in between. It's in the way you pursue to know your creator and show his never-ending love, light and grace to those around you.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” While it may be difficult, I'm choosing to embrace this new season and keep pursuing His plan and purpose above my own.
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in a title, position or person that we may lose sight of what matters most. Our vision for our life often gets fogged up by what we fill it with, and you can't pour from a cup that's empty.
What are you filling your cup up with? Are you filling up your heart with His truth and promises, or are you filling yourself up with others' opinions, thoughts and expectations for who you are or who you should be? What wonderful things could happen if we would stop being a generation living in the definition of our circumstance and choose to be women living a life defined by God? Let's choose to be bold, fiery women who believe that His goodness is written in the beginning, middle and end of every season.
“Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
Written By: Jessica Fox