Ten years ago, I was working with a non-profit organisation. I went to church every Sunday, read my bible every day and loved God and people. But most days, I felt miserable. I felt miserable because I didn’t like my job.
I believed in the core value of my organisation and the profound meaning of my job, but the daily task I was doing felt boring. It didn’t seem to connect with my personality or strength. In this cause-driven environment, I ironically felt purposeless and depressed.
Years later, I knew that I wasn’t playing my strength or developing my gifts; therefore, I was misaligned with who God made me to be.
When it comes to identifying our purpose and calling, it’s not enough only to hang out with people you love or settle in a friendly environment. We have to have a clear vision— why you are there? Do you feel alive in your contribution? Do you feel deep joy and a sense of purpose?
As human beings, we grow and learn new things every day. As we grow, our purpose and calling evolve. A place that was right for you five years ago may not be the case five years later because you have changed, but the place hasn’t.
I joined that non-profit right after University. In the first few years there, I enjoyed it very much. It was more like a school than a working place, where I was like a dry sponge, absorbing every life lesson, and learning many skills. I liked my colleagues a lot and loved working and hanging out with them. It felt like I had found a new family.
A few years in, I started to feel out of place. I hate to say it, but it seemed that I had outgrown the environment. Do I still love the same people? Of course. Do I still believe in the value of my organisation? No doubt. But like I said in the beginning, I started to feel misaligned with who I was becoming.
But, who was I becoming? What to do next? What was my purpose now?
These were the questions I wrestled hard in my late 20s to early 30s. I travelled to many places and even studied theology to try to find the answers. I followed the arrows and went through the next open door.
Finally, I was reminded of one thing. A simple thing that brought clarity I’d been searching for all these years— listen to my soul.
What does she love doing?
What makes her come alive?
What life does she desire?
Answering these questions unlocked a secret vault, unearthed the gifts God had given to me when He formed me in my mother’s womb— the gifts I’d enjoyed so much when I was a child but then had forgotten about for decades.
Here I am, ten years later, since my initial identity crisis, I feel confident about my purpose— a writer and a visual artist. I’m ready to take my place and bring my gifts to the table by showing up for the work, for I believe someone needs what I have to offer.
My friend, you have gifts too. Your background story, personality, plus the skills you have, are your gifts to bring to the table. As you boldly take your place and do the work, you shine the light of hope to those fearful and doubting hearts!
If you still struggle to identify your gifts, think about what you loved doing as a child. What makes you come alive? What did you enjoy doing so much that you lost track of time?
Take your place.