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All of us have had moments in our lives when we question our very purpose. “What is the meaning in MY life?” If we look closely at the personal experiences we have had, we will find clarity. The difficult trial we face or the illuminating circumstance we are given (and our response to them) will often reveal a major reason why we were born.
I heard a very touching story on the radio the other day about a man, who when he was a teenager became tremendously distraught after his father suddenly abandoned the family. This upset was overwhelming and insurmountable to this sensitive boy. He went down to his basement, got a gun that he knew was there, aimed it at his head, and pulled the trigger. Click! “What happened? It didn’t work!” He checked the gun, put it in the right position, and pulled again. Click! Again, it didn’t go off.
Suddenly, the room became full of warm peaceful light, and the boy was allowed to taste the love his HEAVENLY Father had for him (even though his earthly father had woefully failed him).
This singular experience was a defining moment in this man’s life, giving him great clarity as to his purpose. He felt that his meaning and mission was to tell as many people as would listen, about how loved we all are by our Father in Heaven.
Sometimes circumstances, which seem so incredibly difficult at the time, are really the seed bed for something coming forth THROUGH us to benefit the world. Here are a few other examples:
Rising Above Dysfunction
Joyce Meyer was raised in a very dysfunctional family. For 14 years she was repeatedly abused by her father, and her mother did nothing. She was very angry and made some bad decisions after she left home, but she finally decided to turn to God for help. Through His power, she was able to forgive her parents, and straighten up her self -professed “messed up personality”. God turned her life around in miraculous ways and used her as an authoritative voice for change and forgiveness that has helped uplift many millions around the world. Without the gut-wrenching experiences she had, she couldn’t have had the power to change others’ lives.
Could negative experiences you have had be turned to good for others?
Unfair Treatment – An Opportunity to Shine
In 1947, Jackie Robinson was offered the chance to be the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. In those days, it just wasn’t done, and he had tremendous opposition. He was spit upon, name-called, lied about, and even physically abused on the field, but he didn’t give way to their ugliness. The abuse he endured was extremely painful for him, but because of his self-control, and not lashing out at them, he opened many people’s eyes to how horrible racism was and how to accept non-whites into their circles. His trial became a blessing to many and opened doors to progress.
Could it be that the unfair way you are being treated is an opportunity for you to show who you really are, “turn the other cheek,” and bless others’ lives as well?
The Hidden Power of Terminal Illness
Anyone who has a disease that has a time limit, -(knowing they will die soon) – has been given a GREAT BLESSING! This can include people with terminal cancer, heart failure, or accidental injury. Even though these people are limited in health or time on earth, they have never had more power! This is probably the only time in their lives where family listens to and hangs on to their every word (since it could be their last). They can say things they may never say otherwise, and those they speak to are listening!
All for Others
All of these types of circumstances can put us at a place where we can help people. The understandings we receive become part of our spiritual DNA, leading us on to purpose. When we turn to the Lord in our extremity, he gives us wisdom, and spiritually lifts us out of the difficulty. These experiences can now be sanctified for the benefit of others.
Look at Your life.
In order to understand your purpose, think through what you have already experienced; Illness? Bankruptcy? Abuse? Death of child? Recovery from Addiction? If you have overcome any of these or similar things, you are in the perfect place to help others. You have the compassion that is needed to touch hearts, because you’ve “been there.” You know exactly how hard it is to go through. It becomes a part of your purpose, because, NOW, you have Moral AUTHORITY to reach out and others will want to know what you know.
Those who want help with addiction will most likely turn to a former addict for healing. Those who want help with the death of a spouse, or abuse, listen carefully to those who have lived through it.
Pray to Know
Any powerful experience, GOOD OR BAD can lift and enlighten others. The Lord allows/gives trials as well as profound spiritual experiences. The scriptures are full of spiritual experiences that were meant for that particular person, but also meant for us. How many millions has Job’s experienced helped? Saul’s? Alma’s?
Pray to know what, when and how to share the knowledge and understanding you have gained, and the Lord will give you opportunities to lift others with it. It’s one of the reasons you were born.
Just like the young man who in his extremity was unexpectedly shown the incredible love of His Father in Heaven, we can also uncover our purpose as we understand that there is reason and meaning in our experience that others can reap. We can become a window through which God can flow.
You can CONTACT Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.