A Purpose Everywhere You Go
‘’For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’’ – Ephesians 2:10
Have you ever felt completely and totally lost? Not in a geographically sense but more of a “what in the world am I doing here” type of feeling. As a member of a military family the reality is you are where you are because the military dropped you there. The truth of it is that God has already prepared a purpose and a mission for you long before you arrived.
I hear you. So many reasons why you feel like you aren’t supposed to be where you are. The Army dropped us at Ft. Bliss, in the desert, and left us there for ten years. Trust me when I say I questioned my sanity more than once. But you know what, God had a purpose for me there and he has a purpose for you exactly where you are. Lean in and trust God to show you the way.
Our soldiers aren’t the only ones called into service. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) tells us, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” How are we to do this if we are busy grumbling about our location?
When things don’t go as planned
I was miserable at the beginning of our time at Ft. Bliss. El Paso was not what I had hoped for and military life was far off my career goals. To be honest I was blindsided when my husband said he was joining at the age of 35, in the midst of our daughter’s cancer fight, and during a successful career in restaurant management. I had just finished seminary and had big dreams for missions and ministry. Our daughters cancer put a hold to both our goals and he saw the army as a way to get back on track for his.
So I plastered a smile on my face, looked for the best in where we were and pressed on like I imagined any good southern girl from the Bible Belt should. But inside I was dying. I felt lost and forgotten. My life was not turning out how I had planned.
I could see John’s calling, but I failed to see my own.
In the middle of my pity-party I began to notice all of the desert scenes in the Old Testament. I paid attention to the grumbling of the Israelites as they wandered for 40 years. I could visualize them for the first time covered in dust, thirsty and tired complaining to God. I saw them in the mirror. As I flipped back and forth from one desert scene to the next, I found Hagar at the well.
Whenever there is a well in a desert take notice. God is about to speak.
Hagar is an example for all of us
God spoke to Hagar in her grief and she named him the God who sees. It was as if in that moment as I read her story God was telling me I see you too and I have a plan. I wasn’t forgotten. Military life wasn’t just for my husband with me tagging along. There was a purpose for me as well.
Hagar was far from home, forced into a culture she was unfamiliar with. And yet there was a purpose waiting for her and her decendants. God took what was ugly, and truly heartbreaking, in her life and reshapped it into something beautiful. He will do the same for you.
The soldier you love, whether it is your significant other or a parent, isn’t dragging you around the world to only be his/her support system. You have been called to a purpose as well.
- Spend some time in prayer and seek out what that purpose might be.
- Who has been put in your path that you can bless and minister to today?