To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Do you ever feel like your purpose in life is changing? During the last few years, I've watched my ability to do some of the simplest things decline. This has made me feel worthless at times. However, when I think about it, I realize that I've been measuring my worth using an outdated measuring tool. I assumed that my life purpose would be the same throughout my entire life. What if my purpose has changed?
Luke 10:38-41 tells a story about two sisters with different purposes:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I have always been a Martha-type person: planning, organizing, paying attention to every detail, fretting and worrying. Except for the fretting and worrying part, I believed it was my God given purpose. I was a detail person and was supposed to take care of details. Planning and organizing was who I was. Or so I thought. Losing the ability to perform administrative duties seemed to be a cruel joke. I thought I was losing my identity.God has shown me otherwise. Slowly, but surely, He is showing me that He is repurposing me. The administrative gifts that I had practiced in the past were overshadowing the purpose that God has for me now. Jesus said, “Mary has chosen what is better.” What was Mary doing? She was sitting at the Lord's feet …listening. Since I'm no longer working and am unable to do some of the housework around the house that I used to do, I have lots of time to "sit at Jesus feet and listen." It has taken a while to get through this thick head, but I believe God is showing me a new purpose. This new purpose is not as tangible as the previous purpose, but it is much more satisfying.
Being repurposed is sometimes painful. I liken it to melting down a broken tool in order to refashion it into something more useful. The melting is painful, but necessary to eliminate all the impurities. I need to be "melted” in order to let go of the old identity and embrace the new.
What is my new purpose, you ask? Encouraging! God teaches me and encourages me through His word every day. My purpose is to turn around and encourage someone else with what I've learned. It is liberating to realize that even though I cannot do some of the tasks I used to be able to do, I still have purpose.
If you feel like you are having an identity crisis, take heart! Maybe you are being repurposed!