A million ways to live your purpose

A good friend asked me a couple of weeks ago if I believe in soulmates. She was surprised to hear that my answer was no. To be honest I was a little surprised too, as I am very happily married. I could not be more sure that I want to spend the rest of my life with my husband, however, I don’t believe he is my soulmate. I know that is a pretty strong statement, let me explain.

Picture you’re inside a cute little ice cream shop at the beach, there are 40 delicious flavors to choose from, but you can only choose one. The reality is that out of 40, there is probably going to be more than one flavor that you like, so now you have to make a choice. You will have a completely unique experience depending on whichever one you choose, but you will enjoy it all the same. Once you decide on a flavor you’re no longer thinking about the other flavors, you’ll likely leave the store and go about your day, happy with the one you chose.

Though marriage is a lot more complex and permanent than choosing a flavor of ice cream, I view it much the same way. This might sound strange to some of you, but there are other men out there that could have made me happy. Should it make my husband feel insecure that I feel that way? Of course not. Marriage is a choice. I don’t believe in the one, I feel that if you think that way it actually leaves more room to question your decision. Did I choose the right one? Is this who I’m meant to be with? Those questions can actually be detrimental to your relationship because if you’re in a rough patch, and every relationship has ups and downs, you might start to wonder if the one is still out there.

I am fully aware that there are other men out there that I could have had a life with, but I chose this one. When I was a teenager, my youth pastor and his wife had this saying- Choose your love and love your choice. I wholeheartedly agree with this. I am not with Ryan because we are supposed to be together, I’m with him because I choose to be, I want to be. That makes him feel more secure than anything, the fact that every day I choose him. I never question my decision either. When I left that ice cream store I did not look back, and I am going to happily enjoy every bite. Okay, done with the ice cream scenario I promise.

This ties into what I wanted to talk about today because I had an epiphany. I’ve been contemplating for months, what is my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? These questions consume my mind every single day. I have had a lot of different ideas and opportunities come my way, and each time I ask God, is this a sign? What I realized is that there are many different paths that I could take, that would still allow me to live out the plans that God has for me. I’ve been waiting for Him to tell me which direction I should go, and all the while He is saying I gave you free will.

I do believe everyone has a purpose, but I think there is more than one way to live out that purpose. If you are called to teach, for example, most of us would picture the traditional public school setting. Which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but there are so many other ways in which you can live that out. Over seas, teaching your own children, private school, teaching a sport, or music. I mean you can literally teach anything, anywhere. So if someone who is feeling called to teach, is wondering where they’re meant to be, as long as you’re teaching, it really doesn’t matter where you are or how you do it.

We can easily get hung up wondering if we are where we’re supposed to be in life, and it can actually hinder or inhibit us from really accomplishing anything. At least for me it does. Just like marriage, if you’re going to be successful in a career path, or a mission, you have to commit to it. You need to realize that it’s just another choice in life that you are going to have to make. I believe that no matter what direction you choose take your life, God will present opportunities to live out His purpose for you.

I always thought I wanted to do psychology, but I decided to go to Cosmetology school after I graduated instead. For a long time I was disappointed in myself because I wasn’t helping people in the way that I felt I was supposed to be. But I learned after a while that just because I didn’t have a degree in psychology, doesn’t mean that I don’t listen, and respond to people’s problems, and life stories every day. As a hair stylist I have been with clients as they graduate, go to college, drop out of college, start a relationship, lose their job, get divorced, go through a death in the family, have a baby, become empty nesters… you name it, I’ve heard it. I get to sit with my clients as they laugh, cry, and pour their hearts out to me all while giving them a pretty head of hair. I used to think what I do is insignificant, but I now know that the time I spend with these people is incredibly valuable, and just having someone to sit and listen for a while can make all the difference, even if I don’t always know what to say.

This epiphany was so good for me right now because I was getting too hung up on what I’m supposed to be doing, that I wasn’t allowing myself to ask what it is that I actually want to do. I’ve come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter what I choose to do, but how I show up to do it. If I show up committed, driven, and focused, I will be successful, and I believe in whatever path I choose, God will show me opportunities to serve Him as well. Overthinking is a long time nemesis of mine, so it’s freeing to be able to let go of that finally and enjoy this crazy season of life. Trusting that wherever I choose to go next, I will find purpose and meaning in it.

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