(This guest post was written by Kattie Pezzutto!)
As a young girl, I drilled my parents with bucketloads of existential and questions about my purpose.
“Mom, why am I here?” “Dad, what’s the point of life?” My freshly converted parents, who weren’t expecting their only daughter to be a breathing caricature of Ecclesiastes, weren’t sure how to answer. As a result, my questions were buried for decades.
Up until three years ago, I didn’t think much about my unanswered musings. The questions were there but I had a career to work towards, friendships to maintain and a boyfriend to marry.
A couple of months after my marriage, curiosity opened a floodgate. It wasn’t long before my mind was overwhelmed with the same inquiries I had as a twelve-year-old. “Why am I here?” This time they were mixed with the nagging, “am I beautiful?”
In an attempt to find an answer, I signed with a modeling and acting agency. Subsequently, I went to photo shoots, spent time with talented people on sets and started making a name for myself. When I started posting my new pictures on Facebook and Instagram, just as predicted, the accolades began rolling in.
For a little while, it felt great but it didn’t take long before I started spending too much time worrying about my appearance. The worry turned into anxiety. The anxiety turned into missed opportunities with friends and church.
In the world’s eyes, the time I spent worrying “paid off”. I was asked to audition for pageants and start my own radio show. I started receiving messages from photographers over Alberta, Canada.
People were taking notice of my looks but I was feeling empty again, if not more empty than before. Something was very wrong.
A couple of months ago, I sat down with a cup of tea and my swirling mind, ready to finally find some long desired answers. As any millennial would, I googled verses about purpose.
Wonderfully for me, I landed on this, and things started to click,
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
This verse implies that God does have a plan and purpose! I don’t have to make it up on my own. Interesting. I kept hunting. Click.
“and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
On my third click, I stumbled upon the overused yet powerful Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
And my new favorite, Isaiah 14:27 (NIV)-
“For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”
All these verses imply God has something in mind for us and that it’s good, REALLY good.
The more digging I did, the more I realized, His plan for us is encapsulated in His first guideline to us in Luke 10:26 (NIV),
“’love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In other words, it takes time in His presence, loving Him and listening to Him to know what His specific/satisfying plan and purpose is for us. Interesting!
Months rolled on, I spent intentional time with Jesus, asked questions and took in more of His Word.
In short, these are the key things I learned about God’s purpose for our lives.
The world won’t get it and that’s okay.
God’s plan is to develop character, heal and grow us. These processes are ultimately used for the advancement of His Kingdom, the one thing that will stand when all is said and done. It’s likely the world won’t laud our achievements… on the only battlefield that will ever matter. But God will see everything.
It might not always feel good.
Interestingly enough, it’s the rough stuff that develops character in us. James says it best in James 1:2-4 (NIV),
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
All good things come from a relationship with Him.
We wouldn’t know the gifts are good until we spend time with Him and get to know what He thinks is good. He works all things together for His glory and the Kingdom. If we are in a relationship with Him, this is something we understand.
He’ll redirect us.
If we think we’re supposed to be going a certain way but we aren’t. He’ll either make it very clear or redirect us. But we must ask and TRUST Him. I learned this with modeling and acting and came to the conclusion that it’s best to follow Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) and,
“trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Sister, if you’re feeling tired of wandering, seek the Lord. If you feel as though He hasn’t answered, keep persisting! Just as it says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV),
“Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”.
You’re not alone!
Remember, if you need help seeing God’s purpose or want to be on track with what God has for your life,
“ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
That’s a promise from the King who loves you more than anything.
Katie is writing her first YA, The Fisherman’s Daughter, earning her Masters in Old Testament Theology and co-leading girl groups. She adores sloths, Ted Dekker’s novels, and her hard-working hubby, Alex (not in that order of course).