Are You Walking in Your Purpose?

There are two types of people on earth. There are those who are confident that they are walking in their purpose and doing exactly what God has called them to do to make a difference. There are also those who don’t feel they have clarity on the bigger picture of their life. These are usually the ones who ask, “What is the point of my current circumstance?” and “What am I supposed to be doing?” The category that you fall into plays a big role in your sense of fulfillment.

I cannot tell you the number of people who have asked me how I know that I was walking in my purpose.  It seems as though once I said the words, “This is definitely what I’m supposed to be doing,” it opened up the floodgates of follow-up questions.  People are searching for confirmation.  It’s no wonder that Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life is one of the  best selling books of all time.

Indeed, knowing if you are on the right path brings a different type of happiness. In fact, there is a deeper satisfaction that you operate from, and it drives your reasons why.

But for those of you, like me,  who have experienced the discontentment of feeling unfulfilled, you understand the struggle.  It’s like a continually unsettling feeling in your soul that you can’t shake off no matter how much you try.  That burden can cause you to be irritable towards others and even depressed at times.  You may not know your purpose, but one thing is for sure: You won’t be at peace within yourself until you discover it because the pain oozes out into every other area of your life.

Maybe you’re in a season where you’re wondering if you should change jobs, accept a promotion, relocate, or even begin a relationship (either as a friendship or romantically).  It’s important to be aware of the signs of whether or not you are moving in the right direction.

So how do we know if we are following God’s plan for our lives? What does that actually look and feel like? Here are some clues to get you started.

  1. You feel a strong desire. There have been several instances where an opportunity presented itself to me and I was at a fork in the road. A more recent time was when I considered applying for a couple of new positions at my job.  There really was no threat in either choice:  I could apply for them or I could stay right where I was.  Then, either during prayer or in a random moment of thought, I felt a strong attraction towards one of the positions. It was an undeniable desire that even gave me confidence.  After being offered the position, I knew that my unction was absolutely from God.
  2. There is no strong desire to move elsewhere.  Often times, we question whether or not we should move on because of our disappointment where we are.  At one point years ago, I was not seeing eye to eye with a church member and it was difficult for me to be around her. (I had to engage her because I was I volunteered in an area she oversaw.) It came to the point that I wanted to leave the church. I was just “over it.” I prayed and prayed for guidance, and although I thought finding a new church is what I wanted to do, there was no evidence that it was what God wanted.  I simply didn’t feel a strong desire to move on. (Note: There’s a difference between your emotions and God’s truths, which will be covered in another post!) So, I decided to stay and after a few months, I realized that my time at this church was not over.  In fact, my experience with my church member actually was full of lessons in disguise.
  3. Many of your circumstances are aligned to this choice. How did I know I was called to teach? Everything was, and still is, lining up along the way.  Eleven years later in this field and I still am receiving new opportunities and success.  That coupled with the fire that occurs within me when I’m able to teach others helps me to know that I’m in the right place and at the right moment of my life.

Although this list is not prescriptive, it can certainly give you a good starting point to recognizing the signs of walking in your purpose. More importantly, interwoven between all of these is prayer.  We know we are in our purpose when we pray to God and any or all of the three signs listed occur.  Essentially, you can’t experience any of them without prayer.

How did you discover that you were walking in your purpose? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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Elana Cole is a writer, educator, and professional coach who is passionate about helping others in their personal journeys towards a more beautiful life. She is the author of "The Midnight Experience" and creator of Empowered Narrative, a blog about transforming the way you live and love.

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