Here we are again. Another school year. Another semester with even harder obstacles to overcome. You're still trying to figure out what you really want to do with your life. You are still wondering what your purpose even is, especially during this crazy year. I have walked in your shoes sister. Figuring out what path to take while in college and what to do after college can be so scary and stressful. I have some good news for you...
Even in the midst of anxiety and unknowns there is a God who has already written your story. He has prepared this year for you and now it's time you let him prepare you for this year. Trust that God is working all things out for your good. Finding your purpose in college can be one of the hardest things you'll have to do. It takes patience, dedication, and lots of prayer. Truth is, your purpose isn’t going to pop up like a text notification from God. For me, God has slowly revealed things to me throughout the past few years. When he tells me to move or reach out to someone or puts a calling on my heart, I have to choose to do it. Each step of obedience I take slowly reveals his plan for my life.
Here's what helped me trust God and find purpose throughout college and even now:
Focus on the everyday
Each day has opportunity and purpose and divine appointments to live out. God has a specific purpose for you today. How do you know what that is? Prayer is the first step. Ask God to show you the opportunities he has for you to live out your purpose today. Prepare your heart each morning to be obedient to whatever he calls you to. You'll find that trusting him with your everyday, will be the start of you trusting him with your entire life.
If you are looking for a great resource that dives deep into this, get Jordan Lee Dooley’s recent book “Own Your Everyday.” She shares so much wisdom and applicable steps to really focus in on living out purpose each day.
Stop trying to control things:
If this year has taught us anything, it's that we don't have much control. Planning only works so much. Stop trying to control your life. You need to remember that God is the WAY MAKER. He is in full control of your life. Sure, you get to make the decisions and say the "yes and no's" but he wants to be in the middle of your choices. Let him be. He knows your today, yesterday and tomorrow. Allow him to guide you and your life and your choice - when you do this, you will find true purpose and peace.
When you can accept that God is in control and give him full access to your life, all of that anxiety and worry that you have will slowly drift away. I’m not saying you won’t have a few freak out moments here and there, but you will begin to see that it’s better that God is in control and not us. I don’t know about you but my plans don’t always work out for the best. I’m sometimes selfish, self-righteous and I am a sinner who is just as broken as the next girl. God is a way better planner than me and in his perfect love he is writing the greatest story of all time. I’m just blessed to be a part of it.
Set goals instead of plans!
Changing my mindset and finding my purpose in college started when I began setting goals instead of trying to make plans for my life. Literally, every single plan I had in college almost never went the way I thought it would. Heck, my life hasn't gone the way I thought it would at age 22. But, I know God has me right where he wants me. He has you right where you're supposed to be. So set some big goals! Dream some big dreams! Do the things God has put on your heart to do, he will work out the rest.
I am a planner. I like to make itineraries, spreadsheets and plan my weeks out in advance. My plans don’t always make room for God to move. Have you ever wondered why some of your plans don’t work out? Maybe it’s because God has something different for you to do and he had to literally change your schedule. In college, I had to learn to be more flexible with my time. I could make plans and have goals for my week but I wanted to have more flexibility in my schedule so God had room to move. Because God is doing his work and I want to be a part of whatever he has for me this week. Take a step back and pray about how you can free up your schedule to allow God room to work in your life this week. This is why it is so important to not overload your life. You really don’t have to be involved in 500 things. Focus on less than 5 groups/organizations/priorities to be a part of. The busier you are, the less you can invest in the people and purposes that are your priority.
Trust the process.
In order to see God's purpose full-filled in our lives, we have to learn to trust his process. His process looks a lot different than ours. It's sometimes messy and unpredictable but it is always for our greater good and his glory. Most of the time you won't understand it, but be encouraged to always trust he really is good and he really does know what he is doing. He always stays true to his promises. Trust that what he has promised you, he will see it through.
This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. I like to get immediate answers and immediate results in everything that I do. God doesn’t always give me the answer I want but he always gives me the comfort I need. He always provides exactly what I need in the season I’m in. God’s way of doing things looks a lot different than mine. That means I have to admit that I really don’t know what is best for my life, God does. This can be a hard truth to swallow, but it is a necessary one. Ask God to show you what you need to give to him in this season of your life and during this semester of college. Be willing to listen.
Finding your purpose begins with meeting Jesus everyday. In your prayer time, in your bible time, and in every moment of your day. You'll find that the more you seek Jesus, the more you will find out the God given purpose you were created do!
You are a daughter of God, created and purposed by him and for him.
Bible verses to reflect on:
Psalm 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Philippians 4:12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.