Finding Your Purpose in a World Full of Comparison
This weekend we had the opportunity to attend Dave Ramsey’s Smart Conference and heard from so many amazing speakers about everything from marriage, finances, parenting and more. It was such an eye opening experience and a real push to keep going on our journey of the Total Money Makeover. So, today I just want to share some of the things I’m learning in order to Create the Life You Want.
I’m sure most of you have heard of Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University or his book Total Money Makeover. In June of this year Brandon and I chose to start our journey to a debt free life. We now create a budget together every single month, we’re saving for things we know are coming up, and we are slowly but surely adding extra payments to our debts to create the “debt snowball” and be debt free within just a few years. So far, it’s been the greatest thing we could have ever started. It’s hard at times, but I know it will be so worth it in a few years. It will be worth it to know that the legacy we are passing down to our children one day will be a Godly one and not one wrapped in the chains of debt.
Our process with the Total Money Makeover is just a tiny part of my story right now. It plays a small role in the journey to create the life you want. So, stay with me because this post is not all about money! ;)
This weekend, at the Smart Conference, we heard from Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze. Rachel’s newest book, Live Your Life Not Theirs, is all about the 7 money habits we should embrace and how to live a life full of gratitude instead of comparison. I haven’t started this book yet, but Rachel’s talk over the weekend was a recap of the book and it intrigued me so much I just had to buy it. Besides just the money side of it, I realized that my life is full of comparisons in many ways.
This got me thinking…
I always find that in certain seasons of my life God will show me something about myself and also provide a nudge in the right direction for me. As soon as I got home from the conference this weekend I was already flooded with thoughts and dreams to make my life better. Then my mom stopped by and dropped off a book she had just purchased. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist was exactly one of those nudges from God that I’ve been needing.
This was the second nudge of the day after my time at the Smart Conference. In just one day of reading Shauna’s book I’m already three-quarters of the way done. I just can’t put it down. It’s amazing how well this book is merging with all the comparison talk I just listened to from Rachel Cruze. Most people wouldn’t see these two books going well together, but God knows exactly what we need. And this weekend, I needed to hear Rachel and I needed to start reading Shauna’s book.
A little back story for why these two books are becoming a game-changer for me. The last several months (almost a year) have been very strange and difficult for me. I’ve been working so hard for so many different things that I thought I wanted to be, wanted to do, the way I wanted to live. But I’m slowly realizing that I don’t know who am I, who I’m not, what I want, and what I want to get rid of in my life. I was warned by multiple friends that the age of 25 can be a very difficult year. I assumed that was just a case by case basis, but I think I’m starting to agree with those friends.
Since I turned 25 in June these feelings of “not knowing” have overtaken my daily life. It’s like the feelings were there under the surface, but the day I turned 25 it hit me. I spent 6 years in college, finally chose a degree (after switching my major twice), started my own business alongside a part-time job, quit the part-time job and took one that looked to become a career, closed down my business, started another business and just found myself in a place I just wasn’t challenged enough and not happy. So at the age of 25, it looks to me like I have nothing to show for my life; I have no real career, and I don’t even know what I should do tomorrow to make my mark on this world. I am lost. At least it feels that way.
So, to catch you up on where I am today…I turned in my notice at my marketing contract/consulting gig two weeks ago. I only have a week left to finish up some projects and I will be done. After hours of conversation with my hubby over the last year, thousands of prayers and hours of listening for God’s direction we decided it was time. Many people are asking me what my plans are after this job. Well, the thing is, I don’t really have any. Not right now anyway.
I am beyond blessed and grateful to have a husband that supports me and wants me to find the direction I need. I’m so thankful that God has blessed us enough to allow me to stay home for a while. I will never be the girl that just stays home with nothing to do because I love to work. I love to be busy and I love to use my creativity and my knowledge to do good. With that said, I’m so thankful for my Rodan+Fields business because it gives me something to work towards while being at home. But overall, right now, I just need to hit pause. I need to step back. I need to catch my breath, shed some tears, sit in the stillness and quiet and hear God’s voice in the little things. I need to be present in my own life again and stop running after what everyone else is telling me to chase.
So as I sat and listened at the Smart Conference this weekend I laughed and I shed some tears. I had an entire day alone with my hubby to think, to pray and to re-evaluate my life. I started reading Present Over Perfect and before I was done with the first section I was crying. I was moved. I felt like my life was poured out on to the pages of this book that I randomly got. I felt like my heart was yearning to hear the words I was reading. My soul was searching to be reminded of the stillness and the quiet that God wants us to have in our lives. I needed to be reminded that comparison is the thief of joy and that being who God has created me to be is my true desire.
But who is it that God created me to be?
What is my purpose? Coming to the conclusion that you really have no idea what your purpose or calling is in this life is like hitting a brick wall at 90 miles per hour. It hits you HARD and it HURTS! It scary. One of the scariest moments of my life. I know many people would say “You’re still young. You have time to figure things out”. Maybe they’re right, but when you feel that life is passing you by and you’re just standing on the sidelines watching everyone else run past you, it doesn’t feel like there is much time. When you feel pressured to start a family and your husband is 7 years older than you, and settled into a great career, it feels like there is never enough time.
Do you ever feel this way? Like you’re struggling to really find that one thing that you can look at and say, “I love this. It’s hard sometimes, but I know that THIS is what God has created me to be and to do”. I want to find that. Does that even exist? If so, how do I find it? How do WE find it?
I’m not sure that there is one specific way for everyone to find their purpose. I think most people stumble upon it without realizing it and some of us search for years. The one thing I do know is what the Bible tells me about my purpose as a Christian. It tells me that my identity is found in Christ and not in the things I have or the things I do. It tells me that comparison is the thief of joy and that God created me to be the light of the world. A city on a hill.
Part of my purpose is to be more like Jesus every day. To show His love to the world around me and to give Him glory and praise for everything in my life. So if I know this is part of my purpose why do I struggle and feel like I’m not living that out? Maybe I’m not and maybe God created me for that purpose along with another purpose, a way to live that purpose out. That’s what I haven’t found.
I think just starting the journey is the first step. Realizing that I’m not where I really want to be and maybe that’s partly my fault. Maybe I’m too busy comparing myself to the one-thousand people on Instagram that I follow that I don’t have time to be grateful for what my life currently looks like. Maybe I’m too busy trying to be perfect at so many things that I’m not really present for anything. Maybe I haven’t taken enough time to be still, in the quiet, just me and God for long enough to really feel His love for me. To be reminded of his grace and His thoughts toward me.
Have you been feeling like me lately?
Are you like me and tend to play the comparison game too much or do you try to be so perfect that you’re missing out on being present with those you love? Do you tend to run away from the quiet and stillness because it’s scary to slow down and to really think about who you are, who you want to be and what you want in life? It’s scary for me. In Shauna’s book, she hits that nail right on the head. Her words are literally the words my heart has been trying to tell me for months.
Have you been living someone else’s life or dreams because it’s what you thought you should do. Did you do that because it looked like the right thing or their life looked so much better than yours that you thought you had to have it? I’m raising my hand on that one. In Rachel’s book she gives you practical ways that you can stop the comparisons and learn to have more gratitude in every area of your life.
I know the title of this post may make it sound like I have all the answers to create the life you want. Well, if you haven’t figured out by now, I don’t. I don’t even really know, right now, how to find my own purpose in this world, but I do know that sharing my journey is helping me and I hope it might help you. I think sharing these two books and these two inspiring women can help you get on the road to create the life you want. And I think going on this journey together could help us all to inspire each other. I have a feeling this might become a series of posts on this topic in the future. I HIGHLY recommend both of these books…they are changing my life!
Thank you so much for sticking with me through this incredibly long post. I would LOVE to hear from you and hear if you’re going through a similar journey. Or maybe you’ve been through this season of life before and can share some wisdom. I love comments and I love even more connecting with my readers so please reach out and let me know about your journey.
Remember: You are loved, you have a purpose and God has a Plan for your life!