It’s a common thing for students to start wondering what their purpose in life is when they near the end of college. I’ve encountered several classmates that were confused as to what they wanted to do in life after graduation. Though they were already enrolled in a major, they weren’t quite sure what career path to choose; moreover, after being in a particular major for a certain time, they started manifesting disinterest. I, personally after being a Health Management major for three years in college, was wondering whether to carry on in this path after graduation, opt for medical school, become a physician assistant, or a social worker as I’ve always liked to help the needy. It was obvious that I was completely perplexed. What was my purpose in life?
Well, the wrong way of answering this question is to do what I did in the beginning: Overwhelm myself by conducting many prayers and fasts, and research every piece of literature on life purpose. I went crazy talking to different people on how to recognize God’s will for my life; however, the Lord remained silent. Subsequently, I grew extremely anxious overtime because I just needed to know: What do I do after college???
One day at church while mentioning this issue to a lady, she advised me the following: “Christie, don’t get anxious about determining your life purpose, the Lord knows that it’s important to you, yet you need to stay calm, rest in His presence, and at the appropriate time, He will reveal Himself to you”. She was referring to the words of Isaiah 30:15:
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength…”This message was definitely an eye-opener because it was at that point I realized how obsessed I became in finding out my purpose in life instead of just CHILLING!!!
So, the right way of answering this main question is to rest, rest, and rest in the Lord. Assuredly, this doesn’t imply being idle, on the contrary, we rest in the Lord by:
1. Praying, praising, and reading the Word: By doing the regular activities of abiding in prayer, praise, and digging in the Word, we grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord; consequently, we begin to discern His voice and understand His ways.
2. Obeying the Word: It’s not simply enough to read the Bible but additionally put it into practice; whatever, the Lord wills us to do we do, we submit. Because if we’re not faithful in the little things that the Lord entrusts with, how can He hand us His goal for our lives (Luke 16:10)?
3. Doing what you think is right: This means we take a path that we think is right and let God guide us in the right way. In my case, for instance, after realizing that I’d missed the deadline to apply for medical school, I proceeded to apply for an MBA in Health Management and a physician assistant program. I got accepted in the former program while denied in the latter. After graduate school, I tried seeking employment in health administration and social work fields. I later secured employment in an engineering company! Whatever I felt was right to do I did it and if it wasn’t God’s will, He closed the door and directed me somewhere else.
Resting is not about growing overwhelmed or biting your fingernails to the quick, but it’s about dwelling in God and letting Him lead you. Even though today, I’m in a career that I never bargained for, I’m happy because I get to be light and salt to my colleagues and the Lord’s blessed me with this ministry, SSU, where I get to reach out to many ladies in need. I’m sure this is not the end, the Lord still has a lot in store for me to accomplish in this life. In the end, this is what I’ve understood: My life purpose is not locked up in a career but in glorifying God in whatever career/ministry He assigns me.