Finding Purpose at Home
[Written by Dr. Prairie Burgess, Assistant Professor of Leadership]
Feelings of loss.
Feelings of being alone.
These are all hallmark characteristics of change, and for many of us at Concordia University Texas, these characteristics add up to a lot of anxiety. It's not merely cliché to say that our lives have undergone monumental change in the past several weeks. These changes have been quick and have created a myriad of emotions and questions, one of which, for me, is how I can fulfill my purpose in this situation.
To be frank, I have gone through many stages of seeking my purpose in life, and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to find the words to articulate what I feel is my God-driven purpose. Much of the struggle I had in determining my purpose was related to my insecurities of belonging. For many years, I was trying to please others to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. I have finally come to fully realize that my belonging is in Christ, and the more I lean into that love, the more my true purpose in life has developed.
A quote from Brené Brown resonates with my soul: “When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.” While I know nothing of Brown’s faith journey, this quote, in particular, draws me close to my understanding of God’s love and purpose for me. I am a child of God, and through the abundant love and acceptance extended to me, I am fully able to love and accept others. This is my purpose: to love others and empower them to love.
As I have embraced this sentiment, I have been able to narrow down the things I choose to participate in and take action in ways that better fulfill my purpose. I genuinely enjoy volunteering and spend hours each year doing things for others in official and unofficial capacities. At one point in my life, these things were done to gain that sense of belonging. Now, I can confidently say that I choose to engage from a place of purpose — to love others and empower them to love.
During this time of sheltering in place, I have been part of a group in my larger neighborhood that has been sewing masks for others. This sounds like a simple good work (and it is), but for me specifically, it has been about being able to love others. It may seem small, and in the global picture, it is, but I’m finding a way to live out my purpose even at home.
In John 13:34-35 (NIV), Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Looking for ways to love on others from a distance? Consider donating to a local food bank, as the need is continually rising at this time.