When You Hope You Were Made for More

Kim W Freeman   |   August 11, 2014 

MadeForMore

 

Lately I’ve been referring to myself as a late bloomer. I’m not sure if that is a familiar concept to you, but for me it means that at almost forty (gulp), I’m only now starting to get a glimpse of what I was made to do in this world.

Or at least I think I am.

I don’t know if you can relate, but ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to know what I was good at; I desperately wanted someone to point out some amazing talent I had that would set the course for the rest of my life.

Of course that never happened. I suppose I was a completely average child, perhaps below average in a few areas—like, say anything having to do with balls or hand-eye coordination. I knew very well all the things I was not: athletic, musical, graceful, outgoing and genius. What I didn’t know was what I was.

I remember feeling hints of jealousy towards others who were clearly gifted in a specific area. They would get immediate affirmation and encouragement by teachers and parents. But I was so introverted and shy as a child it was difficult to even express my deepest longings to anyone. Which if I could have articulated them would have simply been for someone to affirm I was valued for much more than for what I could do or accomplish and that I was enough just the way I was, even with my shyness, skinniness and all my other quirks.

But children don’t always understand their longings, much less are able to articulate them to adults.

Whether by circumstance or natural inclination, at about nine or so, I discovered I had a deep love of words. I started writing winding tales of heroic girls who shopped at the mall, met cute boys and swam down waterfalls. I spent many quiet hours in my young years crafting my stories, reading and creating all sorts of art. These activities should have been clues as to which path I should take, but I ignored these cues and pursued other paths later in college.

In my twenties I became a wife and mother, roles I cherish because they have changed me in so many ways. But all throughout this transitional season of life I found myself praying often, “What was I created to do. What are my gifts and talents?”  But I never had a  clear answer.

It wasn't until much later in my thirties that a truth I'd heard for so many years finally became a reality in my life. That truth was that I had been created by God to worship Him, to know Him and that He loves me exactly the way I am, faults and all. I don't have to DO anything, per se. In light of this, everything else becomes secondary. But knowing this and living in light of it are two vastly different things and I can’t say that I’m always getting it right.

And because I believe I’ve been uniquely created, I also believe that God wants me to live according to his purpose. That he’s gifted me and everyone else with talents that he wants us to use for good in this world. But knowing what and how has definitely been a challenge for me.

Thankfully in grad school I had a wonderful mentor who helped me look back on my life as a way of looking forward. She challenged me to think back into my childhood and teenage years and remember the things that gave me the most joy like writing and being creative. That’s when I started writing again and dreaming about the possibilities that were before me.

Having people in your life that affirm your gifts and passions can make all the difference in the world as to whether you succeed or fail. Of course, it doesn’t have to, but for me it’s been crucial. And even now I am still not sure I’ve landed on the right track of things exactly, but I have a clearer idea of what I want my life to be about and of the pursuits that are life-giving to my soul. And those are the ones I want to follow.

So if you’re feeling stuck today and hoping that you were created for more than what you see right now, here are a few tips to help you start moving in a new direction.  These might not work for you, but they have for me:

  1. Ask your friends or spouse. Invite a couple of trusted friends to go to coffee and ask them what they see in you. When do they see you come alive the most? What special talents have they noticed in you? A good friend won’t think you’re vain, but will want to encourage you to help you discover your gifts and passions.
  1. Look back. As a child what did you enjoy studying the most in school? How did you spend your free time, assuming you had any, I know Indian children tend to study quite a bit more than I did when I was in school. These can be clues to how you were made and what you are good at. Spend a morning over a cup of tea thinking back to your growing up years and write down the things that brought you the most joy.
  1. Get a mentor. If you don’t have one already, find a mentor and meet with them frequently. This should be a safe person who is older and wiser and where you want to be a few years down the road. They are great for offering wise advice during challenging seasons, cheering you on and helping you discover your gifts.

And although life might not look the way you thought it would right now and there might be challenges that seem difficult to overcome, remember that when God created you he had a purpose and plan in mind. Feeling a little unsettled about life is not always a negative thing. Sometimes it’s the very feeling we need to move us further down the path that God has for our lives.

Do you ever hope you were made for more than what you see right now?

 

 

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Kim W Freeman is the wearer of many hats: a wife to Jon, mother of five, founder of IndiAanya, artist and writer. She has a heart to see women grow in their faith and do life together in authentic community. Her perfect day would include cinnamon cappuccino, scones, rainy weather and an inspiring conversation. She haphazardly blogs over at her own place about life, art and spiritual formation at kwfreeman.com. She and her crew live in Charlotte, NC.

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6 comments on “When You Hope You Were Made for More”

  1. Thanks for such an encouraging post, Kim! Sometimes when we seem to be overwhelmed by our current roles and responsibilities, its easy to get discouraged and wonder, if we are on the right course. But like you beautifully put it, primarily we are '... created by God to worship Him, to know Him and that He loves me exactly the way I am, faults and all... knowing this and living in light of it are two vastly different things'.
    Plus its never too late to 'want' to find out what we are called to do apart from this primary calling!

  2. Loved your thoughts on this Kim, it was almost like reading my own mind! Things do take on a different perspective when you realise that you were made for a purpose, in accordance with the unique skills He has gifted you with. And it is surely a relief to know that you don't have a particular age to understand that! Thank you.

    1. Thanks Anita- I feel like I will always be learning this! I'm glad you could relate, but I promise I did not read your mind 🙂

  3. Loved this, Kim. You have a way of expressing what many of us think and feel. I always look forward to reading what you have to say. Love you.

  4. Hey Kimber, I read your blog this morning and thought of my self in allot of ways. Being almost 60 now I am beginning to realize that God brings out the gifts He has put inside us for the different seasons in our lives. This has been a blessing for me. Love you and I am thankful for you. ( I read this quote this morning.) Your calling and gifts are unique......There's a special blueprint for your life, with no other name on the page.Robert J. Morgan

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