Don't ever get so focused on your purpose that you aren't willing to be used by God. As I write this blog post, I realize that I'm probably preaching to myself more than to you, but I hope that the way the Spirit has been convicting me might be an encouragement to you. The box of encouragement this month was created around the theme of being a vessel God can use. Many of us search and search to try to understand our purpose, the one big way that God wants to use us. For some of us it's very obvious and for others, it takes a little longer for us to figure it out. I personally believe that we can have multiple purposes, that it's not always just one big thing. But the good news is that being useful to God does not require that you have found your purpose.
I struggled for years to find my purpose. For a while I thought it was this, then I thought it was that. Then I thought it was to be a mother and then it wasn't. I thought infertility would be my hardest battle and my "big" testimony. It took me to a level of submission to God's Will that I never imagined possible and forever changed me.
He gave me loved+blessed and I think I was so relieved that I had "found my purpose" that for a while, I subconsciously decided that that was the only way He wanted to use me. My vision had become too narrow and I was missing out on the bigger picture of how God wanted to use me in other ways too. I had mistakenly assumed (well maybe hoped is more accurate) that through the trials and tribulations I had already experienced he was finished molding and shaping me. That there were no more lessons I needed to learn. But with each passing year, I realize God has so much more molding of me to do. He has more things He wants me to submit to Him. He has more challenges I'll face that He'll use to help me grow.
Before I go on, I want to check in on how you're feeling. If you've read this far and are thinking, "He can't possibly use me," then I want to encourage you. No matter what you've been through or are going through, God can still use you. He wants to use you if you are willing.
I can tell you from personal reflection that brokenness might be a needed experience to prepare you to be used for His great purpose. Looking back, I can see how God was molding and shaping me through every trial, to prepare me to be a vessel for His use, but when I was in the midst of it, I felt forgotten, like a broken vessel of no value. But I'm proof, that you are never too broken to be of value to God. If you invite Him in, His light will shine through your broken places and give light to someone else.
Have you ever heard the phrase "make yourself useful"? I remember hearing it as a child when we'd be watching television and my Mom was cooking in the kitchen. I'd hear her call "Why don't you make yourself useful and set the table for dinner." To make oneself useful is to do something that is of some value or benefit to someone. It's as simple as that. We can all do that every day!
But sometimes the ways that God wants to use us requires a little more preparation than just washing our hands and grabbing the dinner plates. I'm learning that it requires a clean heart, an open mind, and a willing obedience. These aren't things that you just do once and you're set. Being ready to be used by God means that you continually examine your heart and mind and learn to respond immediately to the leading of the Spirit.
I know I have a LONG way to go in this area, but I hope you find comfort, like I do, in knowing that God is not done with me yet. His grace is abundant and as long as we are seeking to be a willing vessel for Him, He will continue to reveal new ways He wants to use us for His Glory.
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.