For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. ~Ephesians 2:10
I take the albums off the shelf, one by one. Before putting them in the box, I just can’t resist cracking them open. Taking a stroll down memory lane. One in particular catches my attention. Letters from grade school teachers during a transition from one school to another. Three different teachers all had similar things to say…
She is always reading. Every spare moment she has is spent with a book.
Out of the 125 books in the classroom collection, she has read 95% of them.
We never see her without a book in hand.
And then I come across my 8th grade writing test results.
The scoring scale is from 175 to 260. This test score is 272.
I not only topped the chart – I surpassed it. In the 8th grade. Is it possible I knew myself better then than I do now??
I cant help but think about how God has prepared me to do his work since I was a small child. I was created to read. Created to write. As a very small child, I always had a book in hand. I self-published my first book – an autobiography – when I was in the first grade.
But somewhere along the way I got distracted. I no longer read for fun. I forgot to pick up my pen and paper. It wasn’t cool to always have my head in a book. I needed to make friends – to be popular – to be “in.”
It wasn’t until recently that I’ve begun to rediscover who God has created me to be. It’s like discovering a forgotten gift that has been shoved to the back of your closet. You knew it was there – but you had so many other things to keep you busy. You just didn’t have time to find a place for it.
But when you discover it – when you unwrap it for the second, or third, or even fourth time – you begin to realize how God has placed it in your life over and over and over again.
For we are what he has made us …
God is constantly preparing us to answer his call. He’s constantly showing us tiny glimpses of who he has created us to be. Quiet whispers of what he has prepared for us.
And when we answer … when we finally say yes … it feels like all is right with the world.
It’s not always easy to say yes. It sometimes means turning away from those we love. It often means saying no to things we want. There are so many things left unknown. So many uncertainties.
And let’s face it – if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s often more difficult to say yes than it is to say no. Saying yes means a lifetime of being in the dark. But yet at the same time – a lifetime of living in a light brighter than anything we could ever possibly imagine.
And so I continue to stroll down memory lane. Remembering the paths I’ve taken and the people I’ve met. Recognizing God’s presence in each and every one of them. And realizing, maybe for the first time, that God knew who I was going to be before I was born. He created me to do great things.
And every day I uncover just a little bit more of what he’s got in store for me.
How are you discovering who God’s created you to be? What’s your purpose?
You know what’s hard about this? Passing the 50 year mark and wondering…why did I waste time? Why didn’t I pursue His purpose more before? And then second guessing…maybe I did…maybe raising kids, working hard so we could pay their tuition at Christian schools, being a good friend, serving at church, maybe THAT was enough, maybe THAT was His purpose. Anyway, just waxing philosophical on you…
You know …. I go back and forth between thinking I’ve wasted time and thinking that maybe God’s got a bigger purpose than I can possibly imagine. That my detours were all part of preparing me to really live out my calling … or maybe it’s just my way of making excuses 😉
I’m right there with you, Crystal. I played with the gift over the years and tucked it back on the shelf again and again. And like Leslie (except I’ve passed the 60-year mark now), I wonder why I wasted time. And like her, I think maybe I didn’t–really. I think I needed to live it before I could write it. (And it boggles my brain to think of all the paths and people that brought me to this place at this time.)
I like the way you say that … that you think you needed to live it before you could write it. I’ve found that to be so true in the 31 years of my own life … but – it still doesn’t help wondering what I might’ve been like if I stayed true to it between middle school and now 😉
Thank you, Crystal, for your inspiring post. I’m so glad that God places markers and reminders in our life, so we get pointed in the right direction. I’ve featured this one today on the community posts page at The High Calling. Thank you for your good work.
Aw shucks Jennifer … that means the world to me – thank you!!
Feeling like a constant work in progress. 🙂
At first, I didn’t even know there was anything tucked away in the closet. I thought mine was dark, dusty and empty.
Once a life and career coach helped me to see what was there, I began to unwrap it. So many layers, so many choices, so many opportunities to step outside the comfort zones and serve others, to make a life and a living where my passion meets my strengths and talents.
Now it’s just a step at a time as I figure out what each next step is…
Baby steps are still steps … at least that’s what I keep telling myself as I figure out new twists and turns along the path. We are forever works in progress … and the moment we stop being a work in progress … well … we die!
So glad to hear you’re unwrapping what was in your closet! I hope you’ll come back and share with us what you’re discovering!!
Beautiful post! This speaks to just where I’m at (minus the time of putting the books down when younger…which is probably why I wasn’t exactly popular! Ha!). It is scary and exciting and overwhelming to think we are all made just so…to answer the call He has on our life. You said it right, it feels like all is right in the world (even when my knees are shaking!).
Christine – do you often feel like the only time things aren’t right are when your knees aren’t shaking? I have to chuckle sometimes at how God’s created us for him…