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  • Lena Jennings

Our Deepest Fear

One of the number one questions coaches, therapists, and pastors get is 'why on earth am I here?" The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren that helps people answer that question has sold 50 million copies in more than 85 languages. From the age of four, we're constantly asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” At 24 I'm expected to have it all figured out and frankly I don't.

My Achilles heel is the thought of "not doing enough." Every so often the enemy attacks me with my purpose by diminishing the process I'm in. I get caught up in this not enough mentality that I find myself hustling for my worth. In my hustle I overcompensate for my perceived faults, play small, feel inadequate, or paralyzed because I've diminished my progress I've made thus far. I have a big career full of purpose ahead of me but yet I want it now. I want to see my name shinning in lights, I want my ideas to be shared across the world, I want my platform to be my purpose. But what I'm reminded of, it's a process.

This advent season as we are preparing the way for Christ I think about how in a single second God could have saved the world. Yet, he chose to send our Jesus in the form of a baby. The Promise, the Savior, the One True King was sent to the world not in the form of a strong warrior but as an innocent, vulnerable, and dependent baby. Although the promise of a Savior being sent to the earth to restore God's people was fulfilled, it would take 30 years for that promise to materialize into something visible. It took 30 years for the ministry of Jesus to begin. The bible records the life of Jesus at birth, the age of 12, and again at the age of 30 up until his death. At 12 years old we see the bud of purpose in Jesus (Luke 2:41-52). Pre-teen Jesus got separated from his parents and three days later his parents found him surrounded by leaders of the synagogue. He was listening to them and asking questions. The Bible says "everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers (v.47)." His parents, Mary & Joseph, take him home and the Bible says "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (v. 52)." Then we don't hear about Jesus for 18 years.

In this season of my life I feel like 12 year old Jesus. Everyone around me sees my greatness + are impressed by what I do. The Bible doesn't give Jesus' perspective but I would assume it's that of humility and probably some confusion like why are these people so fascinated by me. Who knows if Jesus knew his purpose to be the Savior of the whole world at that point in time but he knew he had a calling over his life. When his mom, Mary, asked "why did you do this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” Jesus replied, “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?" Jesus knew something was up but what I do know for sure is that he insulated himself in God and good teaching.

I get so caught up in the future and achieving my purpose that I forget the now is important too. I diminish the season that I'm in and often get frustrated by it because I'm not satisfied with the now. I'm not satisfied with the season that God called me to where I just grow in wisdom and favor. Frankly it's not cool nor is it as exciting as what I know God has called me to. But then I remembered Luke 16:10 that says "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities." I've been trying to control my future by planning, creating more, joining more, taking on more, and getting more advice when in reality I need less. Less voices, less involvements, less commitments, and less fluff so I can focus on hearing God and being in alignment with Him. Less of me God and more of you. The best way to control my life is to let go of it.

I want to speed up the process and get there already but I already am somewhere. I am exactly where I need to be: here and now is where God has me. For I choose to be grateful for the small moments in which I can learn more, love more, connect with my family, and all of the small moments that I write off are getting me one step closer to my purpose. It's in my rest that I find my power, it's in my stillness that I let God be God, and it's in my surrender that I find that everything I do is purpose. With every smile I give someone, act of kindness, and display of love to God and other I am living out the the number 1 commandment. I am more intimately connected to purpose than I think.

It was 18 years between 12 year old Jesus learning in the temple and 30 year old Jesus raising people from the dead and saving humanity. Don't rush the process. The promise will come into fruition. Be still and continue to grow in favor in God.

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