As a child, I used to get extremely nauseated (literally to the point of fainting or vomiting) and cry over stories of children being abused and violated. I couldn't comprehend why it affected me the way it did. So much so, during my grad internship, I avoided the children’s unit during my internship at a mental health hospital. But as God would have it, it’s where I was assigned by the clinical director.
Later, in my grad program we were in class watching a documentary on anorexia. It was dark because the lights were dimmed. Before I know it, I’m moved to tears, sobbing, and everyone is looking at me like I have issues. My professor asks me (in front of everyone, like 8 students but it feels like the world), "Why are you crying?" And here I am, doing the ugly at-the-altar cry, and say, “Because, it’s awful. They don’t value themselves so much it makes them starve to disappear.”
***I know we hear we should not allow our emotions to govern us, but He created them and I believe God put them there as an indicator to alert us when something is wrong.
***Pay attention to things that pain you. Please note, I used the word ‘pain’ rather than saying things that ‘hurt’ you.
What pains you is your passion and that passion leads to your purpose.
The difference between pain and hurt, is that hurt is synonymous and indicative of harm. It originates as ‘to strike or to blow.’
Pain, however, suggests suffering inflicted as punishment of an offense (a breach of law or an illegal act). The verb tenses of pain are: to sadden, grieve, distress, bother or perturb.
We become grieved or saddened at an offense, at the injustice. And because we are His children and He has deposited Himself inside us, by the gifting of the Holy Spirit, the things that grieve us, are what grieves Him.
Our purpose is to right what is wrong on the earth.
But how do we know what grieves Him?
I have a best friend that owns a salon and spa. As long as I've known her she's said, "I can cut hair for forever." I mean, she is marketplace ministry. She prays and prophesies for and over her customers. The thing I really admire that she does is praying over the mirrors of the salon. She prays her customers would see themselves as Christ sees them. Being in your destiny, you receive revelation of only things you can do. I mean, who thinks to pray over their mirrors for people to see what God sees? Shari does! Because she is living her purpose.
How do we discover our purpose?
1) Take an inventory of the things that grieve you. Chances are if it is to expose injustice or to bring about justice and it lines up with the Word of God, that’s it! Injustice is rooted in sin and the Bible tells us how to deal with sin. 1 John 3:8 tells us:
“[But] he who commits sin is of the devil for the devil sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest was to undo the works the devil [has done]."
I believe Matthew 11:12 is our mandate, "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."
The word 'suffers' in this context is to call out, to call forth. We are to call out injustice and call forth justice!
2) Spend time with the Lord, SEEK HIM!! Jeremiah 29:13 says, "When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed,” GOD’s Decree!!" He desires to be found. In finding HIM, we become acquainted with HIM. We learn to hear His voice, He tells us what’s in His heart. We learn what grieves Him. When the Lord brought this verse to mind, I had a vision of watching a child playing, hide n go seek, with a man dressed in a beautiful robe, hiding behind a tree. As the child opened his eyes from the count down, he could see a piece of the man's robe sticking out from behind the tree. But the man knew a piece of his robe was showing, allowing the child to FIND Him.
3) Deal with rejection from man by finding acceptance by God.
At times when we are rejected by others, that is God setting us apart and where He shapes and molds us into what He wants us to become.
Basically, He prepares us for our destiny.
During those times you may feel lonely, but what He wants is for you to be separated from distractions and alone with Him. Our lonely times should be alone time with Him. Loneliness is different than aloneness!
Sheryl Brady said it best, "Destiny leaves clues."
Above everything else, be led by God. Sheryl Brady also said, "He [God] talked me into everything I became." I can encourage you and give you practical steps, but ultimately purpose is God-breathed. Allow the Lord to speak to you through the things that grieve you, spending time seeking Him, and finding your acceptance in Him.
He desires to lead you in your journey to finding your purpose.
Viema Emmanuel-Perez is a Nigerian American therapist, life coach and public speaker. Her name is the combination of her parents' names,Victoria/Emmanuel. Her life experience, education and work history have afforded her opportunities to pour into the lives of others from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds but her heart is for teens and young women.
She has served nearly ten years as a licensed professional counselor for the state of Texas helping emotionally distressed individuals.
Viema is a life-giver. Her vibrant personality and spirited passion for others is used at her home church ministering in several roles as a host, leader, and Christian education teacher. She has a dedication to educate on the affects of mental health on the physical body.
Viema aspires to see others achieve their life purpose by working through pessimistic thoughts, overcoming negative life experiences and emotions, resulting in personal freedom and promotion of self growth.