Some of us think we know what we want and we pursue it. We set out to accomplish it, and whether we fail or succeed, surprisingly we discover it does not bring us what we most desire.
Some of us can’t decide what we want. We are stuck in the wanting of something, nothing, and everything. We stay stagnant or very, very busy, but we still don’t get what we most desire.
Some of us, however, land right in our sweet spot. We experience value, fulfillment, and strength, and get what we desire most. If all women have desires deep within them, then why are so many of us missing our mark, landing somewhere else or stuck? When it comes to our true desires, how do we know when we are on the path to our sweet spot or when the winds have directed our path?
In a recent survey of creative, resourceful women, I found that almost all the women had groundbreaking six-month goals. Here are just a few:
Get a blog accepted to an online magazine
Get a blog accepted to an online magazine
Begin free diving
Influence my generation to give to the next
Grow my company so I can hire other women
Start a mom’s prayer group in my city
Apply to Bible college and get a degree
Travel to a place I’ve never been
Blend our families in my new marriage
Create a voice for singles in my church
Whether or not you have a six-month goal, let’s consider the nine listed above. If each woman accomplished the goal she verbalized and memorialized, would she experience value, fulfillment, and strength? Would she have what she desired most? Would she experience inner peace?
Inner peace may sound like an elusive notion. It may even sound monkish, new age or self-indulging, but, in my experiences with women, it is what we desire most. Whether it’s parenting, personal calling, marriage, community involvement or friendship, women have a deep desire for an inner peace which flows into key areas of their lives.
When we are setting out to accomplish our secret desires; when we are venturing to our sweet spot, the key question is: Will this bring peace to my soul? If Godly peace is the center of your pursuit, you can be confident you are setting out on a path that will bring you what you desire most.
So, then, how do we get to our sweet spot? The wisdom that will lead you to the peace and fulfillment you desire begins with your calling. The statements below embody the fourfold wisdom for the secret desires of women.
You Are Gifted
You Are Valuable and Valued
You Are Fulfilled by Living Out Your Gifts
In Living Out Who You Are, You Find Strength
Wisdom begins with the knowledge of what your gifts are. Syncing your God-given gifts with your daily practices leads to realizing your value. Putting your gifts into practice exhibits your value to yourself and others. The eventual result of practicing your gifts and talents in a valuable way lends itself to personal fulfillment. As you live who you were made to be in the season that you are in, strength appears in ways it never has before. You are gifted. You are valuable. You are fulfilled. You are strong. Your soul is at peace. This is the fourfold wisdom for the secret desires of women.
You Are Gifted
Look to the Past to Find Your Future
Women, in order to know your gifts, you will have to know yourself. You will have to take quiet time to look into your past so that you can see your future. As you look back in the silence of the moment, you will remember what made you smile at six. You will dream of impossible and bold adventures like you did when you were twelve. You will love with all the passion and fearlessness you had when you were twenty. You will remember coming into your person and claiming who you are. All of these thoughts, feelings, and memories will point you to who you are and then to your future path.
When you remember, like I did, that I love wise owls and shimmery butterflies, you will know that it is time to incorporate creative gifts back into your life. When I recalled the years I didn’t shave and marched for my causes, I realized that my business could be used as a force for good in my community. When I pondered the years of babies and being broke, I remembered that I can do anything new or hard in my life’s path. My memories brought me to my gifts. My gifts brought me to my future.
When you take the quiet time to look back, you will see into your future. The space that was once empty, blank or bleak will come into focus. Your vision for your future in your current season will become clear. Suddenly, you can see where the lamp at your feet and the light on your path are leading. You can walk down this path in boldness because you have a vision.
Pain Is a Part of Your Gifting
Sister, you are unfinished. There is a future path you can walk because of the past and present pain you have weathered. The best part of unfinished is that there is so much more to come. As undesirable as a season of pain really is, it carves out wisdom, compassion, and grace in a unique way. Pain and suffering are not the end of you, nor do they define you. Personal pain is simply evidence of the unfinished work and the great journey ahead.
I have a trusted sister Kay who barely relates to pain because she has embraced it so well. Her journey began when her husband’s business partnership went bad. Resulting litigation, great financial loss, multiple moves away from the town they called home, uprooted kids, church changes, homeschool experiments, school transfers, and more professional changes brought painful challenges. Kay’s nature is to be rooted, well planned and under control, but she was uprooted in almost every way a person can be uprooted. Kay worked through her pain. She made it a point to make home wherever home was. The best part is that a very finished person remains unfinished.
You will find some of your giftings from your seasons of pain. My friend has learned that home is not a city or a town or a church or a Bible study or a ministry. Home is with her family. She has a definition of home that belongs to her. What will my friend do with her gift? Who will she impact? What will she dream up as a result of her pain? If we can understand that pain makes us an unfinished work, we can be filled with hope that there is so much more to come.
Your Heart’s Call
All of us were made with a heart call. You may not know what yours is yet. You may have more than one. My heart call can be summed up in the words uninvited or excluded. It bothers me when a person is left out or ridiculed because they are different, unusual or perceived as not good enough. I noticed when someone is laughed at, treated unfairly or attacked for no good reason, compassion and action would rise up in me. I may not have always consciously known that about myself, but I discovered my desire for compassion and action towards injustice when I listened to my heart call.
Once you pinpoint at least one of your heart calls, you can take intentional steps towards your calling. For me, I began to take my time to listen to a lost, lonely or hurting person. I could see it in their eyes. I learned that when my heart string was activated, I needed to take time, whether I thought I had it or not, to listen. I eventually realized that taking my time to listen to others lead to freedom in them and freedom in me. When I am living out one of my gifts in a positive, intentional way, God moves and fruit appears. When you listen for your heart’s call, you will find your bend and what type of injustice you were made for.
You Are Valuable and Valued
There are many good things a woman can choose to be and do in her lifetime. Something magical happens when her choices are derived from the calling over her life. A powerful layer of self-worth begins to form when she’s living out her calling. Why is that? The reason is that she is living and breathing what she was made to do.
When a woman follows her calling, she sees the value of who she is. It’s not that following the call brings the value, it’s that living out her gifts and talents brings the knowledge of her worth to herself. As she is engaging in a way that brings forth awareness of her worth, she experiences the beginning of inner peace.
The best example I can give you is my dear friend Madeline. Madeline has been through extraordinary pain in relationships. Pain has a way of putting a question mark right through our sense of worth. Madeline intentionally processed her pain instead of hiding or running from it. In her season of pain, she spent her time reading life-giving books, engaging in her community of sisters and devoting hours to quiet time in the Word. She often shared transparently about her pain with trusted sisters and brothers. In a season where it would have been easier to hurt alone, Madeline welcomed others into her world even though it was broken with sharp edges and open-ended problems.
As the pain transformed her heart, her gifts and talents began to surface. Madeline undoubtedly learned a few things about herself in this season. She learned that there is nothing wrong with being the spiritual leader of her home. There is nothing missing from her life as an unmarried woman. Her family is not incomplete or less than. If she ends up meeting a lifelong partner, it won’t be someone to complete her family or replace who she is, but a partner to love and lead with.
As she healed over time, Madeline began to take a few cues from her life. She is regularly asked to take on leadership positions. She may have already known that she is patient, methodical and inclusive, but she did not know how well she was suited for leadership roles. Madeline has learned that she has the ability to create practice and order from vision in order to serve a greater purpose. The work she did during her deepest pain brought her gifts and talents to the surface.
Although Madeline suffered greatly in a few key relationships, she was able to realize her worth when she began to live out the gifts and talents that were already in her. As she recognized her value in living out her gifts and talents, she became a licensed business life coach and went back to school to get her master’s in counseling. Madeline’s personal calling is underway and much of her journey began with recognizing her worth and value all over again.
The pain we experience causes us to question our value and worth. When we process through the pain and begin to find ourselves, we are filled with motivation to live out of our gifts and talents. This is the sacred place where we recognize our worth and run after our call. Nothing can stop the faith-filled pursuit of a woman who knows her worth. This is the key to finding inner peace which flows within her and then to the people she values most.
*Join me next week where I’ll share Part Two of Wisdom for the Secret Desires of Women