Wisdom for the Secret Desires of Women – Part One

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

 

 

 

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Five Reasons Why Pursuing Your Calling is the Key to Inner Peace

If you have breath, you have a call. No exclusions or exceptions. No mistakes or passing over.  As God breathed your soul, spirit, and body into existence, He also infused you with passion and calling. Like tea steeps into water, God imbued you with individual purpose and calling.

Calling Vs. Identity – Understanding the Differences

Your calling is part of who you are made to be over your lifetime. Your call is woven into your personality, gifts, talents, and good deeds prepared for you before your life began. Because of the intimate dance between your true self and your calling, pursuing your passions will always be key to realizing inner peace. Without the exploration and pursuit of your passion and calling, your inner self can feel dry or even bankrupt.

Calling, however is not the same as identity. Your identity is the understanding of who you are in light of your relationships. Your identity is not the same thing as pursing the passion God gave you to take ground in His name. For women, calling can be easily rolled into our identity as a mother, sister, friend, daughter, and wife. We value our relationships the most and are wholly devoted to them. We want the same inner peace we desire for ourselves to flow into our most precious relationships. Consequently, our value is often tied to key relationships, but that is not the whole story.

Coming from a legal background, when I think of calling, I think of the word ‘summons’ which is defined as “an authoritative or urgent call to someone to be present or to do something.” It’s God’s individually crafted “summons” over you – the combination of God infused passion and action made for you and you only. Calling goes beyond the roles (identity) we live out in our lives. Certainly, your call may bring you to a specific focus as a mother, sister, friend, daughter, or wife, but the call does not begin there.  When we roll calling and identity into one, we angle ourselves to the left or right of inner peace.

Calling is the standing God gave you as His child with a purpose and mission to live out in the service of others. When we focus on our roles instead of our calling, we miss the intersection of our passion and purpose. We miss the fullness of who we were made to be. The resulting tragedy is the simultaneous unmet longing of so many women: Inner Peace.

Five Reasons Why Pursuing Your Calling is the Key to Inner Peace:

1.  Knowing your calling provides purpose for your soul

What makes your heart beat fast? What fires up your desire for justice or equality? What causes tears to stream down your cheeks? What could you just keep doing forever because you love it and you thrive from it? What keeps you up at night or gets you up early? What do you want to stand on a podium and talk about? Is there something that breaks your heart and you can do something about it?

Purpose gives life to the part of you that was intended to be active and alive. When we verbalize and memorialize our calling, we are invigorated with energy and determination to do the thing we were made to do. When we are in sync with our God given desires and can name them out loud or on paper, the inner self invites and welcomes peace.

2.  Living out your purpose satisfies the cravings of the soul

Women often fear that they have missed the mark. With the exception of the failures and mistakes that are part of living, the fear of missing the mark is related to whether a woman is pursuing her calling. There is an internal craving that exists inside of us until we live out our calling. Just like many describe salvation as the God-sized keyhole of the heart, calling is a go button waiting to be pushed. The green go button lights up again and again as it waits to be pushed. The blinking light continues until activation and so does our craving. Inner peace is not realized until the self is living out who the self was made to be. When your calling is unleashed, pursued and active, the soul is at peace, satisfied and fulfilled.

3.  Avoiding or setting aside your calling disrupts inner peace

Pursuit of a good cause, intention, project or relationship that is not in line with your personal calling may be a factor in thwarting inner peace. In a recent survey of passionate, intentional women, I found that almost all the women were pursuing projects and building relationships. The same resourceful, creative women also stated they desire inner peace the most.

We cannot ignore the difference between pursuing positive projects and relationships and pursing projects and relationships that are aligned with your God infused passion. There is correlation between inner peace and whether you are pursuing the calling that your Creator designed for you. Inner peace does not arrive until your pursuit becomes a pursuit that was God breathed into your being.

4.  Pain is healed by pursuing your calling

Women experience deep pain arising from their own self-image, difficulties in parenting and marriage, financial uncertainty and death and loss. The pain is not just in the season of difficulty but in moving forward from the hardship. If we are not careful, we will take our pain with us far beyond the season. We will see our lives through the lens of pain. We will live our lives consumed by wounds and brokenness. In effect, we will narrow the course of our lives instead of expand the ground we take for God and for his glory.

When we have pinpointed our passion and calling and pursue it, our pain is met with purpose and hope. Healing comes. Healing does not necessarily come from the resolution of the hardship, but it comes from gathering up your gifts, talents and abilities towards your God imbued passion and calling. Pursuing your calling is not about distraction from pain, it is about working through the pain by honoring a part of yourself that is meant to be expressed no matter the circumstances. Pain disrupts inner peace, but passion and calling are a spring board for healing.

5.  The pursuit of your calling connects you to community

Women often hide their struggles. Strong women hide their fears. Balanced women hide desperation and hopelessness. Confident women hide idols of perfectionism. Grounded women hide how lost they feel. Together women hide how undone they really are. Hidden struggles chisel away at inner peace. Hidden struggles strip down and immobilize passion and purpose. Connection, however, gives way to voice, revelation and freedom.

Connection breaks down the walls of silence that are marring the self-worth and self-image of women. As we verbalize struggles and passion among sisters, we become connected. When we set out to pursue calling, our team of sisters support us, act as resources for us and remind us why our passion matters. When we are supported and heard, inner peace increases. Our passion and peace grow side by side in community.

The pursuit of passion and calling is the key to inner peace. The soul craves purpose. The soul finds healing in the path of passion and calling. The soul finds her voice in the presence of community. The one thing she desires most for herself and her family can’t be found in her roles, although exponentially important. The one thing she desires most can’t be found when calling is side stepped or avoided. Inner peace is found in living out the God-imbued calling over her life. She will find peace when she lives out her calling.

 

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