You were created on purpose for a purpose....to do....[fill in the blank]?? That question can be daunting. Do I fill in that blank with a role? Business professional? Wife? Mother? Friend? Community Member?
I don't believe that answer is in WHAT you do, but in WHO you serve and HOW you live.
You may be asking yourself, "Is my purpose unique?" I firmly believe the answer is indeed different for each of us, but I also believe that to FIND the answer requires stepping outside of your comfort zone with a willingness to live a bold, risk-taking life for Christ. Rarely does Jesus present us with our life's purpose while we sit quietly in the corner. He calls us out of the boat and into the water, and He makes us brave!1
Let me share a little about myself. I was born and raised in Des Moines. I grew up in a Christian home, went to a faith-based high school (Des Moines Christian School class of 1989!), married a Christian man and had three wonderful daughters.
I had a childhood and most of my adult life that most would consider nearly perfect. In 2008, my world was turned upside down by an unexpected divorce. However, I don’t want to focus on the circumstances of the divorce. Instead, I want to focus on if I am to believe in a God who will be with me in the calm, “perfect” stages of my life, would I not also believe and trust in a God who will not only be with me in the storms of life but carry me through them??
And that is exactly what He did then and has continued to do. This past year, He has called me to live a more Radical Life for Him. When Debi asked if I'd share my story through the Valley Church Women's Ministry blog, how could I possibly say no?!? If I am to live this radical life for Him, am I not also to walk through doors He opens...even if they are doors I did not expect to encounter??
In the remaining portion of this blog, allow me to briefly share what it means to me to live a R.A.D.I.C.A.L. life for Christ!
R - You need to be READY. All He wants is a ready and willing heart and He can do amazing things in and through you. Rather than say "someday", why not say "today" I'll take that leap of faith?
A - You need to be AUTHENTIC. We live in a world of shiny plastic people, and I’m tired of that existence. I want to live a life of transparency. God loves us in our messiness. We will make mistakes, but He loves us anyway. (Check out this amazing video by Matt Chandler and John Piper that talks about God's love and grace in our messiness!)
D - You need to be DETERMINED. Satan isn’t going to like us living radical lives. In fact he’ll hate it, so we need to be determined. Sometimes, that even means ignoring others' opinions swirling around you. If your focus in on Him, then differing suggestions...even by well-intentioned friends or family...will fade. Trust that His path, however foggy, is the right one for YOU.
I - I’d actually like to take the “I” out of RADICAL. How about we just say “Let’s be rad-cal”. What I mean by that is, it’s not about I or ME. One of my favorite verses is Phil 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." But that verse is not about Me...it’s about Him working in and through me.
C - Let’s be CONTAGIOUS. What?!? After last winter's horrible flu season, how could we possibly say we’d want to be contagious? What I mean is that we should live our lives in such a way that other people say...."I want what SHE has. I want WHO she has....will you tell me about Jesus?"
A - We need to be ACCOUNTABLE. We are not silos. As women, we need to hold each other up...and yes, hold each other accountable to Him. While not easy, if we truly care about each other, we must be willing to sometimes have uncomfortable conversations. Just be prayerful in your approach. His intent isn't for us to ever come across as anything less than grace-filled.
L - Last but not least....in fact most importantly...We are to show the LOVE of Jesus. That’s why we are here. That may mean you show an act of kindness to someone who may treat you poorly. It may mean you invite someone over for a cup of coffee rather than handle that last load of laundry. Take time, friends, to invest in each other. You are, in fact, investing in His kingdom.
How will you invest in His kingdom? For me, I believe I was created on purpose for a purpose to lead with faith and authenticity. God challenged me to be R.A.D.I.C.A.L. in carrying out this purpose. So I invite you to live RADICAL lives for Him...let’s have an adventure with Jesus together!!