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3 Lessons on Purpose I’m Still Learning

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

When I was in fourth grade I interviewed the governor of Missouri. I was writing a paper on Missouri and this opportunity was perfect. From the time I sat down with my recorder and began asking questions and taking notes, I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. Be a journalist. And I was for a stint.

I like to say that I went from reporting bad news to preaching the Good News.

Fast forward past high school newspaper, Journalism School, newspaper internships and jobs to seminary.

A [person’s] gift makes room for [them],

And brings [them] before great [people]. Proverbs 18:16

1. Purpose isn’t thin.

I used to think purpose was a straight and narrow path. So thin that you have to walk one foot in front of the other. My viewpoint was so narrow. I said no to a lot of things because they weren't exactly my understanding of my purpose - which I used to think was writing. However, writing is one of the means by which I live out my purpose. Therefore purpose is broad and can be lived out in a myriad of ways.

2. Purpose isn’t singular.

As I support folks who make pivots and changes in their lives, I’m convinced that purpose is linked to identity; and identity evolves. As we change, our purpose does as well. My research is anecdotal on this. But I see this so much in the conversations I have with people. The part folks struggle with allowing evolution. “This isn’t how I thought my life would be” or “I couldn’t have planned this if I wanted to.” Sometimes the statements are shared in a sad way. Other times, it’s a joy! We get to choose.

3. Purpose isn’t about what you do.

Too many times, folks want to arrive at a destination and call it done. Purpose is more about who we are not what we do. Hopefully, one informs the other. Furthermore, when it’s about who we are, then we can make choices that align with our very being. Is this a decision that supports who I am has become a rubric I use.

I’m still learning and growing in my own purpose, which is to be whole and support others in their wholeness. This is why I struggled in newspapers but also why writing continues to be a means by which I demonstrate my purpose. The GET UP book was one way I started to capture lessons around purpose/passion.


Action Brings Clarity

  1. How would you describe your purpose today?

  2. I’m talking about purpose on the new podcast Where Faith & Feelings Meet. Listen in.

  3. For conversation and prayer about purpose join the discussion group on Wednesday mornings at 6 a.m. Go here to get the link.

© Charity Goodwin, 2023.



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