By: Shari Rigby
I struggled to find my purpose because I was looking for that perfect thing that would make me happy. Turns out, this is a recipe for disaster. The moment I got bored, discouraged, or challenged, I was right back to where I started—confused and trying to find my purpose in something else. Sisters, God is generous. He reminds us in Psalm 46:10, “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” We don’t have a purpose that is vulnerable to the whims of how we feel. He knows us better than that. He gives us a higher calling. That way when we face trials and tribulations, like the Bible tells us we will, we won’t question our existence. We can look up and know that glorifying and serving the Lord is our purpose. So let’s shake off the old thinking and remember, we have value because of His great love for us. I like to ask new friends this question: Whom are you serving, and where? This opens up the dialogue for us to talk about purpose. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Sisters, once you start serving others—whether it’s feeding the homeless or meeting with another woman to have coffee and hear her heart—your life will begin to change. When your focus becomes service to others, your eyes and heart are tuned to Jesus. He begins to put you in places to serve others like you’ve never imagined. Loving Christ and loving others will propel you and fulfill you for as long as you live. I always want to understand a word and the meaning of it so I can use it properly. The word purpose means “the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists; one’s intention or objective.” Service is described as “the action of helping or doing work for someone”. Look again to Jesus. He served all those He encountered, from His first miracle, changing water to wine, to spending time with the unlovable, to washing the disciples’ feet. No matter where Jesus was serving or whom He was serving, He was all about glorifying the Father. Jesus encourages us to follow His lead and serve one another. He served with great love and humility, desiring that we would do the same for others. A man after His Father’s heart, Jesus served even to the point of dying on the cross for us. The purpose of my life ultimately circles back to serving women. Whether I’m acting, directing, speaking, writing, mentoring, mothering, or something else, I’m serving. In serving women, God is exalted. I remind the Women inMy World and all those I encounter that Jesus loves them. I point them to the Bible, reminding them of His truths over their lives. I especially love to point out how Jesus serves women in so many instances in the Gospel accounts of His life. He encouraged and empowered them to be part of His ongoing ministry. I just love sharing how Jesus led the way in empowering women!
If you’ve ever planted lilies, you know the bulbs must be planted deep, eight to ten inches into the ground, where they then grow and form extensive colonies. Their deep roots enable them to carry the weight of the heavy stalks and spectacular blooms that will burst forth when spring comes. Sisters, that dormant season is one of your greatest seasons of all. Because when you bloom, you need to be grounded deep in the soil so that you are able to walk through the season, standing tall with a fragrant spirit, displaying your bold color. Welcome the dormant season, so that you are fully ready to take on the world. With each new bloom, you will continue to grow your colonies of relationships and deepen your faith. The Lord desires to pour His fragrance, favor, and beauty over and through you to serve right where He’s planted you. The idea is to explore and expand where one is planted. When you’re walking in His will, obeying His commands and excelling in the places that He has placed you, He will continue to expand your territory just like He did with the Israelites. He took them out of the desert and brought them into the land of milk and honey. This is great news! God does not want us to wander in the desert. He desires to take us into the land of plenty. It’s up to us to decide how long we will fight and be disobedient. If we don’t take root where He plants us and instead stumble around after our own desires, we’ll find ourselves amongst the thorns. So, pray without ceasing and rejoice in the preparation or dormant season, know spring will come.
This article is an excerpt from Shari’s new book, Consider the Lilies: Get Rooted in Your Destiny by Discovering God’s Plan, and is used with permission.
Shari Rigby is an actress, director, producer, author and inspirational speaker. She is best known as one of the leading actresses in faith and family inspirational entertainment for her roles in Overcomer, October Baby, The Least of These, Not Today and Wildflower. Outspoken and passionate about her faith and family, Shari continues to thrive in the entertainment industry as a role model and mentor to women of all ages through her ministry, The Women In My World. Shari and her husband, Matt, have been married for twenty-three years and have been blessed to raise two boys together.