Like many of you, 2020 has stripped away a lot of the hustle and bustle that consumed my life in previous years. It has left me with more time to evaluate where I am in life, and where I want to be spiritually/professionally/personally/physically/mentally. So far, I’ve read 19 books (the most within a year), I’ve done 2 month-long workout programs, read my Bible more, and hired a career coach.
For a couple of years now, I have been wanting to transition into the non-profit sector. I really want to help with the prevention of juvenile delinquency, but have not had much luck with scoring a job. But to be completely honest, in the past, I haven’t put much effort in getting a new job. I would easily get discouraged, seeing what the employer would want out of a candidate versus the little experience I had in that field…and I knew education could only get me so far. So I decided this time to get some accountability, and hire someone who could help me figure out what I wanted to do and how to navigate this process.
In our last session, my career coach asked me to write down what I have experience doing, what I consider myself an expertise in, and what I bring to the table. This exercise literally had me stumped; I spent almost 15 minutes trying to grab these skills/experiences from the deep crevices of my brain. I actually felt a little defeated when we ended our session because I felt I didn’t have much to offer a potential employer.
The ending of my session bothered me so much, that it was on my mind when I woke up the next day. I flipped to 1 Corinthians 12 to learn about the gifts and abilities we are given by the Holy Spirit. That passage kind of helped. So I did what any wisdom-seeking millennial would do and Googled it for clarity. I found two articles that literally changed my perspective (and life).
In the first article, the writer says that God smiles when we use the gifts that He has given us. God doesn’t expect me to be talented or gifted at everything, but He does want me to use what I have been given. When I use my spiritual gifts, it brings joy to God and to me. When I read that, I started thinking about what brings me joy:
- Organizing (whether it’s events, kitchen pantries, books, etc.)
- Creating (whether it’s baking, cooking, crafts, parodies, videos, etc.)
- Writing (on this blog, in my journal, etc.)
- Teaching/Sharing (about God, finances, at work, etc.)
In the second article I read, the writer talked about how to use your God-given talents to glorify Him. In order to use our talents, we have to identify them and then grow them. I’m still on step one. Even though I’ve identified the things that bring me joy, I’m not sure how those things fit into my purpose…and maybe I’m overthinking and over-complicating things like I normally do. However, once I have identified my God-given talents (through the Holy Spirit), I can start cultivating them. And when I use them and cultivate them, I will be able to: help others, glorify God, and be filled with joy. The Bible mentions the importance of bearing good fruit and cultivating what’s in your hands, here’s a couple of references: Matthew 7:16-20; Luke 13: 6-9; and Matthew 25: 14-30.
I didn’t want to write a whole dissertation here, so there will be a part 2 coming soon. But I did want to share what I’ve learned and encourage you on your journey. Maybe you’re in the same boat as me and cannot figure out what your talents and skills are, and how they fit into your purpose. Or maybe you are discouraged because you’ve compared yourself with others who have a natural ability you want, like singing/teaching/playing a sport/acting/etc. What I want to tell you (and myself) is that you were made on purpose for a purpose. Your skills and talents are unique to you and the purpose you’ll play here on this Earth. And instead of comparing yourself to others or desiring the skills/talents of others, it’s time to focus on what’s in your hands and cultivate it.
Peace & Blessings,