How to Find Your Passion

December 12, 2016

Years ago, I struggled with depression. Not your normal, everyday kind, it was pretty severe, and it lasted for several months. I was physically sick, and I had pretty much stopped eating. I lost weight. I lost my joy. I lost hope. Life wasn’t any fun. It felt like I was barely hanging on to a thread that stretched down from the universe. I believed God was at the other end, but I couldn’t feel Him. The several different kinds of antidepressants I had been taking, (when one lost its effectiveness, I was on to another) stopped working, I really lost hope.

Then a friend gave me a book titled, “The Wall: A Parable” by Gloria Jay Evans. As I read the book, I began to realize how I had slowly built a wall around me, stone by stone, until the wall was so high and so thick that no one would be able to penetrate it and hurt me again. It had become my safety zone: safe from the world. But with this wall, I grew lonely, and it was dark inside, and I felt as though I had no purpose in life. What was I really good for? Good at?

The book was simple with child-like illustrations, and it had captured a snapshot of  my life; perfectly describing how I felt. And if this wasn’t bad enough, that wall caused me to die emotionally—just the opposite of what I wanted. I had become a prisoner, paralyzed with fear.

This was when I knew I wanted out, but I first had to push the first stone out. Soon, Jesus’ light warmed my face, and God reached in. That first step was difficult because I knew I’d be vulnerable to the world again, but better to be vulnerable than hiding in a dark, lonely place.

It didn’t happen overnight, but one by one, God gave me the strength to remove the stones until the wall finally fell. He helped me to understand how important it is to find someone you can confide in, to eat healthy, and exercise as much as you can when you find yourself slipping into depression.

Something to Live For

Which brings me to the present.

Without a purpose you can easily lose hope.

That’s why I believe everyone is born for a purpose. I don’t think we’re born, we live, and then die without a purpose. If this were true, then life would be meaningless, and we’d be insignificant beings walking blindly into an unknown future without much hope. Finding purpose in my life opened up another world that I hadn’t known before, and I know it can help you, too.

I’d love for everyone to discover their passion and purpose in life. Step out and pursue goals and dreams and use them for God’s glory. I think it’s great news that we’re not just here taking up space; we’re here for a reason. We each have a gift; something that we can do better than anything else. And that gift wants us to free it.

Maybe you need to further your education, hone your skills, take a few lessons, or learn a new craft that you’ve always thought you’d enjoy but never took the time to pursue it. Maybe you’ve already discovered your passion, but you just don’t know how or where to start.

Sunday school teacher or church leader? Graphic Designer? Writer? Gardening? Sewing: making quilts, children’s clothes, and doll clothes? Woodworking: birdhouses, flower boxes, plant stands, etc.? Computer skills: building websites, blogging? Social skills? Working with disabled children? Even with little or no experience, it’s never too late to learn a new career, trade, or hobby.

What excites you? I’d like to challenge you to discover your passion by stepping out to discover God’s purpose for your life.

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

Here are five things that might help to move you toward a goal:

  1. Sincerely pray and ask God for guidance. Take time and think about what you’d enjoy doing more than anything else.
  2. Make a list. Write down as many things as you can that you think you’d enjoy.
  3. Research. Take your list, get on the computer or go to the library and research your list. Discover what’s involved with each item on your list, and see if you’d really enjoy doing it. You may find that’s it something you really aren’t interested in, which could save you time and money.
  4. Narrow your list down. Pick the top three or four things you think you’d really enjoy more than anything else (and possibly make some extra money at), and something you believe you’d be good at and that you could accomplish. Educate yourself on the pros and cons, staying focused on the things that have a chance of becoming reality.
  5. Pray some more. When you’ve pinpointed those few things, pray again for God’s direction, and seek His will and plans for your life so that in the end, whatever you choose to do, you’ll feel confident that He’ll be behind you and able to sustain you through the ups and downs.

What’s Keeping You From Finding Your Passion?

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”

With that in mind, I encourage you to seek people who are willing and able to help you achieve your goal(s). By researching and asking questions, you’ll gain knowledge. These are the steps that helped me discover my passion for writing. But even so, it still wasn’t an easy road. That is for another post, though. 🙂

In the meantime, I’d love to know what your passion is, and what might be hindering you from achieving your goal. I may not have all the answers maybe we can figure them out together.

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29 Comments

  • Reply Heather Hart December 12, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Hey Debbie, thank you so much for this post! I spent two years putting one foot in front of the other with no real purpose. I knew I wanted to glorify God with my life. I knew I needed to be a good mom. But I still felt lost. I made lots of lists, read lots of books, prayed more than I ever had before. What helped me the most was when I stopped trying and just asked God to use me. As soon as I let go of control, God stepped in. I think He works in each of us the way we need Him to. For some of us, we need to put forth some effort and show that we are willing, for others (like me) we have to show Him we are willing to let Him take the lead.

    Thanks for this post. It helps me remember where I was last year at this time. I’ve come a long way in just one year.
    Heather Hart recently posted…Dec 7, Mirror Mirror Am I Beautiful? Book LaunchMy Profile

    • Reply Debbie Erickson December 12, 2016 at 11:08 am

      I’m so glad you liked the post! We all go through things in our lives that sometimes don’t make sense, but God knows what He’s doing. He will refine us and help us to be able to help others. Letting go is not always easy, but when we do, we’re relieved and ready to see what He has in story. He knows us better than we know ourselves. 🙂 So glad that you were reminded how far you’ve come! God bless~Debbie

  • Reply Jaime Hampton December 12, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Debbie, thank you for being so vulnerable so that others might be encouraged through your struggles. I loved your insights and practical suggestions for anyone who finds herself in the same situation. I might have to check out “The Wall” too – sounds like a great book. So thankful that you are walking in serving the Lord through writing, I know you have blessed me today, and countless others!
    Jaime Hampton recently posted…Why Paul Stopped PrayingMy Profile

  • Reply Debbie Erickson December 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Jaime! Thank you for your kind comments. What a joy to serve Him through uplifting others. Please do check out “The Wall.” I was given it by a special friend who had actually gone through much worse than myself. She gave it to me just when God knew I needed it the most. As I daily read God’s Word, this book opened my eyes to some things. It’s a simple, quick read. I praise God that you have been blessed from my words. I pray that He lifts you up to fly to new heights in your walk with Him, and comfort you daily by His amazing grace. You’ve blessed me with your words, too! Please stop back by our site. There will be more awesome posts from our circle of ladies! If I can be of any more help, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Jaime, or anyone who posts. God bless, In Christ~

  • Reply Wendy L Macdonald December 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing from your heart, Debbie. It’s my favorite kind of writing; it reaches into the heart of a reader. Great advice too. You’ve described the toolkit I used, years ago, to climb out of my own place of despair. God is good.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Reply Debbie Erickson December 13, 2016 at 6:10 am

      Isn’t He a wonderful God? Seems we all go through things in our lives that bring us closer to Him. Thanks for commenting, Wendy. ~blessings!

  • Reply Andrea December 12, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    It’s also asking God to show you what He’s put in your heart
    Andrea recently posted…Cacio E Pepe With Peas – It’s Italian For Pasta And PeasMy Profile

    • Reply Debbie December 12, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Hi, Andrea, yes, we want Him to show us, and we need to “listen,” which isn’t always easy sometimes. 🙂 God bless you, Andrea. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  • Reply Debbie McCray December 12, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Debbie, your post resonated with me. Fulfillment of purpose fills us with joy! To determine our God-given passion, I would also suggest that we reflect on how God is weaving together the different aspects of our lives. I am a cancer survivor who has loved teaching Sunday School. God recently opened doors for me to lead a cancer ministry supporting cancer survivors in the midst of cancer and to share the reason for my hope (Jesus Christ) with others. God was connecting the dots in my life so I could serve Him with purpose and joy!
    Debbie McCray recently posted…Celebrations on Earth and In Heaven!My Profile

    • Reply Debbie December 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Debbie, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. You’re so right, purpose does give us joy. I’m so happy that God opened the door for you. And so glad you are doing good along your journey. He’s taken your circumstance, and He’s using your life for His glory. This is so encouraging, Debbie. He’s an awesome God! Thank you for your testimony! You are a blessing. –blessings to you

  • Reply Terri December 12, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    this is an awesome post. I to struggle with depression and I think I have finally got control over it and its only because of prayer
    Terri recently posted…2016 Christmas Banquet – Picture HeavyMy Profile

    • Reply Debbie Erickson December 13, 2016 at 6:21 am

      Amen, Terri. It’s hard to not sink into depression. Our circumstances sometimes get the best of us. I do remember that when I was going through mine, I read the Psalms a lot. It’s a wonderful book because David had some rough times, too, but it was encouraging to know that he was a man after God’s own heart. Psalms 103 is one of my favorites to this day. I think another key point is to not stay depressed. In finding your passion, it will give you a reason not to stay consumed by life. Who needs that, right? 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Terri, and praying for the best in your life. ~blessings

    • Reply Debbie December 18, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Terri, thank you for commenting. I think many people go through depression, only I believe there are different levels. Some people seem to be able to cope better than others, but praying and walking close to God definitely helps. He gives us strength. I’m glad you received a blessing from my post. I believe my next post is in February, and it’s my story about not giving up. Please stop back. –blessings.

  • Reply Amy Hagerup December 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Yes, I believe we all do have a purpose. When we are working in our purpose/passion, we are energized. I’m so glad you found that book and that God turned your life around once again.
    Amy Hagerup recently posted…Memorizing Scripture as a Christmas Gift to JesusMy Profile

    • Reply Debbie Erickson December 13, 2016 at 6:12 am

      Isn’t it true? It does give you energy. It’s amazing how you feel when you realize there is a purpose in your life, it’s just discovering it. Thanks for commenting, Amy. ~blessings

  • Reply Verna December 12, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Great job Debbie! This is a question I really wrestle with.
    What is my passion? With out question God is.
    How has he gifted me, I just come up with a big question mark?
    This is something that I have been praying for actually.
    2 things come to my mind, either being a Nanny, because I love kids,
    Or planning weddings. Because I love weddings. Need Gods direction!

    • Reply Debbie December 18, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Hey Verna! I think sometimes it is hard to discover. But, with this said, both of these careers would be so rewarding, and God can use you in so many ways in either one. I think in this case, choose one, and begin making plans and then take the first step toward that goal. I think as you begin to plan it out, God will place on your heart which way He can use you best. Your first step is the tiny step of making a start date. Then begin planning. Write down your ideas. You don’t have to do it asap. Take your time and enjoy the journey of planning! Don’t rush it. Thanks for commenting. Let me know what you decide.

  • Reply Amy Christensen December 13, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Debbie, thank you for sharing your struggle and your victory! Praise God for that friend that gave you that simple book. Thank you too for the reminder that we all have a purpose, big and small. I am a writer and besides my blog am working to improve my skills to write novels….that would be my dream job, ha, ha. Your words encouraged me to keep at it. Thank you! – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

    • Reply Debbie December 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Amy, what a blessing to know God used m to encourage you to keep going! Just take one day at a time…each little step will propel you towards your goal. My next post in February is about my story about not giving up, and about me being a quitter my entire life. 😏 So stop back by.

      Also, visi http://www.writershelpingwriters.com when you get a chance. This blog is hosted by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. They are two awesome ladies and so helpful. They love helping writers. There’s a lot of great advice on writing. Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to leave a comment. I wish you the bestest! –blessings

  • Reply Sherry Chamblee December 13, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    What an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing this. I know how hard it is to be open and vulnerable in this sort of topic. Thank you.

    • Reply Debbie December 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Hi Sherry! Thank you for your comment and for stopping by. We’re all in this together. 😊 –blessings

  • Reply Karen Woodall December 14, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I can totally relate. Funny how we build walls to keep others out, but what we actually do is keep ourselves in while others go on with their lives. I often have told ladies in my Bible study classes that finding their passion is not as difficult as we tend to think. You don’t need to sit at home and wait for someone to come knock at your door and invite you to join in. just start with something that interests you, then step out and try it. If you don’t like it either work at it a little more or try something different… all the while praying for God to guide you to your niche. He wants us to be useful and productive and will lead us if we are willing to go where He directs.
    Karen Woodall recently posted…Comment on Wonderful Counselor by KarenMy Profile

    • Reply Debbie Erickson December 14, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Karen, you’re so right about building walls to keep others out, and in the proces we keep ourselves in while the world goes about its business. Being passive doesn’t get any of us too far. And you’re also right about not too often will someone knock on our door to tell us what to do. We need to discover what interests us and then just go for it. And if it doesn’t work, or it’s not what we thought, go on to something. At some point, something will click. Thanks for commenting, Karen. ~blessings

  • Reply Karen Del Tatto December 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Debbie, Thank you for sharing your journey with us and show how God redeemed that dark time in your life.

    I love how you leave the post with hope in truly seeking out and honing the gift that the Lord has placed in our hearts.

    Blessings,

    • Reply Debbie December 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s a blessing to be able to have the opportunity to encourage others. It’s hard sometimes to know what we should be doing, because life just seems busier than it used to be, and it’s easy to get off track, but I think when we become more aware in our search of discovering our passion, it becomes more clear to us. It may not happen overnight, but at least we’re headed in the right direction. I wish you the best in your journey, Karen. –blessings

  • Reply Carlie December 16, 2016 at 9:48 am

    What a beautifully inspiring post to read! Thank you, Debbie! I love how you bookended the steps to discovering our passion with prayer. Will be sharing this so others can be encouraged as well.
    Carlie recently posted…What Do You REALLY Want for Christmas?My Profile

    • Reply Debbie December 18, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Carlie, I’m so glad that my words inspired you. I really enjoy encouraging others. Thanks for sharing! –blessings

  • Reply Stephanie December 19, 2016 at 5:22 am

    This was so good. I especially remember my days of depression and how faithful God was to come and restore hope.

    • Reply Debbie Erickson December 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much for sharing your comment. Others need to know that they aren’t the only ones who go through depression. It’s hard for those who’ve never gone through it to fully understand how it feels. I, unfortunately, went through it twice in my life, (my last experience is for another post, but God worked through my 10-year-old when no one else could help), but thankfully I haven’t slipped into it since. Merry Christmas, Stephanie! ~blessings

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