Back in December, I was browsing the aisles of a bookstore, looking for a gift for a good friend of mine, and sort of trapped in the Christianity section.
Trapped because there were so many options.
Which one should I pick?
So I sent up a little prayer: Dear God, please help me choose a book. Amen.
Quick and done.
And I walked out with a book. Well, two books actually (two copies of the same book) because the idea was for myself and the hubs and the mutual friend of ours to go through it together. Super cool idea!
But the book sat on our shelves... or maybe under a pile of toys... I'm not sure... for about 2.5 months.
And then, just a few days ago, I had one of those 'What the heck am I supposed to do with my life?!' moments.
What am I called to do? What are my gifts? What the heck, God, I'm failing at everything, so now what?
Well, that was the same day that I started something called spiritual journaling. Well...sort of. I started journaling, and I addressed each entry to God, and I included a fair number of prayers and questions and cries of 'JUST GIVE ME SOME GUIDANCE!'
I also included a P.S. at the end of my first entry, which went something along the lines of...
I think this journaling think is stupid and self-indulgent but I'm going to try it anyway in hopes that something good will come of it....
Needless to say, I was doing this because someone else has suggested that I should, and I trusted his advice. It was not my idea. I was a reluctant journaler.
But I agreed to do it. So I would do it.
Well, that same day that I had my mini emotional meltdown, the same day that I started journaling and praying through my entries, and asking God for some guidance on what my purpose was - what was I supposed to do?...
God answered me.
This was one of the few times that I got a direct response to a prayer. One of the few times, probably, because usually I'm just not paying attention....
And my answer came in the form of that lost book that I had sort of forgotten about.
During this mini emotional meltdown, I remembered that we had this book that had something to do with finding one's purpose kicking around somewhere. So I asked the hubs if he knew where (I had technically bought it for him).
He didn't, but we eventually found it.
I had also asked him earlier that day (on Shrove Tuesday), "Uh.... so what are we doing for Lent this year?" Neither of us had any idea.
I thought that maybe I should go tanning. (Thanks to a good friend of mine who was actually called to do just that a few years back (not kidding) ...and what can I say, I'm suggestible.)
Well, we found the book and I started reading the preface. It goes...
"This is more than a book; it is a guide to a 40-day spiritual journey that will enable you to discover the answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for?"
As in, the exact number of days that Lent lasts for?
The Lent that starts tomorrow?
That I don't yet have plans for?
And this 40-day study will answer the question that I have been crying out to God?
And it gets better.
My book that I had kicking around that had something to do with finding one's purpose (actually called The Purpose Driven Life) goes on to say...
"The Bible says, 'Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do'.
In my angsty journal passage: "Pleases give me insight and clarity into what I am supposed to do with my life".
Alright, God. I hear you.
This is what we're doing for Lent. It starts tomorrow. How convenient.
And note, beside that 'what the heck, God?!' prayer, I penned in the answer I was given (or at the least the path that should lead to the answer), and a Thank you God.
And since I am writing this on Day 2 of Lent, I can note that Day 1 did indeed assure me, in the same words that I used in my written prayers, that this was the answer, and that it all starts with God...
From the end of Day 1: You may have felt in the dark about your purpose in life. Congratulations, you're about to walk into the light.
Thank you God.
Oh, and I also asked not only for insight and clarity into what I am supposed to do (what is my purpose?) but for the resources to get there. I get this book is the resource, isn't it?