I always find it such a delight to chat with my dear friend Matt. And this morning after church service I had the opportunity to get to chat with his friend Abel as well. Matt was in the Navy and Abel had served as a Marine, both honorable men who gave up so much to defend their country. But their time of service came to an end, and as Abel says, “that was my purpose, and now I’m in search of finding something else”.
We can easily lose sight of our purpose when seasons in life change. As a nurse, I tend to look to my role as a care provider. The problem with finding our identity in what we do, is that it never lasts. I can have a great fulfilling day where I was a rock star nurse and everyone saw it. But this feeling is fleeting. The next day when I step into work, I have to work for that rock star moment again.
Finding your purpose. I asked Abel about his purpose, it was simply this, “to serve his country”. What a great purpose. I remember a few years ago when I was pulling in 60-70 hours a week, not by choice I should add. While I drank so much coffee to stay awake and find energy to run around, little did I realize that this would all catch up to me. Management was happy because all the shifts were covered. My body hated me. I just wanted sleep. After weeks of continually to do so, I became short with people. Tiredness had settled in. The super star became the grouchy nurse.
At this point, management is always the first to label “the grouchy nurse”. During this season, I became very unhappy, the more I saw that label hovering over my head, the more I lost of my purpose. Why did I become a nurse? I couldn’t remember, all that kept coming to me was how had I become this horrible person management is portraying? That’s what happens when I started looking to my role as my identity.
In attempting to figuring out what’s next, I looked to other places where I could fulfill my longing to be a nurse. But that was a mistake! This was called running away. Since I had no where to turn, I turned to the only thing I knew which was how to be a nurse even if it was in a place I no longer wanted to be at. Like Abel recognized his main purpose was to serve, I too recalled why I went into nursing. My purpose wasn’t to be a nurse, though I thought it was. My purpose is to serve sick children. When we place our identity in Jesus, our purpose is always is rooted in Him. Maybe our purpose is always in serving and though our serving will look different in every season of life, what a great reminder today that it’s my God that I serve and not myself. My purpose is not in my ability to be a nurse, but how I display the Gospel in all I do.