A Petition for Purpose
I desired purpose. It was 2012 and I was sorely dissatisfied with my present occupation. I wasn’t being stretched at all. Menial jobs made me weary producing nothing more than a paycheck. The only thing that brought me any real joy was singing, but opportunities to sing were rare.
Uncertain about the call of God upon my life, I petitioned the Lord about my future. Internally, I really wanted to be in full-time ministry but I didn’t have the goods. I wanted to be happy, but I also wanted my work to serve a higher purpose. I asked God for a purpose that was bigger than me and I trusted Him to make it happen.
Two years later, I was still working a regular job. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in terms of my purpose, but the study group at church was a welcome distraction and made the work grind more bearable. It was satisfying to share the revelation I was receiving from Holy Spirit with others and my contributions generated positive feedback.
I began to wonder if I was being called to teach and the thought of teaching made me happy. Hopeful about my future, I looked forward to new possibilities.
In January of 2014, I received an emergency phone call from a physician treating my mother. My mother was in ICU and wasn’t doing well. The doctor said flatly, “It doesn’t look good and if it was my mother, I would be on the next flight.”
I flew to Oklahoma to find my mother attached to machines and my brother beside the bed telling her it was ‘ok to go’. Stunned by what I was seeing, I began to rebuke the spirit of death and I informed the devil he would not have my mother.
I was livid with my brother for his lack of faith and his willingness to pronounce her doomed. She needed decrees that promoted life; giving her permission to die was not an option. Two days later she was upgraded to stable condition—she had a long road ahead, but she was alive.
Mom came to live with me after she was released from skilled nursing. After her arrival, my bible studies took on a whole new meaning. I was determined to get my mother healed and I encouraged her to serve Jesus.
Combined with my bible studies and the principles I was learning from teachers of faith, I applied those principles to Mom’s condition. I was overjoyed when she achieved medical milestones. Sometimes there were setbacks and my hopes for her to live on her own would be dashed, but I pressed on. I believed Jesus was going to restore her to full health and we would find her a house close to me once she was all better.
Nearing three years into my mother’s care I was exhausted. I stood in my bedroom closet with my hand on my chest. My heart was racing; I was out of breath and sleep deprived.
I struggled with the thoughts of caring for my Mom another year—or more. Although I enjoyed the special relationship we had developed over the course of her care, I was so tired and disappointed that my Mom hadn’t been healed. I told God to fix my Mom or take her home.
Ashamed of myself for speaking doubt and ordering God around, I wept. Suddenly, Holy Spirit reminded me of something faith-teacher Kenneth E. Hagin used to say about standing firm during trials. He would say once you determine to stand on the promises of God no matter the cost, God will move for you.
I have since paraphrased his counsel by saying, “God will move when you’re immovable.” I told God in that moment I would stay the course with my mother, no matter how long it took for her to get well. He graciously increased my strength and I even managed to get some rest.
God Loves Me
Holy Spirit was doing a work in my Mom. I praised Him for the changes as she opened her heart to Jesus. One afternoon when I went to check on her, she thoughtfully said out of the blue, “God loves me.” I was overjoyed and I said, “Yes, He does love you”.
This was especially significant as my mother grew up in a very abusive home and had never felt loved. I admired her childlike demeanor as she pondered what she now knew as truth.
I had the same joy when she received Jesus in her heart. It was an honor to baptize her and say the sinner’s prayer as she lay in her bed. Jesus gave us so many victories but I was worn out. I longed to have the freedom to pursue my dream of ministry and I longed for sleep—I really wanted sleep.
My Mom’s birthday came a few weeks later and with it another life-altering event. On her special day, the angels came to take my Mommy home to be with Jesus and I was crushed.
This wasn’t the outcome I had hoped for, but as I worked through the grief, I accepted her passing as ultimate healing. I knew she was happy and finally free to run. I also knew I had done everything I could to stand in faith for her. Her passing was bittersweet but we were both free and our special relationship made me a better person.
A Purpose Bigger Than Me
It has been more than four years since my mother moved to Heaven. When I sought the Lord for a purpose that was bigger than me, I had no idea that my mother’s near death experience would be the event used to position me for ministry. Our season together taught me how to stand in the gap for another human being. I learned to persevere even when deliverance seemed hopeless and healing delayed.
I didn’t realize it in the beginning, but everything I did to care for my Mom was ministry. Her affliction was the commission God used to establish my work as a minister and it transformed my life.
Today, I am sharing pieces of my experience with the readers of Life Network for Women and I am in my purpose. Although the road to get here was long and sometimes difficult, I am happy, and the ‘something bigger than me’ I asked for has exceeded what I imagined. I thank God for that and I thank my Mom.
©2021, What You Will
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Join the discussion 2 Comments
I can completely relate to what you have gone through. I, too came to a crossroads in my life, I had spent many years in a career and up until the last few years I thought I had everything I wanted. My awakening came when I realized that I was living only for myself. God gave me the grace to pick my life up and find a higher purpose. Thank you for this excellent article.
Hi James, thank you for your comments. I appreciate your candor. Admitting selfishness isn’t something that comes easily to most people, but isn’t it wonderful how Holy Spirit so gently reveals to us why we may be off course in life? I’m grateful we have such a wonderful guide in Holy Spirit and it sounds like He is definitely guiding you.