A Season of Purpose

life1largewebDo you ever feel lost in the cracks of everyday routines or shuffle down roads that lead to no end? Sometimes life can feel burdened as we push to understand our purpose.

My nephew was born with a burden. His diagnoses of cystic fibrosis devastated the entire family. The disease clutched and tore at his body. He hated taking meds or enduring beatings to the chest. His only desire was to live life as a normal young man.

Whether from the illness or just being young, he struggled to understand his purpose in life.  His biggest questions became, “What did God call me to do?” and “How can I do it in my condition?”

Thomas had a knack for bringing joy into people’s lives. He loved fun. He tried attending college but never finished a semester due to hospitalizations. In between his hospital visits, he continued to find his way on campus to socialize. As time passed and his illness progressed, his friends came to him in the hospital. He encouraged them to step out of their comfort zones, even having one play her tuba in the hospital (something he laughed about for a while). When the hospital chaplain came to visit, Thomas got out of bed and walked the rest of the rounds with the chaplain. He encouraged others going through difficult times.

When friends became discouraged, Thomas quoted scripture, encouraged, and helped build their faith. He listened, ministered, and touched lives – still he struggled with finding his own purpose.

Perhaps you’re struggling to find purpose in your daily walk. Maybe your passion is to write, become a famous author, or work toward other goals that appear unreachable. Do you feel discouraged because your heart resounds, “This is it! This is my calling!” yet time and again nothing happens?

King David said to his son Solomon, “Acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought.”  ( 1 Chron.28:9 NIV) Serve God with a willing mind? What does that mean? It means “desiring, delighting in, having pleasure in” whatever God asks of us rather than focusing on our wants and desires. Something magical happens when our hearts line up with God’s heart. We find we really are finding purpose. God’s desires become ours.

Thomas died this past year at age twenty-three. Though Thomas walked in purpose that season of his life, he, at times, couldn’t see it. He never made it through college, received his music degree, or led worship in a church as his heart desired. But when he sang, his low bass voice echoed through every nook and corner. I believe the heavens rejoice at Thomas’s rendition of “Long Black Train.” His last year, he couldn’t do things most young men his age could do, but Thomas never gave up on seeking God and serving Him with wholehearted devotion. I have no doubt the moment Thomas stood before his Lord, he understood exactly what his purpose on earth was all about.

strong1     My friend, keep moving forward with your passions and desires, keeping God in the center of each one. King David didn’t get to build the temple because God chose Solomon for that purpose. However, God used David to achieve so much during his lifespan. Whatever you’re doing, know if God is walking with you, He is fulfilling your purpose. Hold on to hope, stay encouraged, and from the words David shared with his son, “Be strong and do the work.” ( v 10) In the end, you might find your greatest purpose is pleasing God – that in itself is more fulfilling than any other. And at just the right time – God delivers your greatest desire.

12 Replies to “A Season of Purpose”

  1. Tina, Thank you so much for this heart warming and encouraging post. Our son went heaven when he was 24. What comforted me during that time is that he, like your nephew, touched so many lives, giving humor, comfort, and encouragement.

    1. Hello Mr. McLaughlin,

      Thank you for sharing, It is difficult to lose someone we love. I am thankful and blessed to have known Thomas for the amount of time God allowed. I know he is filled with peace now. Blessings to you as well.


  2. What a powerful story, Tina! This statement really struck home with me: “Though Thomas walked in purpose that season of his life, he, at times, couldn’t see it.” Thanks for sharing your nephew’s inspiring story with us, Tina!

  3. Tina, thank you for sharing Thomas’s story. While I’m sorry he had to suffer so much during his short lifetime, it’s a joy knowing how he blessed others.

    And thank you for this strong and guiding testimony of God’s love for all of us.

  4. Through your story, Thomas is still fulfililng his purpose, Tina. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into the beauty of his life and calling. Inspiring. Encouraging. Moving.

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