I have no idea what to do. Well, correction— I have a lot of things I could do and enjoy, even be successful at, but what I want to do and what I was made to do, that’s where things get hazy. Anyone else feel like the girl who has been okay, even good, at a lot of things but always envied those people who just rocked the socks off of that one thing they were passionate at? Um, that’s me. Can I get an amen?
So what is there to do except try a thousand things to try and find that one thing that clicks, right? Well, for some, you may meet the “thing” of your dreams, and for other achiever-types like me, you fall into a melting pot of works-based-identity, not sure what you actually love and what your just good at because the blessing and curse of being achievement driven is that you can almost set your mind to anything and succeed. But the thing is, when you find your schedule filled to the brim with things to do and places to be and your time and energy is pulled in every direction except the one uniquely created for you, the God-ordained voice of purpose and identity starts to get muffled by all the noise of “GO” and “DO”.
But even if you haven’t pitched your tent in Camp Achievement, and you feel like you are just kinda floating through life— living out an average story— let me encourage you there is nothing average about your voice, because the one who created it is nothing less than extraordinary and your story, your struggle, is so needed. You weren’t made to float, but to root deeply into rich purpose and identity. But I sooooo get it. This is for you too, my love.
I was having coffee with a new friend the other day and she asked. “so what are your favorite talents?” A harmless question right? But I sputtered, “I have a lot of soft skills”, like the awkward mess I am. I mean really, who says that?? I do. I say stuff like that.
When it comes to saying what my talents and passions are, out loud, and pulling back the curtain of the stuff I’ve been told I’m good at or bad at to get to the core of what God created as “Shannon”, I get stuck. I do a lot of stuff, but is it God-given talent? Or just filler? And half the stuff I do might even be because I feel like I need to have it in my arsenal to be competitive or cool or even worse because I’ve written myself off as “less than” of what I really wish I could do. And as much as I sometimes think I’m the only one that struggles with something like that, I kind of have a feeling someone is nodding along with me at the moment.
When we live in a world that proclaims busy is better, we crumble to the pressure of keeping up with the status quo and sacrificing our “who” for being “somebody”. I mean, who has ever signed up for something just because you felt like you had to or you would be judged or fall behind in a race you may not even suppose to be running. (ME!)
Here’s our wake up call, though: STOP.
‘Cause you know what, the things we spend our time doing says a lot about who we are. And if they aren’t fueled by seeking Jesus and HIs purposes on this earth, we may be a little off track. So if we are a people that spend our moments and memories on things that aren’t really “it” for us, who are we? Being able to differentiate between what you’re just good at and what you LOVE and ordained to do is the difference between just existing and knowing what God made you for. For me, that means looking at what I’m filling my schedule with and not settling for things that just meet needs but meet divine dreams. It means with every yes I give, I acknowledge that this thing I’m giving time and energy to will propel me along the path to more of Jesus and a divine dream, purpose, or desire, not distract from it.
So what does it look like for you? Stopping the people pleasing and chasing after who God calls you to be instead of everyone else’s version of you? Owning up to YOUR unique talents instead of trying so hard to fit into a mold that wasn’t made for you? Just being still, and letting the chaos around you settle?– because sometimes finding out what you should be doing means to stop doing.
But that is only half the battle, right? Even when we are most ready to discover that “it” thing, that makes us excited and ready to kick butt, that golden scroll doesn’t just float down from heaven (sorry bud), it takes some heavy lifting on our part. It’s never simple, and in fact sometimes it can be overwhelming and scary to let go of our comfortable schedule that keeps us stable and “okay”. Other times it’s just downright terrifying setting out to mold your schedule into more of a mirror of your God-given identity when you don’t even know what that big picture looks like.
I would be lying if I told you I can answer the question “what are your favorite talents” with complete ease today. I still sort of want to respond with “I have a lot of soft skills”— Which by the way totally do count as “talents”. I love a girl who rocks the socks off of empathy, compassion and spunk. But I also feel a need to be able to point at my schedule and say this is what Jesus has placed on my heart and here is how I do it on the daily, because as I am able to do that, I truly believe that I’ll see my daily life start to show who I am instead of just what I do.
So to get both you and me started, here’s a lil’ worksheet to work through and begin shaping your schedules and seeking out YOUR identity, not just the person the world would have you hide behind.
Shannon is the dreamer, creative and co-founder behind The Bud Co. She relishes the things that cause our hearts to soften and press into more of Jesus, and invites others into holy joy with honesty and vulnerable words and vision. Shannon says she lives her best life when she’s putting words on a page that point her readers to the abundant life Jesus has won for them. A born and raised Texan, dream chasin’ has brought her to Salt Lake City with her husband, Jackson, and parkour pup, Lou. You can find her giving daily pep talks to herself and all who will listen on her Instagram, @ShannonGraessle and blog, Graessroots.com