As we age, we start to look back on our lives and see how God had a plan. We can see how Romans 8:28 applies to us and how every trial and valley helped make us the people we are. As time passes, we also start to figure out who we are, how God wired us uniquely, and what our passions are. Psychologists might call this part of our “self-actualization,” and Christians might simply call it “spiritual maturity.” Whatever we label it, I believe it’s important to identify the big life lessons the Lord has taught us along our journeys and what our “life passions” are.
Looking back on my life, for example, I know some of the most difficult years were my teenage years. But because of the struggles and turmoil I went though, I now have a deep empathy for teens and a passion to seem them live righteously. My multiple-year dating relationship with my now husband and our struggle to maintain sexual purity fuels my work in abstinence education and helping all teens save the precious gift that is their virginity.
Being married to someone who is my opposite in many ways and all the difficulties that come with an imperfect marriage has made me passionate about the institution of marriage. I can honestly say, like the Lord in Malachi 2:16, that I hate divorce because of its effects on people I love and because the devil has worked hard to throw my own family in its trap. One of my deepest passions is not only to strengthen my own marriage, but to encourage each one I have the opportunity to influence and see them all survive and thrive.
And being a mother to two small, needy, innocent, impressionable souls has made me wildly passionate about motherhood. The Lord has branded motherhood on my heart as the most important thing I’ll ever do. And I want so badly for each mom in my influence to feel the same. And talk about empathy… I get you, Mom! I understand what you’re going through when you lock yourself in the bathroom and cry alone. When you raid the freezer because the bank account’s dry. When you’ve pulled out every parenting strategy you’ve got and the kids still don’t comply—I now understand. It’s that understanding and the Holy Spirit that have made passionate motherhood one of my missions in life—to live it and to pass it on.
If I had to summarize what my life passion is, I would say it’s strengthening families. It’s what sets my heart on fire. Whether it’s igniting women to be the mothers God’s called them to be, or encouraging couples to do the hard work to make it last, or even teaching teens to save themselves for their future husbands and wives, everything I’m passionate about comes back to strengthening God’s first institution—the family.
Because God has gifted me with the ability to write, that is the main avenue I use to live out my passions. Through my blog and my work on MomLife Today, I aim to encourage women and families to fight for each other (Nehemiah 4:14). I also try to be REAL so women know they’re not alone in their chaos! I also use my ability to speak in my teaching of abstinence education.
But for you, your gifts and passions may be totally different. So let me ask you, do you know what they are? Are you living them out? Think back over the course of your life about what has made you who you are. What trials have you been through? Where has God been faithful? What issues set your heart ablaze? These are your passions, friend. God’s given them to you to use for Him. So find a way to do that…
Like my friend who has a gift for hospitality and making her home a haven. She consistently invites people over, feeds them, and encourages them to take life back to their own families.
Or the friend who survived the consequences of her choice to have an abortion and now spends countless hours outside the abortion clinic encouraging women not to make the same choice.
Or my friend who has a passion for natural and whole foods, who, in conversation, lovingly suggests ways to make her friends’ families healthier.
So what are yours? Tell me.