I remember standing in line in my college bookstore, when I saw someone I knew in line with me. There was some general small talk and of course the “How are you?” and while I can’t quite remember how the conversation went, I remember one thing said that for the first time sounded different. “Just remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination.” Did this person really know my heart at the time? No, but this cliché spoken directly to me gained life in the context of where I stood.
It shook me, but today it shakes me more. As a matter of fact, it’s the cliché that molds the heart behind everything I want to inspire- a nugget of wisdom that has reshaped my entire inner world of self motivation, purpose, and hope, but a cliché that you can’t fully grasp until you taste the pain of disappointment in earth-sought destinations.
What is disappointment telling us?
Disappointment is the kind of pain that opens your eyes to what really matters: the ‘why’ behind what you’re seeking. Since, pain is a result of brokenness. When you feel it, you evaluate it in search of the deeper issue. What is causing this pain?
When it’s the pain of disappointment, the deeper issue is your motive.
If the motive behind your aspirations is jaded by your broken-nature and not founded through your wholeness in Christ, then you will journey onward to the end of your journey to face your greatest disappointment: nothing ever satisfied. Your real purpose was never fulfilled. The desire within you could not be quenched, because you were motivated by your brokenness. So what does a broken-natured motive look like? If you look deep within, and find that the underlying motive of your positive business plan or dreams to make a difference in the world are really a deep cry to find your own glory (prove yourself enough, win, be noticed, be appreciated, be understood, be liked, reach a societal standard of success, or find true contentment and rest in a destination here on earth), you will be disappointed. Why?
These desires within us, come from a place of brokenness, where we believe the lie that we are not enough and we have to prove the opposite is true (even if that’s just to our self). This leads us, on our own accord, to make ourselves good (or, better than the person next to us, because we believe the lie that love is a limited resource and there is only so much of it to go around). In that place, we seek to lift our self up, and make our self worthy, because we don’t understand His love for us just as we are. When we live by these broken-natured desires, we choose to live by the chains of brokenness, and not by the truth of who Christ has enabled us to be- daughters, with an inheritance that shames the seeking of all these things. And with the safety of this inheritance- of a Father’s love so deep- it doesn’t matter how things appear to be in our life. What matters is understanding what it means to be free from this broken-way of thinking.
When we come to terms with accepting this unconditional gift, our response is naturally to mimic it. Not that that is what we must do, but that is what we can’t help but do. It comes from an overflow of receiving. When we are blessed, we bless. When this truth becomes truth (i.e. reality) to us, our motive that was once to seek our own glory, becomes as simple as this: to serve.
If your life purpose is to serve, you will never be disappointed. You will never become paralyzed by the earth-side failures you might encounter. Because your purpose is not dependent on your own glory, but completely on His. When you’re motive becomes this, your life becomes fuller than the seeking of any personal glory. When you seek to serve, your gifts become fire, blazing out of you like a dragon. Your life becomes an unimaginable journey of living fully, heart-drenched and full of happy tears, and you can’t help but see how everything, everyone is a valuable character in this story of the beautiful, redeeming gift of love that brokenness has enabled us a glimpse of it’s fullness.
What’s the point of this journey?
While so much of my life thus far, I have sought reaching for things and places, the times of struggle- the disappointments- I have encountered have turned into the most valuable things that I experience. They start with revealing within me broken motives, and lead to teaching me what really matters. And, here is what I have learned: the earthly ideas of destinations don’t satisfy. And, in this journey through life, God cares much less about the earth-side destinations we seek to reach, than He cares about the heart we approach them with. It’s not about what we do. It’s about our heart first. It is from our heart, that He can move and breathe in our life and in our dreams, that He can shame logic with our faith, that he can ignite and fulfill the true purpose within us. How gracious, intimate, and personal a God who takes us on a journey for our heart.
Each step, struggle, and place along the way is a step that refines our heart. What is the goal of this refinement? That we may have a pure heart. A heart that does not seek our own glory, which enables us to be free, free of judgement, offense, jealousy, and all of the taxing, exhausting emotions of a broken-nature. We can only find this, through first seeing who we are, through grasping our true DNA as beloved, through soaking it in deeply.
And this place of finding true identity, the heart-work begins on our behalf in creating a place of rest, a fight against the current of busy-glorification and overstimulation. God can do so much more through our rest, than we can do through a life of hustling on our own.
Your disappointments are in your favor, as are your appointments. He is only leading you by the hand, one step at a time, coordinating your heart that you may fulfill your life’s purpose.
Will you trust Him?