Living on purpose
If you had asked me 10 years ago what I wanted to do with my life, I would have pulled out a roadmap and walked through every step of how I planned to get to my destination. Fast forward to today, with a little more experience under my belt, and I can say life has demanded (and required) way more from me than I ever thought it would.
But learning to live life on purpose opened my eyes to another realm of possibilities I never knew existed. Let me explain.
Five years ago, my pastor came to me and asked me to find a way to keep the young adults in our church engaged. I thought: “Why me? I am a young adult—why would they follow or even listen to me?” I was nervous and doubtful, to say the least, but there was potential inside me that needed to be unlocked. Someone saw something in me I couldn’t see in myself—and that was all the push I needed.
In 2013, I started a young adult ministry at my church called “R.E.A.L Talks.” The goal is to help young adults learn how to navigate life successfully using biblical principles and by “keepin’ it R.E.A.L”—relevant, effective and applicable so that lives are changed for the better. Never in a million years would I have imagined that starting this group for young people would have such an impact on their lives, and an even greater impact on my own. The amount of growth and maturity I’ve watched blossom in them over the past four years encourages me every single day.
I realized that I genuinely love helping other people build their lives, and all I want is to see them succeed. The gift I have to share isn’t just for me; it’s for others, too. I constantly find myself sharing life experiences and encouragement with others, especially young people.
Then, life took another sharp turn, and I decided to get an MBA. During my program, I was inspired by an artist who came and shared his story of how he started a creative campaign that was only intended to last a year. Ten years later, it’s still going strong and has evolved into something even greater because of the impact it had when he introduced it to the world. He made the decision to live on purpose, and it has helped change the way people view art forever.
His story encouraged me so much that I started my own campaign called #encourageyourself365. It is an endless story of images, words and experiences that I share with the world through an Instagram account to remind people there’s always hope beyond what we can see in the moment. And if you can learn to encourage yourself, you can always encourage someone else. I never intended for the effort to go beyond a year either, but every time I go on a hiatus, someone who has connected with me through the campaign shares with me how it has helped them grow or get through a tough time in their life.
That’s when my eyes were opened—I was living life on purpose.
Now, as I prepare to begin a new chapter of my life (I’m still really young—on the verge of 30), the vision is even greater. I am at the beginning stages of developing a mentoring and life development institute for young people. Needless to say, this is a very big goal, but one I intend to achieve. Not because it’s what I originally planned, but because it’s a part of my purpose and will lead me straight to my intended destiny.
Those who don’t know me personally often ask, “How do you have time to do all of this?” My response: “How don’t I have time to do all of this?” I am living on purpose. When you’re doing something you love, time flies by and not having enough of it never crosses your mind.
It is my sincere hope that someone reading this story will be encouraged and make the decision to stretch themselves beyond the comfortable place, so they, too, can see the endless possibilities.
After all, there really is more to life than what meets the eye.