I spent the majority of my 20s and 30s discouraged and frustrated.
I graduated from college and started a career I enjoyed, but there was an emptiness I couldn’t shake. I thought getting married would fill that void. I love my husband, but getting married didn’t fill that space either. Soon we had our boys; I was sure being a mom would fill my cup and bring contentment. But still, there was something missing.
I tried volunteering at church and in the army community, doing anything I could think of to find fulfillment. I tried several different “business endeavors.” I tried event planning and cake decorating; I was a Beachbody coach; I taught private voice lessons. The list could go on, but none of those things satisfied the longing in my soul.
Instead, all of that striving left me feeling frustrated and discouraged. I felt inadequate and like a failure. I was weary and burned out. I was undone.
Have you ever felt that way? Like no matter how hard you try to find joy and contentment in life, something is missing. Something just out of reach that you know would be life-giving, yet you just couldn’t figure out what that was.
As an Army spouse, I traveled all over the nation and had the opportunity to meet women of all ages, stages, and walks of life in different seasons from different backgrounds. I’ve realized that feeling of discontent or longing for something more is very common.
Would it surprise you if I said that unfulfilled longing in our hearts is a natural, God-given desire? Yep! Wanting our lives to have value and meaning can be a good thing! So, let’s explore the root cause of that longing in our souls.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
God, the Creator of all things, made each of us with a purpose. We all have the same overarching objective: to make His name famous as we spread the gospel of Christ. But within that, we’ve each been designed to complete specific tasks and fulfill particular roles in the body of Christ.
God knew our assignment before He formed us in our mother’s womb. He gave us our personalities, temperaments, skills, and abilities to help us complete our unique mission. Throughout our lives, He uses our life experiences, the good and the bad, to further prepare us to carry out His plan for our lives. He even gives us dreams and ambitions to guide us to His design.
God put that longing for doing something fulfilling and life-giving in our hearts because He has a unique assignment He wants each of us to complete. The desire for our life to have meaning and purpose is a great thing because it is a God-thing!
But when we’re not living out our God-created assignments, we’re left with an emptiness that, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to fill.
That’s because we often miss the most crucial part of Ephesians 2:10. It’s the secret to fulfilling our God-given Kingdom purpose and to contentment in all things. The heart of this verse is found in four little words. Do you see them?
“Created in Christ Jesus.”
Creation is completed in Christ.
We often miss this part because the world conditions us to think that if we just work harder, do more, and give more of our time and ourselves, we’ll get the job done. We’re told doing all the things will bring us the success that leads to fulfillment. But that kind of thinking is me focused.
And it misses the key: if we want to experience the fulfillment God planned for us, we have to be IN Christ!
That sounds nice, but what does being IN Christ actually mean? In its simplest form, it’s a shift of focus from self to Christ. Today we’re going to focus on two key concepts for being IN Christ.
First, we must completely surrender to Christ. This begins when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, admitting we are sinners and that He is the only One who can free us from that burden. Once we’ve done that, He must become the focus of our lives, not ourselves or our relationships or activities. Those things will never fully satisfy the longing in our souls. No, our ability to do all those things well flows from our relationship with Christ. Only Christ can fill that void because Christ alone completes our creation so we can accomplish the mission we were made to complete. Christ must be the central focus of our lives.
That leads to the second part of being IN Christ, which is our relationship with Him.
Relationships take effort on both parts. One-sided relationships aren’t healthy and don’t flourish. Christ fulfilled His part of the relationship when He died in our place, making it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. He continues to pursue us in ways we can’t even imagine. In turn, we have to seek Him.
But life is busy, and so many things are constantly pulling our attention. What if we don’t have an hour every day to sip our coffee on the back porch while reading our Bible and praying? What if we have to be with Him in the midst of kids who need our attention, who won’t even let us go potty on our own? How do we spend time with Christ if we wake up at the light of dawn to accomplish all the things we need to do before leaving the house for the day and come home to a list of chores to finish before falling into bed?
What does a relationship with Jesus look like in this busy world?
We can find the answer by thinking about our earthly relationships. Close relationships flow from doing life together. Think about your husband, kids, family, and friends, the people that know the real you and love you anyway.
In my life, the people who really know me and who I have deep, meaningful relationships with are people I do life with daily. Yes–I spend extra time with them whenever I can; I love spending time with them. I look for opportunities to linger with them, but I also talk with them throughout my day. I think about them. I ask their opinion about life. I check in just to chat. They are part of my natural rhythm of life.
Friends–Christ wants that kind of relationship with us!
At Humble Faith Ministries, we know life is busy, and so many things are competing for our attention. But we also know that being in relationship with Christ is the key to becoming the women God created us to be and fulfilling our God-created assignments. We must prioritize our relationship with Christ and pursue Him daily if we want to experience the pure joy that comes from stepping into the roles God prepared for us.
Our team is dedicated to inspiring women to invite Christ into their daily lives so He can ignite their Kingdom calling and propel them forward. We are passionate about walking alongside women through community, teaching truth, and providing resources designed to help today’s busy women pursue Christ faithfully. How will we do that?
We’ll help you discover your unique purpose by realizing your design is fulfilled in Christ alone.
We’ll help you find healing from brokenness by developing a relationship with Christ in community.
We’ll help you overcome doubt and confusion, insecurity and rejection by pursuing the truth about who God is.
We’ll inspire you to develop daily habits to help you learn and grow in your walk with Christ.
One note, we believe in pursuit over perfection. Pursuing Christ throughout our days is more important than using the perfect method or getting it perfectly right. He just wants us to want to be with Him. Isn’t that what we all desire from a relationship really?
We were created by the God of all creation to make a difference in the world. We are invited to join His Kingdom work to impact both our generation and future generations!
Friend, God is raising up an army of Christian women, ready to shine so the world can know Him. Christ alone can ignite the fire inside our souls that will shine brightly and move the Kingdom forward as we walk out our God-created missions.
Are you ready to see your creation completed in Christ? If so, we hope you’ll join us and invite Christ to ignite your Kingdom calling!
Where are you in your relationship with Christ today? Is busyness preventing you from inviting Him into the daily rhythms of your life? Is a desire for perfection in your pursuit of Him hindering the relationship? How would you like your relationship with Christ to be different? Share in the comments below!
Chrissie Angell is the Executive Director and a Co-founder of Humble Faith Ministries. She is a speaker, writer, and Bible teacher passionate about pointing women to Jesus and helping them live out their Kingdom assignments. She and her husband, Brian, live in Kentucky with their two boys and their yellow lab, Charger.