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!