Discovering and nurturing the things that make our hearts beat faster isn’t just good for us personally. Pursuing our passions is a way of life that’s also good for our relationships.
I know what it’s like to ditch your passions for a season. I loved being a full-time mom, and I poured all of my energy into my kids. I homeschooled them for eight years, spent hundreds of hours carpooling, cheerleading, counseling, feeding, and doing the one million other things moms do every day. In my mind, there was no time left over to pursue my own interests. My kids were my interests, and that was enough for me. But guess what? They grew up. And like many of my friends, I found myself asking, “Now what?”
I fell into an all too common trap.
By focusing so intently on a role I filled, I lost touch with a part of myself. I relied so heavily on my relationships with my kids to fill me up, that when circumstances changed and our relationships matured to the next level, I felt a bit lost. I had to rediscover my passions and my purpose.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there. Transitioning from one way of life to another –a career change, the end of a relationship, graduation from college, an empty nest or a move to another part of the country. Throughout our lives, all of us arrive at different seasons that challenge us to hold on to our passions or rediscover new ones. And all of us are tempted to fill up the space – the spot God reserves for us to discover and grow our gifts and passions – with the people we love or relationships we hope to have.
When our sole purpose becomes the role we fill for others, we put unhealthy pressure on our relationships.
God designed each of us with unique gifts, talents, and interests. When we discover and nurture those gifts, we experience a great sense of joy and satisfaction. We then bring that joy and energy into our relationships. Everyone benefits because we aren’t relying on one another – or our ever-changing roles – to define our entire existence. The pressure is off to fill one another up. And we are free to explore the whole-hearted life God wants for us.
Life brings a steady stream of changes, so as seasons come and go, we’ve got to be intentional about discovering and pursuing our passions. It’s an ongoing process that keeps us growing personally and keeps our relationships healthy and vibrant.
If you’re at a transitional point in your life that’s got you wondering, “What now?” here are some things to think about.
Five Questions to Help You Find or Rediscover Your Passions
What am I here to learn? Pull out that “bucket list” of things you’ve always wondered about and get started.
What am I here to teach? Everyone knows something that can benefit someone else. What do you know that you can share with others?
What am I here to overcome? The obstacles we encounter aren’t always the most obvious connection point to a passion, but how we overcome them can ignite a fire in us.
What am I here to complete? Is there something that won’t be whole or finished until you get your hands on it?
What am I here to express? Is there something burning inside that you must say, sing, write, paint, or otherwise share with the world?
Take some time to explore and discover the passions and interests God has placed inside of you – alongside the roles and relationships you love. By turning down the pressure we put on others to fill us up, and dialing up the joy that comes from pursuing things that make our hearts sing, we can live and love whole-heartedly.
And that’s not only good for you and me but for all of our relationships, too.
May he give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose. (Psalm 20:4)