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Where Do I Fit?

focused woman among the crowd

Struggling to Find Purpose as a Young Adult

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By:
Larissa Winder

The definition of purpose is different for every individual. As a Christian, I find my place in a larger global family who are united in our desire to love God and love others. I am thankful for the value that this gives me in life. But as I get older, I am recognizing my unique gifts and I want to find opportunities that allow me to thrive in my abilities and contribute in meaningful ways. 

 

Am I the only one who thinks this? What difference can I make in a world full of billions of individuals?  It’s easy to feel lost in the numbers. 

 

These and other thoughts that have been racing through my mind for the last few years;

  • What will life after University look like?
  • What career will I end up pursuing?
  • Who will I marry?
  • Where will I live and how will I afford a home?

 

For the most part, each of these uncertainties are out of my control. 

 

If you’re like me, you prefer to be in control and have your life organized. I often choose the comfortability of planning over being spontaneous. You can imagine how challenging this stage of life is for me as the weight of the pandemic has added to the uncertainties I have regarding the direction of my life.

The peace and joy I experience in life are not rooted in my circumstances, but in God who rules those circumstances.

I have taken my fair share of psychology and sociology classes and know how detrimental the pandemic has been on our mental health. For me, the loneliness and uncertainty of lockdowns was the final straw in my ability to control my mental health, a crucial part of myself and my faith. The weight of hopelessness, the feeling of powerlessness, and trying to determine my place in the world, was too much.

 

My saving grace is the faith I have that God is in control. 

 

Some of you may relate to that while others may question if God really does have control. If you are the latter, let me share how this truth has impacted my life. At the deepest levels, the peace and joy I experience in life are not rooted in my circumstances, but in God who rules those circumstances. 

 

Despite my inability to control everything, God has taught me that he really is the provider of a peace that surpasses all understanding. I am 21 years old in a global pandemic and I have no idea what my future will look like. All I can rely on is the hope that God provides.

 

I’ll admit, I am one of those people who says that I will give my worries to God and the next day you’ll find me in tears worrying about that exact thing. I am a strong believer that God provides and has a plan for all of our futures. I have also learned that asking for help along the way is not a sign of weakness. One mistake that I made was believing that I needed to figure it all out on my own. I wanted to be independent and not rely on my parents and I didn’t want to be a burden to any of my friends. So I spent many sleepless nights worrying about the future and unable to manage my thoughts in a healthy way. 

 

The moment I reached out and asked for help, I began to feel the weight of uncertainty lift. My loved ones would point out things in my life that were valuable but I was unable to see before because my vision was clouded with worry. 

 

There was so much I learned during this season;

  • Get people to walk alongside you who can help you see the progress. We often feel like we aren’t moving towards a purpose when we are so focused on the process. 
  • Appreciate the small steps and understand that each moment is an added chapter to your story that will one day turn into your impact.
  • Be patient and understand that every season is valuable for your story even if it looks different from the next person. How boring would life be if we all had the same story? 
  • Be reminded that you are not the only one struggling. I have yet to meet an individual who feels completely confident in the life they are living. Have grace for yourself and trust that this season won’t last forever.

 

I don’t have all the answers and I still have questions and doubts in my mind each day. But I do have a choice and I am making the choice to trust God each day to provide for my needs despite my worries. 

 

Trusting God for the unknown creates the room for you to focus on the good.

 

It’s easy to get caught in asking the big questions regarding the future but consider your current position in life; what impact are you making now? We have the whole world on our phone and hold the ability to impact more people than we realize. Consider the impact you are making through the uncertainties of your story when you share your fears and doubts with others. You are not alone in your questions and struggles. 

 

Don’t underestimate the opportunities that you are given in the uncertainty. Trust that God has control over the future and be content in knowing that you have the ability to make a difference exactly where you are. 

Meet the author

headshot - larissa
Larissa Winder
Larissa loves all things outdoors and will never say no to a hike. She is passionate about people and loves caring for others. According to Larissa she is very clumsy but will still put herself out there and try because she loves to be a part of experiences.

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