In continuing our understanding my purpose series, Nikki Opara of Her Daring Thoughts Blog shares her insights on the topic.
What does finding your life’s purpose mean to you?
To me finding my life’s purpose essentially means knowing and using the gifts that God has given me to bless others and bring them closer to him.
Tell us how you ‘discovered’ your purpose.
I struggled with depression and my self-image at a very young age, it wasn’t until just recently when I started an internship and a new job where I was dealing with emotionally and mentally unstable children and teens that I realized how much of myself I saw in them in which convicted me and essentially led me to discover that my purpose or what I felt God is calling me to do is to be a light to young adults and teens.
Describe the day to day activities of your purpose journey.
Every day I am forced to wrestling with my own demons and God is revealing more and more layers of who I was and who I am becoming. I am having to be a lot more disciplined and present, whether that is in my academics, friendships or family life. This is because I am slowly learning that for the career God wants me to pursue there are certain characteristics and a humbleness that he wants me to attain first and so I am realizing that every day I am having to learn how to say “No” to invitations sometimes, or listening more instead of being overbearing with my opinions.
Were there any major hurdles you had to overcome to understand more about your purpose?
Definitely. I am still going through hurdles. One of the biggest hurdles I have had to go through is understanding that God is not a fan of using “perfect, put together” people to do his work, he uses the ones whom you will never expect. Honestly, if you were to tell my 13-year-old self that I would be getting ready to graduate college and have a passion for mental health, writing and young teens I wouldn’t believe you. Believing that God wants to use me, someone who is broken and still has a lot to heal from and figure out is definitely a hurdle within itself.
How does success by the standards of the world differ from success at purpose?
Success in our world and society means being known and having money. Although, I believe that success in terms of living in your purpose means you are doing work that you are passionate about. My mom has always told me, pursue a career that you would do even if you weren’t getting paid for it. I find that to be so true, at the end of the day, I want to make sure whatever I am doing it is ultimately to give glory to God whether I am being paid good money or not, I only pray that my faith in that does not wavier.
Three words that describe your purpose journey are?
Rollercoaster. Unravel. Perseverance
What excites you the most about your purpose?
I think the biggest thing that excites me about my purpose is the connections I will be able to make with the people that God will put in my path to advocate for and lead. Knowing already that I will be leader/ speaker in the path I am going excites me.
Why do you believe it is important to walk in obedience to your purpose?
I think it is important to walk in obedience to your purpose because it is through that journey that you will truly find the reason you are here. I still have very low times as a result of my depression, but I have noticed that when I lean back onto the path of my journey and remind myself the passions God has instilled in me, it reminds me that I have value and there is a reason for me being on this earth.
What would you say to someone who wonders if God can use what they like for his purpose?
I would say put him to the test. Continue to dive into your interest and see the ways in which God starts to open your heart and open opportunities and experiences for you. When I was in elementary school I loved writing my own short stories, then middle school and halfway through high school I journaled a lot. I have always had a passion for writing but I didn’t think God could use that, but I was wrong. Slowly God is revealing to me ways in which he plans to incorporate my love for mental health, teenagers, speaking and justice all in which will prove his grace and love.
How would you advise someone to go about finding their purpose?
Don’t Give Up. Continue to expand in the things that you are passionate about whether big or small. Do you love children? Go and apply for that babysitter job or teacher assistant position. Do you love music and the arts? Go audition for that school play or make that youtube video. Maybe you love medicine? Apply for that dream school. No matter what you do God will always make sure that you are ultimately bringing his people closer to him.
Allow him to break your heart for what breaks his in this world. This is huge for me as well, if you love music? God is going to open your eyes and show you how to bring a hurting community back to him through your passion for music. You just need to be open to him leading the way and breaking your heart in the process, it is quite the journey.
Nikki is a 22-year-old passionate mental health & lifestyle blogger. All her writing/ poems stem from personal experiences; depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, bullying, low self-esteem, college, religion, family, and general life advice, in hopes to reach young teenage and adult girls. Her goal is to inspire them to grow in their faith, education, and confidence.
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