Discover Your Purpose

If Jesus called me home today, I can honestly say I’ve had a good life. Meet Our Writers: Fall 2017 - Cindy Willingham - - Photo licensed by Sheree Martin and used with permission

I’ve never been rich but I’ve never been real poor either. I’ve always had enough. You might say I’ve been blessed. 

My childhood was happy. I married a man that has been way better to me than I deserve. There were times that we lived off love while broke as the Ten Commandments, but we never did without the important things. We had each other.  

Two amazing kids; one of each. They were good kids, never getting in trouble much more than mischief. They made us proud. Honor students, well rounded. 

Off to college and I had worked myself out of a job. 

A degree for me would afford us a new chapter. Three in college was a strain. Hard work and long hours proved rewarding. 

God opened doors and we moved.  Four hours due east to a city of over a million with more red lights than citizens where we’re from.  If we ventured off the familiar path the first year, we got lost.  How did anyone ever find their way in this city?   (Y’all, they built the roads around the mountains. Only flat cotton fields back home.) 

Who knew the housing market would tank?   In lieu of laying someone off, (me – last hired, first fired) my bosses decided we’d all take a cut in pay and get another day off during the week. Mine was Monday. 

Upon a friend’s persistence, I agreed to lead my first ever small group — on Mondays. Three girls showed up but none on the same Monday. Except…. the day my coach came to visit. Not one!  A big fat goose egg!   I was sure she would recommend axing me from the leader roster. 

But oh no!  Just the opposite. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. She stayed after me like a duck on a Junebug. I finally consented and that spring ten girls filled my den. 

The rest is history, I suppose. 

God used those women to connect me to other women, and in what seemed like no time, I was on the Women’s Lead Team of the largest church in the state of Alabama. 

Ten years now, I often refer to Birmingham as my Promised Land. I don’t say that because I didn’t like the small town we came from. The Bible says not to resent small beginnings.  But if you look at any statistics anywhere, my promised land falls at or near the bottom of every bad list. 

But it’s MY Promised Land. God used that degree in landscape architecture to get us here.  To get to be a part of all that He is doing in Alabama. Thousands make a commitment of salvation and baptism every year. Nearly 45,000 attend every weekend, and more than that attend small groups every week. 

And I get to be a tiny part of all of this. 

I cannot count the number of women who’ve stepped through my front door for various small groups.  It’s not even my assignment to make each one a super-Christian.  A small group leader only helps each member move one step closer to Jesus.  In this process I have moved closer too. 

This chapter of our lives hasn’t been all milk and honey. We’ve faced a few giants and fought a few battles.  But all in all, my cup runneth over!  God has been good to me!  

I’m certainly not where I want to be, but I’m so glad I’m not where I used to be. 

Can’t we all say the same? Just look at today. We woke up with air in our lungs, roofs over our heads, and Special K (I’m 50+) in the cupboard. God kept the earth on axis while we slept, and the sun continues to shine. Life’s not perfect.  (In America, we have first-world problems) 

I’m thankful that God hasn’t called my number yet. It tells me that He has something for me to do. Why else would I be here?  

God created each of us with special gifts. Gifts to help others. Discovering my purpose has changed my life. 

I want to be busy about that purpose.  I want to make a real difference in others’ lives. 

I want to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”


If you liked this post, feel free to share it with your friends on FB, Pinterest, Twitter or Aunt Edna in Little Rock.  Thank you so much!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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