We are called to be missional people. Salt and light to our neighbors, the people we might run into at the store, bringing a taste and a glimpse of the Kingdom wherever our footsteps lead us.
But what do we do if we feel like our light isn’t a flood lamp but rather a tea candle, flickering and threatening to go out? What if we feel like we our particular saltiness isn’t Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, but just regular table salt that nobody seems to want these days? How do we embrace those around us when we feel pushed to the margins ourselves? Or even worse, when the negative narratives we’ve been told all our lives become our own inner dialogue?
It’s one thing to understand God’s restoration when we choose to follow Him, but how well do we understand His masterpiece in us despite our darkest moments? Coming out of the darkness in my life when I accepted Christ – physical and sexual abuse, addiction and drug trafficking – I still felt like there wasn’t much to celebrate when it came to my core identity.
Events from my past still haunted me. No one who could handle my honest response to, “So tell me about yourself.” And this was especially true in the church, even a church that values a person’s story. When you see your weaknesses so clearly, it’s hard to understand that you not only were made for more, but it has always been inside of you. Amazingly, once the Holy Spirit comes in, our potential to be the people God intentionally crafted with such care and detail hits the ceiling … but only if we purposefully engage it.
This is where I found myself several years ago: Knowing I had been redeemed, but not aware of the deepest hurts that still darkened corners of my soul because I hadn’t engaged with God in allowing Him to heal me. I felt crazy because I didn’t understand why I had so many conflicts in different relationships. I felt like a failure, even in simple tasks. The hardest part was knowing God had saved me for a reason – specifically calling me to be an international missionary while in a jail cell – but I couldn’t make sense of the what, how, where, and when.
Each of us has a Story. And God has always known how it would turn out. And He wants us to invite Him to heal the wounds we try to hide. We all have unique personality Design, a way God has crafted us in how we prefer to live life that isn’t wrong – it’s just different than most people. We all have hardwired Strengths that only we use in the way we do; they have been a part of us since we were conceived. These three reflections of God’s intimate knowledge of us – our unique Story, Design, and Strengths – work together for our specific way of missional living: our Destiny. Our Destiny has never been about how we make money, where we live, or our status in society. Rather, our Destiny is about how we reflect the Kingdom and fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission in the way that only we can do, based on who we are and have always been. It’s how we engage a weary world wherever we are by ministering through the inborn beauty God has built and breathed into us.
This is what a curriculum called Lifeworkx is all about: helping others experience life transformation by embracing their Story, expressing their personality Design, exercising their Strengths, and empowering their Destiny.
Consider what Psalm 139:1-6, 13-16 says about us:
O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it ….
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
You are beautifully, wonderfully made with intense attention to detail. Our God is so creative and action- driven. He made you on purpose for a purpose.
If you struggle with seeing yourself as God sees you or just want to dive deeper into self-discovery, I invite you to join the Lifeworkx Sunday morning group this fall.
Written by Nate Huntley
Nate, his wife Katie Beth and their two littles attend Pulpit Rock. When he’s not leading Lifeworkx sessions all over the world, he serves in Kids Ministry here at home.
To sign up for Lifeworkx, stop by the table in the Gathering Place or sign up online in Seasonal Classes.