I want to be who God made: Finding Passion

creativity crayons artI love Sir Ken Robinson, one of the great thinkers of our times, who talks frequently of creativity, education, and inspiration. Author to a book called  The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything , it speaks on harnessing our individual passions, pursuits, talents, and ambitions, and channeling them into our life’s work. He also speaks with a charming British accent and I swear I’d listen to him even if he wasn’t extremely bright and humorous, which he is. Bonus!

I just celebrated my one month bloggiversary. Yup, I’ve officially been blogging for one month so  I drank a frou- frou coffee and congratulated myself on doing it. Taking the leap and hitting publish. Because sometimes you find something you feel you were made for and it fits. I am blessed to have discovered a few things that drive me and make me feel like I’m in my element.

When I was thriving in my element in my twenties, I was going to school for a degree in Nutrition Science with a minor in Exercise Physiology. I was made for college. I excelled at everything I did.  I had a voracious appetite for learning and a high aptitude in all of my classes. I juggled a two-year old, a body image obsession, and a 26 credit course load while maintaining a 4.0 and tutoring on the side. And I was good at it.

But my walk with God was minimal those years. I fought hard against His will. I wanted my own glory to the detriment of my spirit. I was falling into sin and my heart was far from Him. Operating in your element may guarantee success in this life but not necessarily in your relationship with God.

The conviction crushed hard when I realized that I was failing my son in teaching him about the Lord (how could I teach what  I wasn’t living) and I had failed my husband in being a faithful wife. My heart was somewhere else entirely. Our family was falling apart. God was once again requiring me to give up my identity. The very things I believed gave me value. I sacrificed them on the altar of repentance and committed to pursue Him. And God began to heal.  

And even in the midst of that healing as God drew me closer and I began to see His grace, I still mourned the loss of me. I hadn’t yet realized that in that loss, He would be made great. That the decrease in me, makes room for Him.

It was years before God started revealing how my giftings, passions, and desires would be given back to me. I had to fully release them first. Not just for myself but for His glory. As the old catechism states, “Mans chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  

We glorify Him best when we allow Him to use us just how He made us. He is the father of all inspiration and creativity. 

It’s taken me years to realize my identity is hidden in Him. I struggle daily ( moment by moment, really) with this.

But I see  how my thick skin has helped me be able to speak the truth to people in my life even when it’s awkward and the glaring visibility of my weaknesses softens the blow because we are all crushed under our flesh if not for His grace.

But I see how my love of learning has inspired me to teach my children and others.

I see how my inquisitive nature lets me discover new things and worship in awe that He made it all for His glory, and stand in wonder that we benefit as heirs. I honestly find myself worshiping  on Pinterest, not because the beautiful things people make but at the astounding creativity and diversity that is our God.  And why shouldn’t we? The whole earth is filled with His glory. This is why we can scratch out gratitude lists of  little fragments of glory dropped down from our maker and placed where only trained eyes can see.

I see how the trials and suffering earlier in my life allow me a voice of empathy now. I see how His hand is at work always. I see how this was His perfect timing.  As I click away on my keyboard, I feel His pleasure and I am truly enjoying Him. I can fully embrace how God made me.

 

What is your element? How did God make you? How do we glorify God with our whole self? Leave me a note in the comments telling me what your element is and how you use it for God’s glory. I love to see how different everyone is and how we all fit together in this body.

If you struggle thinking you don’t have any special talents or giftings, know this. Everyone is created in the image of God, therefore everyone has intrinsic value purposed for Him. More on that topic later…

 

Comments

  1. Sarah says

    Good post Alia! As your sister-in-law it’s been awesome walking with you all these years! Seeing what God has done in your life and being with one another through it all! You’re an amazing woman who I admire so much and am blessed to have you as a sister!
    My element, hmm. I’m pretty sure God made me to be a pain in the butt! :) No really, I’m stubborn and idealistic. I have vision for things great and want to change things to get there. That often causes problems. :) Still trying to figure that out, but really, I guess it’s administrative and organizational stuff that I excel in. That’s what I’m told…mainly by you. :)

    • Alia Joy says

      Pain and discomfort are necessary for any relevant change to really occur, so I wouldn’t worry about being a pain. Being stubborn when in submission to God is simply tenacity and that, my dear sister, can do great things. And yes, you are administrative and organizational. I’m still waiting for you to come declutter the rest of my house. ;) And plan my next birthday party. Only 7 months to go, better get on Pinterest. Teehee.

  2. Julie Watts says

    Wow Alia!………… What can I say?…. Very moved by the realness of your heart. I feel like I am able to feel your heart beat.
    As for me… what is my element? … I am in my element when I see God change a person’s life. When I see the power of God bloom a heart, heal the wound, bring life where there was death. I am in my element when I can be in the middle of all that. I feel exhilirated when a life of pain begins to see healing and realize a future of forgiveness and hope. Yep that is my greatest of pleasures.

    • Alia Joy says

      Julie, I can totally see you have a tender heart and I’m sure that mercy is one of your biggest qualities. I think you will make a very good counselor and your desire to truly listen to people and want to come alongside them and nurture them in their walk is very special. I hope you have a lot of that pleasure in your life. :)

  3. Heidi Stone says

    There are many abilities which can be honed and mastered. This does not make them a passion or a gifting. It is easy to see the strengths in an individual after having spent a minimal period of time with them. It’s the stuff we flash around like bedazzled jeans and freshly pedicured toes. But to truly define ones passions? That is a far more difficult thing. I play piano, sing and even write some music. Yet, I am not passionate about music. I am not driven by or drawn to it. Hard work and a desire to refine my intellect coupled with an obsession with competency tend to cloud my own viewpoint of those things at which I am most passionate.

    Honestly? I’m not sure I know. And I’m not sure I’d be a good steward of it right now either.

    • Alia Joy says

      I think it may be easy to see others strengths in some areas but I think it can be very hard to see our own. My next post is on this. Seeing things clearly. I think your element is more where all those things collide. Not just that you’re good at music or writing or painting but that you can’t not do it. That it is you and that you are passionate about it. There are people who are passionate about music and are terrible at it. That may be something they really, truly enjoy but they are not in their element. One look at American Idol tryouts will tell you just because it’s someones dream doesn’t mean they will succeed in it in the capacity they hope for. Should they stop singing? No, not if they enjoy it but their element is probably something else. It’s where we realize, “I can do this.I am built for this.” And that is certainly more than ability or skill, it’s a belonging. A right fit where your inspiration and motivation is intrinsic, and yes, it can be hard to figure out.

  4. Lori says

    Alia,
    I love your honesty in this post. It’s always so hard to give up what we think gives us value. I’m speakng at our women’s retreat in April on this very topic — finding your place, the spot where you fit, where your passions and your purpose meet. And sometimes God asks us to give stuff up so we can get there.

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