You are a beautiful treasure. You are a one of a kind masterpiece. There is an anointing for you. An anointing, ONLY FOR YOU.
Do you know what your purpose is?
Do I know what my purpose is? Yes, definitely. Encourage with love, passion and enthusiasm. Well, wait, maybe. I am not sure, I thought I did. Nope, I am clueless. At any given moment, I could answer a question about my purpose in life any of these ways.
I spin around and around in my mind about living out my purpose; a longing to depths of my soul. I was in a down cycle of feeling alone and quite a bit like a failure the other day. So I pulled out a box of my old journals, it’s good to remember where we have been.
I sat with a fresh notebook by my side, so that as I was reading I could write down reoccurring themes. I began my meandering through my books in my 2005 writings. Here are the major themes I documented (in no particular order)
- Struggles with my weight & eating habits
- Desire for more time & deeper connection to my beloved husband, Eric
- Yearning to live with purpose
- Feeling lost, sadness over mistakes I have made
- Longing for a closer relationship with the Lord
- Seeking to capture the little things that I am grateful for
As I have been mulling over these themes; marinating them in my mind and my heart, someone made a comment that made me jump. Imagine sleeping soundly with your head on the most comfortable pillow ever made with your hand laid right next to your cheek. You open your eyes to see a big hairy spider crawling on your hand towards your face. Picture how quickly you would fling your arm and jump out of bed with the heebie jeebies.
That is how I reacted to this comment, except it all happened internally. Ok, perhaps externally my eyes widened and my eyebrows raised. The point is that the internal reaction was much quicker and more dramatic.
So are you wondering what the remark was? Here we go, “Julie, you have an anointing.”
It’s not as dramatic as you thought it was going to be, was it? It came from the lips of a friend, spoken from the heart. It was not followed with what she thought my anointing was, but instead followed wise advice that I needed to spend some time reflecting upon this idea.
Sometimes for me it is easier to rule out what is not, than what is. So that’s where I began. I pulled open my Bible dictionary & concordance. An anointing: can be used for burial. As the old Monty Python saying goes, “I’m not quite dead yet” so crossed that off.
An anointing can be to pour oil upon, used for healing, or consecration to sacred duty. Once I accidentally spilled about a quart of thousand island dressing on myself from stomach to toes which was a bit oily and, by smell alone, set me apart. It did not lead to a position of royalty or special service to a monarch though.
Two options down, one to go. A divine appointment; with a reference to 1 John 2:20 (NIV) “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.”
This left me thinking that if I did have a divine appointment I really wish it came with a reminder post card or voicemail like my dental cleaning appointments do. My prayer in response to this was pretty simple: Do I have an anointing? What is my anointing?
What seemed so lofty and unattainable boiled down to this as I quietly sat listening, pondering in my heart, and writing what I felt was the answer to my questions.
An anointing is how you serve. It is what calls to your heart. It is the work of your hands.
Three simple sentences that brought such peace to my heart.
But, then I had a realization that dropped me to the floor in tears. I literally collapsed crying by my dresser in my bedroom. I realized that there have been times where I have traded my anointing for accomplishment. I have taken something rich, long lasting, and traded it for something cheaper and temporary. I felt awful. It has been lingering for days now.
Shortly after that incident, I was watching a movie called Walt Before Mickey when I heard the line, “feelings of disappointment can drown you or shape you.” (It’s a very good movie, by the way.)
Here’s the thing about achievement. It’s a pretty driving force for me. I like it. I like being able to do things well and then do them better than that. It’s an ever heightening bar, it’s usually dependent on a human opinion. Sometimes it’s the opinions of others, many times it’s just my own personal stubbornness and the thoughts in my own head.
Achievement is not very flexible or forgiving. There are usually a set of confining standards around it. For instance, there are only so many weeks in a semester of schooling during which you can achieve a certain grade.
If an anointing is how I serve, what calls to my heart, the work of my hands, it seems like an anointing would be a lifelong journey, a more flexible and forgiving process. Sometimes it is only after we start that we realize it was a mistake. If I look through an achievement based lens, I would consider myself a failure. If I look through an anointed lens, I would say I need to make a course correction and adjust what my hands are doing.
How I serve and the work of my hands; these will change over the span of my life. Maybe not noticeably day by day, but year by year there will be differences. How I worked and acted in my early college years as an undergraduate student were different than how I worked & acted when I got my master’s degree, which are different than how I act as a life longer learner now.
My first days of parenting are dramatically different than how I parent now and will be different than how I may grandparent some day. Same for my marriage. I am a different wife now than I was in 1999 when we married.
I have worked several jobs. I have volunteered in several organizations. I have served in several ministries. I have been a part of a couple of church communities.
Through it all there are things about me that have remained. There are things that I have focused on growing and developing. There are new things that have been uncovered. There are things that I have left behind as the pages of time have turned to new chapters.
I do not know if I will ever be able to clearly articulate in words what my anointing is. I do know that a big part of it has to do with offering encouragement to those around me. I know that prayer is a part of it. Being silly and youthful. Savoring the little things. Smiling a lot.
I know that one of my spiritual gifts is helps, which in my experience has brought me numerous opportunities to try (and flounder) in administrative leadership positions. If you do a good job helping, have a hankering for achievement and a willingness to give it a try, I have found you can end up leading, but it has not come with fairy tale endings for me. There are however many lessons learned and morals to the story for me to discover.
I discovered along this journey that in Psalm 45:7 and Hebrews 1:9 it talks about God anointing with an oil of joy. Now that sounds like an oil I would not mind having dumped all over me; way better than thousand island dressing.
What have you discovered lately?
What do you know about yourself?
Maybe you can boil it down to a cute phrase that would fit on a bumper sticker, or maybe you are like me and would quickly flick away the idea that you even have an anointing on your life.
You have the breath of life moving in and out of your lungs. Because of that, you still have time – time to serve, time to give to the people & things that call to your heart and time to work with your hands. What that specifically looks like for any of us at any given time, is a rainbow of diversity.
Rainbows are all about promises. Promises give assurance. Assurance that God has an anointing ONLY FOR YOU.
Beloved and Treasured Lord,
I feel like sometimes I do not have the slightest clue about who I am or should be or what I should be doing. I want to live with great passion and purpose and joy, but I can be such a wandering, bumbling mess. Oh, that You would love me Lord. Thank You so much for seeing me through it all.
Lord, I pray for my dear readers. Lord, it is crazy to think that you would use text and cables and wireless transmissions to connect us, but it’s really wonderful how You use advancing technologies. God, I can’t believe that they want to share this crazy journey with me. I hope by the end of each post they may feel encouraged, feel uplifted and have a little sprinkling of joy upon their days.
It’s easy for us to assume that just anyone, or that everyone, can do the same work with their hands, or serve the same way or even have their heart called to the same thing, but You are not a God who makes everyone the same. You have given each an anointing Only for You, for Your joy, for Your pleasure and for Your purpose, Lord. While it may go through us, may it begin and end with You.
In the anointed name of Jesus, amen.