We all strive to find purpose in life. Our purposes vary, but there still is a need for purpose to get out of the bed every morning. Without purpose we become subject to the winds of the world, blowing hither and yonder with no clear destination.
For most of my adult life, my purpose was really pretty simple. Take care of the needs of my family, tend to the needs of our home, and work like one obsessed. There was very little me time and truthfully, I never thought about it. I was too busy keeping all the balls in the air to accomplish what I thought was my purpose.
Fast forward--retirement years hit and there is time to think about what I would like my purpose to be. I spent some years pursuing "Me Time" including traveling, exercising, and friends, but there seemed to be something lacking in all of that. I began to wonder if life is really all about me--or was there something much more satisfying out there.
My volunteering began quite a few years ago--in the school system. How I loved those children and their teachers and support staff. What joy came from seeing the light go off in those little heads when they began to understand the task before them. Those school hours were dear to me and gave me a satisfying purpose in life.
When I moved to Fort Worth, I became part of a church based organization, Kid's Hope, which promoted relationships with children through the school system. We were there to assist those children with school, but the most important thing was developing relationships with at risk children. Somehow I heard about serving in the homeless ministry field and was intrigued and drawn. At the training, I learned there was more to do beyond serving meals. They had a after school program for children from homeless families. What could be a more perfect fit? I spent time with all ages of children helping them with their homework and developing relationships. It was an eye opening experience to walk into that shelter every week.
I come home to Ruston and set out to purposefully look for ministries that were a good fit for my gifts, experiences, and heart. I began to explore the places I might fit. As I asked questions, it was recommended I talk to Tara ---my young friend with a huge servant's heart. She has more great ideas than Carter had liver pills. Tara and her dynamic partner, Elizabeth were the co-founders of The Well. Their driving energy created a diverse ecumenical organization with the aim of not only helping, but empowering those they serve. It was off and running while partnering with other service organizations around town. It is working--not without set backs---but there is growth evidenced every day.
Along comes the pandemic, all systems are on full shut down. They still manage to serve--by delivering goods to those in need, checking on the people they serve, drive through pizza nights, and being on the front line in the huge unknown of how this would play out. They never slowed down.
Here we are today, after slowly, carefully opening the doors with a multi-field approach of support. The Well serves those who serve those we serve. It is multi-dimensional ~multi layered organization serving multi layers of those with needs and their support organizations. They are involved with supporting Life Choices, DART, Foster families, Adopting families, LA Division of Family and Children Services to name a few. They also provide community for the lonely among us--those who need a boost--those who can use an out stretched hand of fellowship. They do all of this while also providing dignity and respect to those they serve. Read the book When Helping Hurts and have your eyes opened to the best way to help those in need.
So part of my purpose today is working with the ladies at The Well. They have helped me more than I have helped them. God is growing me. I was recently asked to write my Faith Story. My answer, God is not finished with me and it will not be complete. As long as we are physically able, God has a purpose for us. I cannot answer for you, but I know for me it does not center around keeping myself happy and entertained. We are all given different gifts--those gifts were given to accomplish God's good purpose. I encourage you to pray about where God intends to use you. I pray we all can continue to seek His Will and His Good Purpose and know the joy of service. The story is not complete--until the book is closed. We are a work in progress.
"As each has received a gift,
use it to serve one another,
as good stewards of God's varied grace."
I Peter 4:10
"Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interest of others."