Nine years ago at the ripe old age of 18, I experienced what I call my “Mid-Life Crisis.” Shockingly, people began asking me what was next, what I was going to make of my life… and what I was going to be when I grew up. At that point, I suddenly felt like I was marching into the unknown, armed with…nothing! I had not a clue where I was headed and even worse, didn’t understand the “why” behind the “what.”

At first, I had a ready answer for those well meaning individuals who asked THE question but as time progressed, I felt deep down that my answer had nothing to do with God’s best for my life. It became increasingly difficult to paint a picture of perfection as though I had all of my plans together and knew exactly what to do in life. Everyone around me seemed to know what they wanted, where they were headed and how to get there. Had I slept in the day everyone got their marching orders?

Oh how I wished that the clouds would part, lightening would strike or an audible voice from heaven would say “Gina, here is the next step….” I wished I could pick up the phone and call 1 800 God and hear the following: “Thank you for calling, 1-800-God. If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time. For life purpose—press #1; for a dynamic 5-year plan—press #2; for all other inquiries—press #3.” Of course nothing of that nature happened and one day I dealt with these questions in the only way I knew how—I bought stock in Kleenex. This was my Mid-life crisis.

I believe that all young people go through their own kind of “mid-life crisis” and we all deal with it differently as we attempt to find the right answers to the questions beneath the surface of our heart, not to mention answers to the questions bombarding us on a daily basis. We are all trying to figure out which fork in the road is ordained by God. We want to be smack-dab in the center of God’s will but somehow loose our sense of direction in our searching

My ever-observant dad noticed the tissues lying around the house and the damsel in distress and set aside some time to help find the answers that I couldn’t find out on my own. I quickly realized that the best recipe for successfully discovering your life purpose is prayer and parents. Because of our discussions, my dad knew me better than anyone else.  By the end of our talk—my dad somehow helped me to tie up all of the loose ends of my life as we pinpointed my individual purpose, my people group, and created a rough five-year plan all the while praying that God would direct my steps. These became the most important 5 hours of my life as we spent some concentrated time planning and pursuing a God-given vision and individual life purpose.

Looking back now I see that God went above and beyond my old five-year plan and DID direct my steps! He has gone beyond my wildest dreams and desires as He continues to further refine and update my plan. Things that we penciled in by faith have actually become reality and I’ve even seen Him push the plan forward in amazing ways.

Knowing my purpose, and having specific direction brings incredible clarity as I sift opportunities through my life purpose statement and continually seek the Lord for updates to the plan.

My Purpose Statement:

In a day and age when young people are enticed with normality, pursued with mediocrity, and bombarded with the overwhelming sense to give up, it is my life purpose to “brace up, reinvigorate and set right the slackened, weakened, drooping hands and strengthen the feeble, palsied and tottering knees.”

Through concentrated times of discipleship and investment, I seek to understand the specific needs of Christian young people (especially young ladies) and help them achieve their maximum potential in Christ. Using conferences, events, and published materials, I seek to rally and unite the next generation of leaders to confront the world’s way of thinking and take a stand for a specific cause truly worth fighting for.

Ultimately, my heart’s passion is to enable these world-changers to implement their individualized life purpose into a plan of action, combine available ministry, vocational skills, and academics so that they are equipped, qualified, and ready to impact others with excellence!

This is NOT a magic formula. We’re not talking about 6 easy steps to discover your purpose and poof…every minute of your life is planned out! Life purpose is more than a education, vocation, life direction or a destination. This is about a continual invitation to join God as He works in you and through you to minster to the needs of a specific group with your specific talents and abilities, with your specific message! The results leave onlookers flabbergasted and you experiencing that thing that we call the abundant life!

Remember, there is so much more than being an average American young person. If you wake up in the morning, your heart is beating and you are breathing, then God has an incredible purpose for you and your day. Discover it and then, live it out!