When I was 16, I went through a time of depression that led me to consider taking my own life. My brother remembers telling my parents that I talked about taking a bottle of sleeping pills hoping never to wake up. Twenty years later, I look back at that time in my life and see it more clearly. I see that there were several factors at play. My depression was a result of something physical that was happening. I had an overactive thyroid which affected everything from my mood to my heart rate to my eyeballs. The depression was also a result of deep pain and rejection I experienced my sophomore year of high school. But I also see that my depression was part of a very real spiritual battle that was happening. I remember vivid dreams, and when I called home from youth conference that summer, I told my parents I felt there was a battle that was raging for me.
I started school that fall with a fresh relationship with Jesus, closer than I had ever known before. I went to a new school with a new confidence because I knew that Jesus loved me even if no one else did. I determined to make him my best friend and my boyfriend and to spend as much time as I could getting to know Him more. If Satan would have succeeded in his efforts to kill me earlier that year, I never would have gotten to that point in my relationship with Christ. I would have never had the husband and the four beautiful children I have now. I would not be teaching women the Bible or writing this to you. I believe that God set me apart from an early age to belong to Him and be a Princess Warrior for His kingdom.
Recently I heard stories of women who had a vision at a young age of what God has planned for them. I listened to Nicole C. Mullen tell her story and how she knew that God had called her to be a singer to sing for Him when she was only twelve. But it took more than twenty years after that for her to see the fulfillment of that call. Sarah, a woman from Cote d’Ivoire who has taken in 200 orphans, said that she has known since she was a young girl that she was to care for orphans in the world. God had given her a love for children. Yet she had to wait 25 years to have 200 children dropped in her lap with no way to care for them. She just took the next step and said yes. My friend Sandra knew when she was 12 that she too was called to care for orphans. She went to college to be a fashion designer, but never forgot the image God gave her of caring for children in Africa. Twenty-five years later God brings her together with Sarah and last weekend they did a fashion show to benefit Sarah’s Children. Now Sandra is using her gifts in fashion design to raise money and awareness for orphans. God placed a seed of the dream He was dreaming for them in their hearts.
The same is true of people in the Bible. Joseph was 17 when he had the dream about his brothers bowing down to him. But that didn’t come to pass until Joseph was an old man. Consider Samuel who heard God’s voice audible call to him as a young boy. Moses was set apart as an infant who was special; his mother saw the he was a “fine” child. Even then Satan was at work through the Pharoah’s order to kill all the Hebrew children. But God saved Moses from that horrible fate. Consider John the Baptist who jumped in his mother’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice. Could it be that even before he was born, God had put the seed of His purpose into him?
On Sunday in the pre-Kindergarten Sunday School class, the lesson’s main idea was the “God made me special.” We talked about all sorts of things that the kids liked doing and the things they were good at. I looked at them and said, “God has a special job for each one of you to do in His kingdom. There will be lots of things that you like to do and might even be good at. There will also be things you don’t like or aren’t very good at. And that’s okay. Not everyone is good at everything. But God made you special so that you could do the special job He has for you.” It’s amazing to think that God has already placed the seed of purpose and gifts and talents into those little 4-year-old hearts.
I believe that we all have purpose, and I believe that God has or will give you a glimpse of that purpose. You may not see everything all at once, but seek Him and you will find Him. He gave you the personality and gifts that He needs you to use in His kingdom. He is giving you the life experiences and circumstances you need to get where He needs you to be for His glory. Satan wants to kill the seed of purpose as early as He can. He preys on the children and the teens who are too young and too weak to know the power of God’s Spirit within them. The fears and worries of this life, like whether people will like you, how much money you will make or how the needs will be met, threaten to choke what has already started growing in you.
So what seed of purpose has God planted in your heart? Will you let it be choked out by the worries and fears of this life? Will you let the enemy come in and steal that seed or worse yet kill you? Or will you press on in faith knowing that he has a special purpose for you in His kingdom? Do not give up and let the enemy win. It is worth the fight. I stand beside you, and we will not go quietly into the night.