Lately, I have struggled with life in general. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a mental illness that basically stems from a core belief that I am worthless, along with dual fears of abandonment and rejection instilled in me during very traumatic formative years.

Yet my unshakable faith doesn’t lessen my struggle. In fact, it adds to it.

How can I be worthless, when God created me and says otherwise? This kind of push-and-pull inside me is a daily fight.

The other day I had an emotional breakdown. I confessed to my roommates that I feel like a failure. I finally had to face and accept my limitations: I cannot hold down a steady job like the rest of them.

I asked aloud, “How can I be worth something if I can’t maintain a normal lifestyle?”

Before anyone spoke, the answer was immediate. The spirit of the Lord replied, “Because you were made to be extraordinary.”

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).

When we read this verse, so often we get caught by the first part. But what about the rest of the verse?

“…who have been called according to his purpose.”

Let me drop a shock bomb here: What if your purpose in this life is not to be like everyone else? We’re often so narrowly focused on the school-job-marriage-home formula of life that we miss out on what God has for us.

Man’s purpose is formulaic. God’s is box-breaking, world-changing, earth-shattering. I have to wonder if half of my anxiety comes from just trying to fit myself into a box that was never meant for me!

Let me ask you something: Would you try on clothes that are six sizes too small? No! You know they won’t fit. So why try to squeeze yourself into a lifestyle that doesn’t belong to you?

I think that when we accept Romans 8:28 in its entirety, we begin to see that no life is meant to be “normal.” We are extraordinary beings with specialized callings placed upon us so that we may fulfill a higher purpose.

One thing to note is that our definition of extraordinary and God’s are very different. God sees the heart, remember? And he’s the ultimate judge of our success. So let him have the limelight. After all, he is the one who really deserves it.

Instead, I want to encourage you to discover his purpose in your life. Spend time with him and seek the answer. It may surprise you. Whatever it is, you can do it. You were called to it! Your purpose was designed for you before you were created.

And you, like me, are meant to live a life extraordinary.

Heather Gilmore

Author Heather Gilmore

Heather Gilmore grew up in upstate New York and now lives in Brooklyn Park, MN. Her degrees in intercultural studies and creative writing have helped develop her greatest passion - to use writing to help others see the beauty of Christ and his love for the world. She is the vice president of the Knights of the Quill Writing Society at North Hennepin Community College and is currently at work on a novel.

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