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Your Giftedness - Pt. 1

“Your giftedness does not have an expiration date on it. As long as you’re alive, it will be trying to express itself.”

– Bill Hendricks, The Person Called You

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Take a moment and reflect on the day that you had your first job interview. No matter what position you may have applied for, you were most likely asked the question, “Why do you want to work here?” Some of you might have answered that question with excitement and passion, while others might have twiddled your thumbs and asked the same thing. “What AM I doing here?” 

We all discover our giftedness, our strengths at different times in our lives. How simple life would be if God were to make our career path known to us the day we were born! Then again, where is the adventure in that? Wouldn’t it take away the excitement of growing up?

+ Picture this: You've just landed your first job, but you feel out of place. Something’s just not clicking, and your mind is constantly wandering, thinking, “what could be”. You aren’t treated terribly, but it’s no fun when there is limited freedom to use your gifts. You can’t seem to motivate others when you aren’t motivated yourself. It pains you to get out of bed in the morning knowing that you’ve got to go back to a mind-numbing job. 

No matter where you may have worked previously (or currently), you have most likely experienced the doubt and frustration that your giftedness isn’t fully being utilized

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Think about the above quote. Your giftedness will never expire. God wants you to succeed, to thrive. Did you know that you aren't limited when it comes to choosing a career path? It's true when they say the world is your oyster! But before running off to another country and working as a missionary or moving to Hollywood to pursue your acting career, you need to be prepared...or at least headed in that direction. Just like the job scenario written above, your career choice may not be what you have expected, good or bad. And it is not a bad thing to change your mind! You are growing and learning about yourself, your likes and your dislikes. So how in the world do I start, you may wonder. The answer is simple but the decision to act is what can be difficult. Because once you act on this calling of yours, your life will change. And we as humans hesitate when it comes to leaving our comfortable place, the familiar, some more than others. We all feel a little uncertainty at one point or another in our lives.

One exercise that you can do to prepare is this: live in the mindset that you are already there. You a missionary. You are an actress. You are whatever you are dreaming to be. Exercise your skills. Practice makes better! This isn't something that you need to only picture as a future goal. You can work your not-so-fulfilling job while pursuing your passions. It isn't something to be ashamed of. You may come to find that some of your most memorable lessons were made through this mediocre job! Be patient. God is directing you step by step. Don't forget to enjoy where you are now. Engage with the people around you. Take time to listen and learn from those who have already walked in the direction that you are headed. They have the wisdom to share and stories that will blow you away. One day. It could be sooner or it could be later, but one day, you'll know. The moment you realize that you are where God wants you is when you have found your sweet spot. Work won't feel like work. It is not mind-numbing, but rather fun! It's about more than a paycheck. It's your dreams being put into action. 

+ Try this: Take time to encourage your peers through their own journey. Write a letter, meet up for coffee, take a hike, visit them at work, cheer them on at their game, etc. Be intentional with your conversations and relationships. It's important that we as people have goals and dreams, but its even more important that we advance God's Kingdom in the process! When was the last time you told someone that you believed, loved, or needed them? And when was the last time you received those words?

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We're built to be needed. YOU are needed, loved, and looked up to. There are people out there who want to learn from you! Believe it or not, you have the ability to create change, to influence. Meditate on that thought for a moment. How have you impacted the lives of those you've encountered? What are the motives behind your goals? Are your actions hurting or encouraging others?

And lastly, embrace your skillsets, practice and share them. God will reveal to you His plan in His time. Life will get busy, frustrating and confusing but just remember that through these chaotic moments, the Lord is molding you into a beautiful masterpiece. He is the potter, we are the clay. 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Buckle your seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride ahead of you. This unique giftedness of yours is about to be the best story yet!

Ben Fleming