How to Find Your Purpose or Calling

Are you or your kids searching to find their purpose in life? Your “calling”? Searching for a purpose at various stages and transitions in life is normal. It’s also normal for one’s calling to shift and change as the Lord leads.

I’m at one of those crossroads now. I can no longer do what I’ve done for years and am pretty sure I shouldn’t return, even when I have the physical capacity to do so. I’ve also had to let go of a long-held dream and picture of what I wanted my life to be. It’s left me feeling a bit lost. I must find a new purpose and calling for my life moving forward.

The advice I typically give young people is where I know I must begin.

“If you don’t know what God’s called you to do, start with what you know He wants you to do.” – Nancy Ruth

That means:

  • spending time in God’s Word
  • prayer (talking and listening)
  • serving in the local church
  • sharing the Gospel
  • loving others
  • keeping Jesus as the Lord of my heart and life

But what do I do while I’m waiting? Waiting can be challenging!

In the waiting, I’m going to:

  1. Praise and worship the Lord. I’m going to thank Him for this season of rest and growth. I will ask Him to teach me what I need to learn and give me eyes to see this time as He sees it. I’m going to praise Him for who He is. I will thank Him for His abundant provision (even when I can’t see it yet).
  2. Try new things. That’s a great way to discover spiritual gifts and new passions.
  3. Focus on building healthy habits and routines. What spiritual disciplines are lacking in my life? What have I let slide? How can I care for my body as a temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19-20)? How can I continue to learn and grow? How can I be more intentional and God-honoring in my relationships with others?
  4. Do what my hand finds to do. That’s a biblical phrase (i.e., 1 Sam. 10:7). It means sometimes God gives us options. Instead of sitting around waiting for a flashing signal, do what you see you can do. You never know where it may lead.
  5. Continue to seek the Lord’s face and His direction.
  6. Ask others to pray with me. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matt. 18:19-20 NIV

Transitions are tough, and sometimes the unknown can be scary. In times like this, I usually turn to my favorite Psalm, 139.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.


Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.


13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you...


23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV)

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Nancy Ruth

Nancy Ruth is the Co-Founder and Primary Content Creator at Parent Road Ministries. Learn more at

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