When Andi Williams and I first met as freshmen at the University of Delaware, we would have never imagined that first encounter would turn into a 21 year friendship. We have been blessed to experience each others' mountain top moments, valley periods, and every hill in between. Having a VIP front row seat view of how Andi has approached life's twist and turns have made me a better person. In our next installment of Ordinary Women Living Extraordinary Lives: Walking in Purpose, I hope Andi sharing a snapshot of her story will positively impact you too.
Always Be True to Myself & Live with Integrity.
I’d be lying if I said that every day I feel like I am living on purpose. Some days I feel more purposeful than others. With an 9 month old, purpose on some days looks like getting dinner on the table, having a 30 minute conversation with my husband, and the baby bathed and in her crib at a decent hour. At this particular stage in my life, I’m trying not to put unnecessary pressure on myself. I think being a mother is a pretty purposeful life.
I think that living a purposeful life doesn’t always have to be in doing things that are curing cancer or solving world hunger or even parenting a child. I know that part of my purpose, and part of my personal truth is in encouraging others and be a blessing to others. And that is so much a part of my DNA, of my makeup, that it’s not something that I have to work hard to do.
What are your guides to living on purpose?
The Holy Spirit on the inside of me guides me into all truth. Literally, like a GPS, my inner voice tells me when I need to reroute. I think having a keen ear and listening to your spirit is key in living on purpose. Once something feels like it’s really hard or not a genuine part of your makeup, it should indicate to you, like a bright red stop sign, that that is not your purpose, it’s not what God put you on the planet to do.
It doesn’t mean that I can’t navigate through an uncomfortable situation or that I run away from something that is a challenge. Challenges and discomfort bring out the best in you, or kill off something in you that needs to die which is usually either fear or doubt.
How do you feel your life experiences have prepared you to walk in your purpose?
I was raised fairly independent, and then when my mother got sick, I had to make a lot of major decisions at a young age, things like advanced directives and power of attorneys and selling property, just to name a few. Then more recently I was in a position where I decided to move in my grandparents with dementia, and more recently I had to face infertility before being blessed with my baby girl. These experiences taught me a lot about who I am as a person, and how much strength I have been blessed with. I think those experiences as well as some others, have had a really strong impact on my character as well as the level of compassion I have for others. I think those experiences have also helped build forgiveness, humility, grace and integrity. I am confident that God has developed these characteristics in me to work together for His good and for my purpose on the earth. I’m just so excited to see what is in store for me next.
Do you believe it's possible to have multiple purposes for your life?
I guess it is possible to have multiple purposes but I think if you dig deeper you will see that all of your purposes fall under one bigger umbrella. That one main purpose will manifest itself in different ways. For example, your purpose may be to help women overcome adversity. Your manifestation of that purpose could look like: Helping at a homeless shelter, mentoring a young woman at work, raising a daughter, encouraging a friend, writing a book, etc.
Is it ever too late to find your purpose in life? Why or why not?
Never too late. Life is all about learning and evolving. I’m not the same person I was last year or even yesterday. Every day, God gives us new opportunities to explore more about ourselves and the world around us.
What is one thing that the average person can do to live a more purposeful life?
Spend time really investing in who they are. That unique blueprint that makes them only them. No one can beat you doing you. Women in particular give so much to everyone else. Finding your truth, the essence of what makes you you, is the best investment you can make.
CLICK HERE to read Jennifer's story.
I hope that you each find value in reading others' stories and can see how you can apply some things to your own life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to nominate and "ordinary" woman in your life to share her "secrets" to living on purpose.
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