First, we must come to the place of believing that if we truly believe we are made in the image of God, that means that we are made in the image of Creator God…which means we are creative, we are creators.

Even if you don’t think you are, you were made to add something beautiful to this world, in your unique way.

Ephesians 2:10 says it this way: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

But how do you figure out your gifts? There are tons of books and courses on this topic but here’s a simple process to get you started.

One, write down everything you are good at. EVERYTHING. Cooking, organizing, sewing, math-ing, spelling, techno stuff, cheering people up, generosity, etc. Everything you are good at.

Two, write down everything you enjoy doing. Everything. Playing with kids. Going for walks. Praying for friends. Cleaning the house. Shopping. Everything big and small you like to do, including things you used to love to do when you were a little girl (draw, pretend to be a teacher and play school, etc.)

Three, ask two or three people in your life who know you and love you to tell you what THEY think you’re good at. Yep, it will take some courage to do this because we tend to think humility means down-playing our talents or being self-deprecating. But God says He gifted you so that means FACT: YOU ARE GIFTED. It’s false humility and dishonoring to God to act like we’ve got nothing to offer. If you’re breathing, you’ve got something to do!

Four, jot down the topics that come to mind when I ask you this question: if you were sitting down with a friend for lunch, and she said, you get to talk the whole time…what would you talk about? What topics are the most important in your life? Your faith, your kids, your marriage, social justice, the latest books you read, etc.

These lists should bring you much clarity.

Let’s flesh this out and say for question one, you said you think you’re a good cook, that you’ve been baking since you were a little girl, and you lose track of time and it relaxes you. Let’s say your friends say you make the best meals when they’re sick or have had babies. Then say when asked what topic or people group is really important to you right now, you start talking about your neighbor’s teenage daughter founding out she is pregnant and it’s breaking your heart and you wish you could do something for her.

So, to continue with this example and putting these things together, one thing you might really love to do is ask that sweet girl if she’d like to come over to your house every other week and you teach her how to bake. It’s something you’re good at, you’d be doing something that would bring you fulfillment, you’d be showing love to someone else, you’d be helping them in a tangible way, and you’d be shining the light and love of God all at the same time.

To go a bit deeper, let’s sit with these words from Frederick Buechner:

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

But how do you figure out where your pain and gifts intersect?

We’ve all been through something really difficult in our lives, some of us more than others. My hard marriage was not a waste. My divorce was not simply so I'd go through some pain. What the enemy intended to use to harm me, God has brought so much comfort, healing, redemption, and beauty from ashes.  God took my marriage and divorce pain and coupled it with my gifts of communication and compassion and my desire to reach hurting women and voila, here I am.

You have that capacity too. This isn't just for the select few.

Name one hard thing you’ve made it through. Abortion? Adoption? Living with someone’s addiction? An eating disorder? Being fired? Having cancer? Losing a child? Your spouse’s infidelity? Your infidelity? The list goes on and on. Now, think about the people in your life. Ask God who you can share your story with, it can start as simply as that. I bet there is a woman in your life who is going through something you’ve gone through & you can gently approach her and say “me too…you’re not alone…if you need to talk, I’m here…”

Let God use your pain for his own good, for your own good, and for someone else’s good. He will every single time, if you’re willing.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. –II Corinthians 1:3-4-

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