Reclaiming your identity & purpose

I was a master of disguise that knew how to hide every ounce of pain, confusion, and exhaustion that plagued me. Although I had landed my dream job and was surrounded by people that I loved, my soul constantly ran on empty. The expectations required of me were unreasonable and caused me to neglect my marriage, family, and personal care. The body can only handle so much before it begins to rebel against even the best of intentions. Unbeknownst to many, I battled anxiety, depression, chronic pain, brain fog, and fear….. Yet, I managed to stand behind a pulpit once a week and speak of a hope that I, myself, was having difficulty grasping.

The day came when I was no longer willing to hide behind a smile and I chose to walk away. My personal exodus led me to a literal desert where I had to learn to reclaim the life that I was created to have. I wish that I could tell you that it was a glorious ride. Unfortunately, it was filled with an abundance of shame, trial-and-errors, my blatant rebellion, marital separation, and finally a completely-undeserved-resurrection.

10 years later, I am now standing on my own two feet. I have exchanged shame for grace, anxiety for confidence, unrealistic expectations for authentic friendships, and emptiness for a God who loves every part of me (even the parts that I don’t like about me). I no longer allow the unrealistic expectations of others, or myself, to govern me.

Have you been hiding behind a fake smile? Do you feel trapped by the unrealistic expectations of others? If so, there is hope for you. Don’t settle. Go out and be all that God created you to be.

Published by John Eli

I am a self-awareness coach (coach for humans), life strategist, blogger and speaker. I’ve spent over 21 years mentoring individuals in life skills, career transitions, relationships, and life recovery. My resume includes pastoral care, behavioral health, and higher education. From an early age, I realized that God created me to bring hope, healing and encouragement to others. I am currently living out my purpose by creating a space where people can rediscover and become all that they were created to be. I currently live in the beautiful state of Arizona with my wife, two dogs, and an antique piano whom I call, “Betty.”

13 thoughts on “Reclaiming your identity & purpose

  1. I so reckon with this. Sometimes, in fact at all times we shouldn’t let people’s expectation of us be the “main factor” or define us. Rather God’s identity of us should be paramount. I battled this scenario too (believing others opinion of me more etc..) but thank God He gradually led me through to seeing me for who He sees me as. Life has been a lot better since I chose His, rather than any one else.

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  2. What a great story, I’m so glad you worked through it! We all have our struggles. I learned to do my best and trust God. And let the chips fall where they may. I ended up in a much better place and it only happened because I trusted him and hung in there. I did use a Christian coach. She helped me learn to trust God and just do my best in a tough situation. It was so worth it! (but I’m glad it’s over!)

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    1. To everything there is a season. There are moments when our season of mourning seems to never end. Nevertheless, we can be confident that our season to laugh and dance is coming. (Ecc 3). 🙌

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  3. I guess its only human to go through this I am currently going through this. Quick question when you went through your personal exodus did you have an influx of emotions I feel peace I feel happy I feel like a big change is coming my way and I feel the Lord’s presence like never before I also feel nervous and I keep rebuking this fear that is trying to creep in is this a part of the personal exodus/ transformation into a new creation in Christ I have never experienced this before.

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    1. Honestly, I believe that fear is part of the human experience. When we try to deny it it creates a cognitive dissonance that really because difficult to navigate. It’s completely possible for us to experience fear without allowing it to define us. An example of this is Jesus in his final hours, before the cross, crying out to His father that the cup might pass him by. He didn’t deny his feeling and he still fulfilled his purpose….. Go do the same. Feelings are part of the journey. 🙂

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      1. Thank you so much for touching bases with me on this profound topic FEAR we all have had it at one point and it won’t leave unless we push through. Do you think Jesus feared dying? Or was His fear of the cross greater because He knew that God wouldn’t be with Him during those moments? We all experience a garden of gethsemane moment right??

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