Fashioned, Not Found

I remember being back in high school, getting ready to go to college - and everyone was asking me the same question, “What are you going to school for?” It was the age old question, and, in some ways, it still is. The question, “What are you going to do with your life?” is a question we have all been faced with. It is also an ever-evolving question. Somewhere, it morphs into a more gripping, “Who are you?” Jobs change, relationships change, seasons change, and callings develop and shift. The question then becomes deeper... and circular, “Who are you, now?”

Now, I grew up as every “gifted and talented” student did - carrying a great weight on my shoulders - somewhere between great excitement and potential, and great pressure and expectation. I grew up thinking that finding my purpose was some extremely technical physics equation. How was I going to figure it out? What was my destiny? What if I missed it? If I didn’t pick the right college, if I didn’t pick the right friends, if I didn’t pick the right major, if I didn’t take every opportunity… I was left feeling like I didn’t have the right calculator to solve that equation. And if I couldn’t ever solve that equation… would I ever know who I was? 

My purpose always felt like something to find, rather than something to be. That is why I think what Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 is so profound: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV). Our purpose and our identity was never something that was meant to be found. Rather, our purpose and identity is found in understanding Whose we are. Then, we come to understand that our purpose and identity is the very handiwork of God. It is something fashioned, and not found. 

Who I am is in Christ Jesus. I was hand-fashioned into the family of God. I am grafted into the True Vine. This is my identity and this is my purpose.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4, NIV) 

Yes, there are things that God has purposed for me to do. However, I discover those things, and can truly live out those things, through remaining in the True Vine. Those things flow out of my relationship with Christ, and by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. 

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples… My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other." (John 15:8, 12-17, NIV)

In addition, all the power to do those good works comes from my identity within the Vine. It comes from the power of the Holy Spirit. It comes from my new identity, my new purpose-- to be a friend of God, simply put-- one who loves God and loves what God loves. As a friend of God, my real purpose is to love others, like Jesus has loved me. It is to bear fruit that will last. How comforting to know that God has chosen and appointed us to bear these fruits of love.

Our purpose will shift over time. Seasons will change, and God will be faithful in those seasons. However, may we never forget that our purpose, our very identity, is fashioned, and not found.

by Kaitlyn Faraghan
Kaitlyn leads worship at our Cherry Hill location. She is passionate about writing and recording music, and has been a part of numerous recording projects; she has released one album and is now working on her second album! In her spare time, you will find her scouting out the best coffee and donuts in South Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area.




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