My name is Reagan Holmes and I struggle with my purpose – my calling – my future. I’m 18 years old. I have my whole life ahead of me. And I have no idea what I am going to do with it.
My journey began 4 years ago. I was 14 years old when I decided to commit to Jesus, heart and soul. I grew up in a believing home, I went to church every Sunday, and I knew that God made every single person on purpose, for a purpose. There was never any doubt about that.
During my first year or two following Jesus, I dove head first into my local church. I started attending (and eventually leading) small groups, I volunteered week-to-week, and I found a group of friends who loved and honored Jesus. At this point, every area of my life was being turned around. Early on in my walk with the Lord, I had the urgent desire to know my purpose. I was constantly asking God, “why am I here,” “what was I made for,” “what have you given me a passion for?”
Am I called to be on staff at a church? Am I going to do missions overseas? Where am I going to live? Will I get the job I want? Will I even graduate from college? When will I get married, have kids?
Months, even years, went by and I remained clueless in this pursuit. God didn’t write it on a wall. He didn’t speak in an audible voice. I didn’t know my purpose, and I still don’t.
During the summer of 2016, I decided to commit to an internship at my church. My goal for the summer was to find out what my calling was. Surely if I was at church all summer the Lord would reveal it to me, right?
Wrong. I prayed, I fasted, I got advice from my mentors… but at the end of the summer I still didn’t have the answer I was looking for.
I believe that in our moments of desperation, God’s compassion meets us where we are. Last summer I was disappointed, I had expectations that weren’t met. It seemed like everyone around me had their entire lives figured out. They knew where they were going to college and what their major would be, they knew their dream job/car/city, and yet here I was – still clueless. But in that moment, the Lord revealed the answer to all of my questions. He told me exactly what I needed to hear, but it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.
“Reagan, your calling is so much bigger than a position,” He said, “It’s not a job or a college degree. Your purpose isn’t who you’ll marry or where you’ll live – I am your purpose.”
This shook me to my core. My purpose and my calling isn’t limited to one thing (and how dare I try to shrink it down to simply a job or a position.) My calling is to do the work of the Lord, whatever that looks like. In high school and college, when I get a job and have a family, when I’m old and wrinkly – my seasons will look different but my purpose remains the same. For my type-A brain, I wanted a more specific answer than that – but I didn’t need one. Strangely enough, this broad answer brought me a peace that I can’t begin to describe. All of a sudden, my school is my calling. My job is my calling. My family and friends, my church is my calling. It isn’t something that I’ll achieve “someday”, my purpose begins now. I have every gift – every opportunity I need to make a difference in this season of my life.
Paul said it this way in Colossians 2, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
My purpose, in its simplest, most pure form, is to encourage and unite – to bring people together for the purpose of knowing God and understanding the mystery of his gospel.
Beautiful, isn’t it? And the most beautiful thing about it is that it can take form in countless ways. I can achieve these things regardless of my age, my job, or my social status. As long as there are people, there is a need for encouragement and a need for unity.
I never want to sell myself short, I never want to miss out on this purpose simply because I underestimate it. The power of this calling isn’t in the description or in the person who holds it, the power is in the fact that it leaves room for Jesus to work. It leaves room for the unknown and the unplanned. It leaves room for miracles and provision. I am a “black or white” person, and this calling leaves a lot of grey area. But it is in the grey area where the Lord blows my expectations out of the water. It’s in the grey area where He does the supernatural. With that in mind, I love the grey. I want more grey.
So I’ve stopped asking questions. It doesn’t matter where or when or who is coming along. If the door is opened, I will be obedient to walk through it. If the door is closed, I will trust that a better door is being unlocked. I will trust that my purpose is bigger than I am, and that this world will only change to the degree that I am obedient.
I encourage you to cling to Colossians 2:2-3. This is your identity. It is who you are and it is your mission. You don’t have to wait; you are qualified in this very moment. People in your world need to be encouraged. They need your influence. So walk through the open doors and step away from the ones that have been closed. His plan for you is good, and there are blessings that will come when you choose to follow him, even when you don’t know all the answers.
Flourish, baby, flourish,
Reagan is 18 years old and was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. The Lord turned her world upside down when she was just 14 and she has been head over heels in love with him ever since! She attends Church of the Highlands and is involved with student ministry there. She leads small groups, serves on the dream team and leads worship for her city group. She’s interned at the church and has plans to do so in the future. She believes with all of her heart that the Lord going to use her Inside and outside of the church to impact the world around her. She plans to one day do missions in Africa, plant a church on the west coast, get married and adopt babies, and ultimately fulfill the calling the Lord has placed on her life – to bring people to Jesus. She will be attending Auburn University in the fall where she will be studying Journalism and Communications. She plans to further her involvement with the local church and get involved with other local ministries and nonprofits throughout her college career. Until then, she’ll be finishing up classes at Jefferson state CC, serving at @fultondalecitygroup and preparing for the season ahead of her!