When I was a youth worker during a wave of charismatic revival, I was asked by an 18-year-old: “What do you think God’s purpose is, in my life? What courses should I take in the university?” I answered quite logically: “Why don’t you choose the courses you’re good at?” The teen was disappointed. I think he expected me to lay hands on him and prophesy: “Thus saith the Lord…”
So, how do you discover your life purpose?
You begin with your natural inclinations. As a child, I loved reading. I also loved writing. It’s just there. So it was natural that I would major in English Literature and then move on to journalism. I started out as a sub-editor and later moved on to reporting, magazine journalism, tried a stint at PR (didn’t like it) and then started freelancing.
A few months later, God intervened and changed the whole direction of my life. My parents were non-Christians although I was exposed to some smatterings of the Christian faith. After an unexpected God-encounter (I plan to write about that later), He called me to full-time ministry; so I attended theological college and then started what would be the beginning of 21 years of church work.
I began with two ministries — youth and prayer — but through trial and error, I found my ultimate calling was prayer, and the particular audience that was attracted to me were young adults.
But there were new skills I had to learn. I had to adapt to the church hierarchy; recruit, lead and sometimes counsel volunteers. I had to work with a pastor, my colleagues and with a string of secretaries with varying competencies and temperaments. I organised events for forty, and for a few hundred. Occasionally, I preached or taught.
As I was in charge of the prayer ministry, I was also expected to have some competence in spiritual healing! Another learning journey started; I tried various ministries and methodologies, but it took years to find a ministry with leadership and people I could resonate with. And I found that ministry, not in Singapore, but in the U.S.
In Aug 2018, I retired. Naturally, I continued the spiritual healing ministry I had started. But the people that stuck with me were getting healed — I was working myself out of a job! So, I wondered what to do.
Then an email flew in with a suggestion that I attend a course that’s about Unveiling Beauty — seeking and articulating God-given design in yourself and in others. In that course, I rediscovered my first love — writing. And this blog is the outcome.
God had brought me back one full circle but now with a new set of skills I had acquired along the way. The platform has changed — instead of the church, I am now reaching out through my writing to the diverse community that’s out there.
The Methodist preacher John Wesley had declared, “The world is my parish.” Mine too.