I have struggled most of my life with living inside MY purpose. As many do, I explored what feels, tastes and/or sounds good. It was during those life experiments that I discovered who I am. I could list the labels (son, father, friend, etc.) However, I am only defined by those, and many other labels, through my interaction with others.
Anchoring myself inside of who I AM, I must stand alone and see what is left. Only one attribute springs off the page. I am a Child of God. Everything outside that definition makes up my personality, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses, yet they do not make me who I AM. They determine what I will do.
Going back to the first paragraph, I said I was looking for MY purpose. I have done so many things, whether through business or personally, to generate My purpose. It is at this point that I acknowledge how often I have used I, me & my to explain my actions, beliefs, or life. I have been looking for God's purpose and being in His favor.
From the age of seventeen, I have struggled with God's call to the ministry. I received a very definite message from God asking me to become a minister, but I ran as far as I could in the opposite direction. Many experiences, conversations, and circumstances over the next year confirmed the 'calling.' I knew God had a plan for me; however, my fear led me to fulfill my purpose.
Out of fear and severe resistance, I designed my life. The peaks and valleys have been of my own design, and looking back, the design was poor and short-sighted. I married a twice-divorced woman. I don't know why, other than the fact I felt like I should be married. We both entered the marriage under deceptive motives. We had two wonderful sons. She left us to pursue a love relationship, and I raised my sons from the ages of 4 and 6 with the help of family and friends.
Having been raised in a Christian home, we attended church on a regular basis. I kept that tradition alive by taking my sons to church every Sunday. I felt comfortable in my 'home' church but didn't advocate Christianity. I was afraid I might become too 'preachy.' I sang in the choir and participated in all the plays. I was an active member of the church; however, I did not surrender to God's will.
I intentionally made choices that kept me from God's purpose yet kept one foot in the door. I don't know if I was afraid of what I might have to do, or who I might have to be. It was probably a mix of both. However, over the past ten years, I began creating opportunities that provided ways in which I could make a difference and play inside the 'spiritual' realm. My life hit extreme lows, yet I kept a stiff upper lip, and trudged through the disappointments which grew exponentially with every week. I immersed myself in the causes of others; their importance overtaking my own.
However, God did not stop talking. His words were soft and often. In September 2006 I moved to North Carolina from the Washington, DC area, and wrote God Speaks. I was living at the beach, fulfilling my dreams, and I finally listened to God. I had been trying to write God Speaks for over twelve years. The words never quite seemed right.
On my 48th birthday, I remember I sat down to write, and a voice said, "That's a nice book, but it's not MY book. Erase it." I was mortified. I did as I was instructed. I heard God's words fill my soul and I wrote the book in one day. I published the book in February 2007, and I was on an extreme high.
By the end of 2007, I was in deep crisis and reconnected with the causes of others. My life fell into a very deep despair and within a year I was homeless. Few knew I was homeless for two reasons. First, I was always up, because God let me know daily that He was with me. Second, I was helped by a couple of people from my church. Others who found out seemed embarrassed by my situation, and often questioned my circumstances. I must say at this point that God had told me what was about to happen, but I ignored His words. In a very simple phrase, He said, "You must lose everything to have everything." What I found out was that I had to learn to let go of what I thought was important.
My months of homelessness let me see the where my run had led me. Circumstances shifted, and my life began to turn around. I was still the director, but God was providing input, when I would listen. I started making enough to get by; however, I was living far below my needs. I attempted once more to find a way to make a difference and co-created a business for holistic healing. I put in an extraordinary effort, but the business owner was anchored in 'owning' the business. I left in June and moved to South Carolina. Although I was required to release even more, I realized I was being filled with what had always been missing. After months of valley, I started to really listen. I had been living my life through the successes of others. I was extricated from my 'self-created' life at the end of 2010, and suddenly God's voice became clear and strong.
He asked again. This time, I didn't say no. However, I didn't rush in either. As is my usual mode of operation, I focused hard on doing. What was missing was being. On the last day of January 2011, I surrendered to the calling. I began designing my future by listening to God's plan. I designed the logo shown above (far beyond my skill level) and began examining my ministry.
My 'coming out' to people has been resoundingly accepted with vigor. I have no idea where this is taking me, but since I have given God the reins, miracles are occurring daily.
I want to thank you for supporting me on this journey.
Shepherd's Way Miniseries was created in 2013 by Pastor Kyle Sutton. His passion and commitment to making a difference in the world transformed to a Life Purpose Message. Pastor Kyle recovered his Life Purpose Message during a time of mediation and contemplation. He learned that at the moment of birth, every soul in given a Life Purpose Message that expands into the world beyond the everyday situations. When a
After uncovering his Life Purpose Message, 'Listen for the Voice of God Within', he began to examine his intentions and outcomes. What he discovered is that when his life was in alignment with his Life Purpose, his life blossomed and expanded beyond his expectations. However, when he resisted his Life Purpose, his life spiraled into an abyss of hopelessness and depression.
He looked back on his life and realized he had been given several opportunities to take up the call and follow the word of God. The first time was at the age of 16. Fear and lack of commitment led Kyle away from the calling, and he distanced himself from participating in church. Attending church became an act and the fulfillment of his parent's wishes.
The next time came at 35. He had two children, ages 4 and 6, was divorced and a single parent. Prior to the divorce, he was a househusband, so when the divorce happened, he was unemployed. It was when he returned home that he first heard the Voice of God.
The next opportunity came at 49. By this time, Pastor Kyle had two grown boys and decided to move from his Washington DC area home to the beaches of Wilmington, NC.
My Life Purpose: Listen for the Voice of God within. It took intense reflection to uncover the actual meaning of my life purpose. After many failed attempts at living fully inside of my life purpose, I uncovered its simplicity. I am the source; meaning, as the source, if the Voice of God is missing in those with whom I come into contact, it is missing inside of me. Upon recognizing the inconsistency, it becomes my responsibility to find the Voice for myself which will expand the possibility for others. To clarify, I am not the Voice; I am the opening through which the dialogue may begin, and the Voice is your connection to your purpose, your reason for getting up in the morning, and that thing that has you smile in the mirror.
1 Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah; and he went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah.