Your Passion, Your Purpose, and Your Calling… And What Does it all REALLY Mean?!
By: Raychel Chumley
If I asked you what your passion, purpose, or calling is would you have a clear answer? Or would you mumble a few vague words and stare at your feet hoping I would just go away. Don’t feel bad. Most of us are completely clueless on how to answer that question. I was too! Until literally this morning when God dumped a fresh revelation right on my lap courtesy of dictionary.com.
I want to propose that we have no idea how to answer those kinds of questions because we have a skewed idea of what the words passion, purpose, and calling really mean. And by skewed I mean wrong. Like dead wrong. And it’s keeping us stuck.
For some reason we have this idea that our life’s passions, purpose, and calling, will come down from the clouds with angels singing and doves flying and we will just KNOW! Um. No. That’s not how it really words. Or, that a calling is some super spiritual call to do God’s word in ministry or the mission field that will fulfill all your passions and purpose. Not true. Maybe, you are like so many people who use the words interchangeable thinking they mean the same thing… they don’t!
Passion: [noun] any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
Purpose: [verb] (used with an object) to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself. To intend; design. To resolve (to do something).
Calling: [noun] vocation, profession, or trade.
What is Your Passion?
Simply put your passion is anything that makes you feel strong love or strong hate. Passions are NOUNS and are specific people, places, or things, not vague concepts. Here is an easy exercise I did to determine MY passions (I have more than one… so should you!)
- I started by writing my name, “Raychel” (told you, easy!)
- Then I wrote “Loves” or “Hates” behind it
- Then I started filling in the blanks behind those words
Here’s what I came up with:
- Raychel loves her children
- Raychel loves coffee
- Raychel loves the creative process
- Raychel loves justice
- Raychel hates domestic violence
- Raychel hates religious abuse in churches
- Raychel hates weak leadership *
- Raychel hates secrets & lies
*One word of advice, don’t write down the person you hate. Dig a little deeper and find the THING they did that makes you so angry. It’s not really them you hate. It’s the action. THAT’s your passion (But it’s totally OK if you bring up their face in your mind’s eye every time you read the sentence *wink*)
What is your Purpose?
Your purpose is a goal. That’s it. It’s something you want to do, have to do, need to do! Purpose is a verb. Your purpose should describe something YOU want! I used my list of passions to help me determine my purpose.
Now following the same concept as above I wrote:
- My name
- Then added the word “will”
- Filled in the blank
- Raychel will be the best mom she can be (from my love for my children)
- Raychel will write and create and dream (from my love for the creative process)
- Raychel will fight for justice (from my love for justice)
- Raychel will help other women leave abusive marriages (from my hate of domestic violence)
- Raychel will be a wise leader (from my hate of weak leadership)
- Raychel will tell the truth and expose secrets and lies (from my hate of secrets and lies)
The cool thing is that as God’s girls we are given unique purposes that were mandated on us from our momma’s womb! I just did a simple google search on Bible verses describing our purpose and came up with these 4 God-given purposes for my life:
- Raychel will proclaim His name (Exodus 9:16)
- Raychel will fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12)
- Raychel will go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Raychel will give glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
What is your Calling?
Your calling is simply your profession or job. It’s that simple! Really! It can tie back into your passion and purpose but it doesn’t have to. I repeat your calling & your passions and purposes are NOT related or mutually exhaustive.
It’s OK to have a job that pays the bills that doesn’t fall in line with your passion and purpose. Find something to be passionate about with the job you have! The truth is, most of my working life I haven’t had a job that directly lined up with my passion and purpose. I needed to make money, or I needed to stay home with the children while they were young, or I needed to go to school to finish my degree.
Your calling isn’t some super spiritual thing that always fits into your passions or purpose, whatever you find for your hands to do IS your calling. Sometimes your job or profession is for a season. It could be for a lifetime. Maybe it lines up with your passion and purpose. Often it doesn’t.
We put WAAAAAAY to much pressure on ourselves (and frankly let ourselves throw one to many pity parties) when we think our job isn’t a calling, or sucks, or isn’t worth our very best efforts, because it doesn’t follow our passions or purpose. Stop that! Your job is your calling. Your calling is your job!
Now following the same concept for calling as I did for passion and purpose, I wrote:
- My name
- Then added the word “is”
- Filled in the blank
- Raychel is a Life Coach
- Raychel is an Entrepreneur
- Raychel is a Writer
- Raychel is a Mother
If your job doesn’t line up with your passion and purpose you can sometimes feel like your missing something or spinning your wheels. Combat this by finding a hobby, or volunteering for an organization that does. There are many ways to live with passion and purpose that do not have to anything to do with your 9-5.
That’s it. I now know exactly what my passion, purpose, and calling is. And when you complete this exercise, you will too! Finally! You will know your passion, purpose, and calling and you will be able to make choices and decisions to help you best live them out!
Raychel Chumley is the Co-Founder and President of Big Blue Couch® Coaching, LLC. As a Life Coach, Author, and Speaker, Raychel is passionate about breaking bondage and speaking truth over women who find themselves in toxic relationships and broken circumstances. She is the author of the Bible Study, Unbroken: Embracing the Cracks that are Making You Whole. Raychel has a BS in Psychology and Biblical Counseling from Liberty University. She lives in North Dakota with her 3 children.