It’s late fall in the year of 1992 and a young couple is pregnant with their second child. Like with any pregnancy, there are routine tests to monitor the baby’s growth and development. One of those routine tests came back with a negative mark. The doctor explained to the couple that they could perform more tests to get a better idea of what that result meant but he diagnosed that the baby’s spinal cord and brain were not properly developing at that stage in the pregnancy. The doctor shared with the young couple that their baby would not have a normal life and he recommended that they terminate the pregnancy.
That young couple knew that despite what the doctor said, despite what the test showed, God had created their baby on purpose and with a purpose. That baby was born on April 16, 1993 at a healthy 7 pounds, 15 ounces and 19 inches long and they named her, Katie Beth Cummins. That baby was me.
Jeremiah 1:5 (the Message) says, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.” Just like God had a calling and purpose on Jeremiah’s life, God had a purpose for my life. Before He even shaped me in my mother’s womb, He knew everything about me from my name, to my love of dancing, to my need to stare at the ocean at least once a week. He knew me and had plans for my life.
God has a plan and a purpose for all of us—we have to choose to lean into that purpose. For a season, I did not lean in to God’s calling on my life. I was actually walking in the opposite direction pursuing a career in physical therapy. I kept feeling a tug to move into full time ministry and working for the local church, but I kept trying to ignore it. I did not think that I was good enough to be a children’s pastor. I had a similar argument with God that Moses had in Exodus 3-4. In Exodus 3:11, Moses says, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God responded in verse 12, “I will be with you…” Later in Exodus 4:10, “But Moses pleaded with the Lord, ‘O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.’” God responded in verses 11-12, “Then the Lord asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.’”
I remember driving down a back road and having this same argument with God. Who am I? Who is Katie? But God told me the same thing He told Moses, “I will be with you.” Ok, that’s great God but let’s be honest for a minute, I word vomit in normal conversation, how am I going to effectively teach kids about the hope we have in your Son in a way that they will understand? God, again told me what He told Moses, “I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” You see, God has a purpose for my life but He does not expect me to live out that purpose alone. He goes with me, but I had to choose to lean in and stop arguing with Him and let him work through me.
Lisa Bevere writes in her book, Without Rival, “It frees me to live out my calling and purpose and stop focusing on my deficiencies.” I believe that a lot of us are in that spot together. We are all driving down that back road arguing with God and pointing out what we think are our deficiencies but when we release those deficiencies, it allows us to walk in our God given purpose…
I am created on purpose, with purpose. And so are you.