On a Mission
John signed me up for a two-day LifePlan event at Forge, the ministry where he works. He told me that, of course, I didn’t have to go, but he wanted to reserve the spot until I decided for sure.
I didn’t want to go. The thought of mapping and plotting my life’s highlights and low lights and every light in between one more time, on one more graph made my shoulders slump, and I let out a sigh. Three such pieces of graphed paper have already made their way into a recycling bin. But no reason existed for me not to go.
It was two years ago. I filled out the pre-work packet and showed up at a large, oblong conference table with seven other people. We filled out more papers, listened, talked amongst ourselves, asked for guidance from the facilitators. I used my favorite pens when I took all those notes, wrote small to fit more in the spaces.
The entire process proved not only beneficial and illuminating, but it also brought healing. Patterns and themes emerged as I worked through each section. Those insights took me on a gentle walk, like following a string through the woods. I found treasures along the way, realities about myself and how I’m wired that add value to the world around me. I discovered baggage I was carrying, had been carrying over long years, that took life from me and others around me. Every exercise, chart, and movement led me closer toward a better and more complete understanding of myself.
The result, on the other side of the explore and out into the full light again, was a defining purpose statement. As participants got up and wrote their own missions on the wipe board, it was a beautiful display right there in dry erase color the truth of how we are uniquely and wonderfully made. No statement read alike. Each expression represented a kind of arrival, a pinnacle moment of seeing oneself with proper estimation.
The compilation of those two days are in a binder, which is on my bookshelf. I haven’t pulled it out to review for at least a year. Reading over the pages this evening reminds me how valuable it is to go back and see, to look over what I learned then and what continues to unfold. The manifestation of not only my purpose statement, but also the further exposure and uprooting of old lies—they just keep aiding and abetting growth, though painful at times.
For the next few Mondays, I plan to revisit portions of my purpose statement. The words contained inside it inform how I live day to day. For my own sake as much as anything, I want to keep it in front of me, train my eyes to see that way at all times.
If you are interested in learning more about the LifePlan process, you can go here. Or you can contact my friend, Nicole Sloane (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is a certified LifePlan facilitator.