Saturday, August 18, 2012

Planning for Purpose

Can you remember what your life looked like when you were 12-years-old? Now, I know for some of you that requires accessing memories that are much farther in the past than for others.

As a 12-year-old girl, I spent my days in middle school. I had my first male teacher. I took piano lessons and played softball. I wore braces on my teeth and friendship pins on my tennis shoes. I changed classes for each period, took computer class for the first time, and got contact lenses. I also won my first writing contest.

This week I’ve been thinking about how God prepares us and provides for us all throughout our lives for the purposes He desires for us to complete (Eph. 2:10).  God promises us that he does, indeed, have plans for us to accomplish (Jer. 29:11) and that He will pave the way for us and equip us with whatever we need (Eph. 4:11-12),(Heb. 13:20-21) and that it will all be for the good of His people and according to His will.

This week I interviewed a mother and daughter whose just-released  book, Time to Choose: Growing Up Under Hitler and Watching History Repeat Itself, chronicles the mother’s upbringing in war-torn Eastern Europe during the first half of the twentieth century and her immigration to the United States. As a 12-year-old in Yugoslavia, Hilda’s family thrived as farmers because they knew how to work hard. She tended the chickens, herded the cows, and gathered vegetables from the garden and fruit from the trees. She helped her mother cook for their large family and hired help. She also began life as a refugee and took over the responsibility to care for herself and her family.

What struck me as I read the book and then talked with this remarkable woman, was the way God prepared her for the tasks He would set before her over the years.  He equipped her with the work ethic to provide for her family, even as a young teenager. He readied her to journey across Europe and on to America. He trained her to look to Him for every need she had and to obey even when it didn’t make sense. And eighty years ago, He placed her as the often-unnoticed baby of the family, where she frequently heard and saw things that would later become the basis for this call-to-action book.

So, what about you? How has God prepared you for the life you're living now? What in your past prepared you for your future? When you look back at your childhood, what clues do you see that you would be a writer? What events—good, bad, or ugly—is God using now to bring about His will for your life or those in your circle of influence?

*If you'd like to read my Amazon book review of Time to Choose, please click here.

Nikki Studebaker Barcus



  1. Wonderful post, Nikki. I can definitely see in hindsight how God prepared me for the life I've led so far. And now I find myself on a path I did not choose, but that God has chosen and I it's to where He wants me to help others. It's never about us. This book looks fascinating. I'll be checking it out.

    1. Thanks, Karla. And yes, check the book out. I am reading it to my kids after dinner every night (ages 10,12,14). They need to hear about what it is like to live without freedom. They need to see how God guides us and equips us all throughout our lives--not just when we are ready to choose a career. I hope many will check it out.

  2. Very nice, Nikki. I too was the last child and learned things before conscience memory that have prepared me for life. I'll have to get the book. I've grands who are 8,10,12 and pretty privileged.