Purpose Uses Our Talents and Skills

No one likes to fail. Falling flat on your face can cause bruises, and I’m not talking about black and blue marks seen on the outside. Wounds to the self-esteem are far more difficult to heal.

My first marriage ended in divorce. My choice, which led to overwhelming guilt. I’d always believed that Christians stayed together—until I couldn’t. 

First priority was to make sure my daughters were okay and getting all the love and support they needed. The second was getting my life in order, and that included figuring out what direction I would take on this new path. Feeling a little beat up and misunderstood by people who were hurt by my decision, there was a driving need to find something that would help me heal, feed my soul, and make a difference in other people’s lives. In my desperation, I made some mistakes. I’ll share one—but only one today.

 I’ve been drawn to the arts since I was a wee child, and over the years I’ve been connected through music, theater, painting, and writing. At the time of the divorce, I was involved with a teen drama program at my church as an assistant director—more of an administrative assistant/youth leader. I loved working with the teens and watching them discover their talents as we pulled off productions of Godspell and Narnia.

A romantic at heart, I came up with the brilliant idea of developing an after-school drama program for inner city kids. Peter, the director for Narnia, loved the idea and we began to research. I talked to a co-worker and several people in my church who were interested in helping us start such a program, and we formed a “board.”

Wise Peter spoke to pastors in Seattle who were honest with him. Although they welcomed our ideas, they said wed fail unless we moved into one of their neighborhoods. Without taking that action, we’d be viewed as “white-folk do-gooders” and not be accepted.

All of a sudden what had started out as a simple drama program mushroomed into ideas for starting a charter school. The board met for some months before everything fizzled out. Why? Because I was in over my head. I had no clear direction; no amount of research could prepare me to start a school; therefore, I couldn’t lead them. What was I thinking?

I felt defeated and embarrassed for having brought enthusiastic people together only to see everything end in a complete flop.

My good friend Adam stepped in as the director/producer for the teen drama program at church. He let me try my hand at directing—I was awful! He was talented. Adam, a visionary, wanted us to use original work. So his mother (another close friend) and I co-wrote two full length plays, which the teens performed in our church and other locations.

Those experiences brought me back to the passion I have for the written word. You see, I believe in the power of story to change people’s lives. God reminded me that I had gifts I wasn’t using because I was trying to be someone else—and in the process, I was miserable.

By choosing to pursue a writing career, I've been able to fill a creative need within, receive positive feedback from people who have been touched by my work, and make friends I never would have met otherwise. Through launching an editing service, I've been able to mentor other writers and work from home. Truly, a dream come true!

Purpose uses our talents and skills.

It’s important to step out of our comfort zone and try new things. Those experiences can provide exciting discoveries. Don’t be so afraid to fail that you never try.

God does have a unique plan for your life. Theres no need to be a copycat. When trying to find purpose, consider the passions and skills you already have or want to improve.

I’ve share one of my stories. Now it’s your turn. What have you learned about yourself from mistakes made in the past? How are you using your talents and skills to find purpose?



  1. I love these posts, Dawn. Thanks for the encouragement that 1) it's okay to fail; 2) trying new things may lead to failure, but refer to #1 above; and 3) we may not land on our calling the first try. This is a fantastic new focus for your blog! :D

    1. Thanks, Annette! I really appreciate your comments and support! Hoping and praying that this new direction is not a "fail." Haha! ;) But also resting in the fact that I'm surrounded by people who are there to encourage me along the way.


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