Almost two decades ago, Katie Brazelton found herself divorced and suddenly devoid of the roles she'd used to define her life. This agonizing transition—and the purposelessness that ensued—left her in an emotional free fall, wondering if "the only logical life purpose [she] had left was shopping" for clothes to compensate for a depression-triggered weight loss.
Slowly and painfully, Katie began to recover a sense of purposeful living after a life-changing encounter with Mother Teresa during a 1988 trip to Calcutta. As a result of her long journey of spiritual growth and discovery, outlined in Pathway to Purpose (Zondervan), Katie realized her call to mentor other searching women. A licensed minister at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California and author of the Pathway to Purpose series, Katie has helped thousands discover their church ministry and life purpose, and she's now training others to do the same. So if you're wondering about your place in this world, here's what Katie has to say to you. —The Editors
Why are you so passionate about women living lives of purpose?
Because for years after my divorce, I didn't. The angst of purposelessness almost tore me apart. But one of the most important components of my healing was learning that "finding purpose" is a universal heart cry. I wasn't alone in yearning for a life that had significance!
If God has a purpose for us, why do we often feel as though we're simply going through the motions of living?
That's because when we're in "robot mode," we let busyness, noise, fear, or impure motives drive out that purpose. We guilt ourselves into doing the hard work of becoming holy in the day-to-day grind instead of experiencing the reward of fulfilling the reason God put us on earth!
I know I used to be more concerned with religious to-do lists and endless faith-driven obligations than with unearthing the buried passion God instilled in me. There was a time when I'd routinely ask myself, Am I happy? I was so unhappy, I couldn't even get the question out before I started sobbing.
We women need to discover our purpose in life for two reasons. First, fulfilling our purpose gives glory to God. Second, it releases us from the captivity of hopelessness and despair.