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A Stranger To Purpose

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Growing up in church and learning to have a walk with God instilled in me a desire to serve and be used at a very young age. And this isn’t a bad thing. Since I can remember I never really had a desire to achieve a career or a big academic degree. For me, it was simple. God and ministry! But what happens when you become a Stranger To Purpose?

I always had a heart for singing for God. My father was a worship leader when I was very young and I always wanted to follow in that. I also loved kids so as I became older I discovered a desire for children’s ministry.

When I was about 10 years old I started working in the children’s ministry at my church. At 12, I joined the youth praise team and at 16, I became a Sunday school teacher of my own class. To me, it felt special being a young teacher at my church. All these things made me feel wanted and important.

Honestly, I thought I was killing this whole purpose thing and I was proud of myself for proving my “worth”. Or at least what I came to think was my worth.

Over the years God continued to use me while I continued to be available, eager to learn and grow. I did my absolute best to be faithful, respectful, take constructive criticism modestly, and be accountable. I wanted to make my Pastor, my mentor, my family, and God proud. Little did I know I became so fixated on doing the right thing that I was afraid that if I messed up I would disappoint them and be seen as less than. I adopted this attitude of perfection. Subconsciously, I started to live as if everything was a checklist. Let’s name it, a checklist of SELF-WORTH.

This was my mind 24/7 basically.

“Always be on your best behavior, don’t goof off during practice.”

“Take correction and apply to show you listen.”

“Only speak when spoken to.”

“Show you can lead by taking initiative.”

Now at my core, I’ve always been a do the right thing person, a rule follower, and a perfectionist. Somewhere along the line, I became excessive, I thought my value was based on how proud and how much I pleased those around me. The danger in that thought process created a fear in me.

Without knowing it, it became a part of me and it has taken years for me to recognize that.

Approximately a year later I was beginning to struggle with feeling connected. Most of us at some point struggle with fitting in but this was deeper. I only felt connected and wanted when I was teaching a class or leading a Wednesday night worship service. It was in those moments that I felt valuable. And to bring up my struggles is not me blaming or trying to disrespect the church I attend. It’s to share my journey and walk with God with you!

Everyone struggles and church hurt is real. Finding ways to discuss struggles to help someone else through theirs, should be ok. Because the church is in fact made of imperfect people. Including you and me. And, that’s ok too!

As time progressed my family started struggling. Which only became difficult for me as well. As a family, there were things we were hurting from and dealing with. We felt abandoned and alone. Despite how we felt and the things the enemy tried to do to make things worse, we did the best we could do to keep going, to be positive, and unified.

One year at our district’s family camp, my church was asked to do the worship service and I got to be a part of this opportunity. I was excited and eager but that night I let my Pastor and his wife down. I felt so disappointed and ashamed. It was minor in the scope of things but I still felt disappointed in myself and began to beat myself up on the inside.

“You failed, Samantha.”, kept rolling around in my brain. I tried not to cry. All I could do was apologize.

As time went by I was used less. I wasn’t a part of the adult praise team and I began to think it was because of the mistake I had made…even though I really didn’t know. It was just a lie that I began to believe out of self-condemnation. Then the youth praise team was put on hold. After that, due to flooding, Sunday school was put on hold. So, I wasn’t teaching either. So it began to feel like one thing after another. And even though those things had nothing to do with me, my self-worth plummeted.


TOSSED to the waste side,


and LOST.

When things felt bad enough, the enemy decided to keep having fun. I wrestled with these feelings, accusations, rumors, and lies that surfaced concerning me. I became devastated. And I could have and probably should have said something but feeling alone I said nothing and went through the motions.

Feeling wounded on the inside, I no longer felt a part of my church.

As a result, I started to question God.

What did I do? Where did I go wrong?

What could I do? I’ve always done the best I could, why was this happening to me! Was I not good enough anymore? Did he not want me?

Sadly, the church didn’t feel like a place I wanted to be anymore. I felt like a number. Without purpose, it was difficult being there. While I tried to focus on the presence of God and the powerful messages preached, I felt…hopeless.

There were so many prayers, so many nights I cried myself to sleep because I no longer felt I had value. I believed this LIE that I had let God down and that he found someone better. Because of this, I also began to lose my desire to sing and create.

I became a slave to these thoughts;

“If I’m not good enough for God anymore then who will ever want me?”

“No matter how hard I try to show my worth, people always give up on me, people always leave. First my dad, then my friends, then so and so, now…my church.”

This season of my life became the scariest and most challenging place. I went from knowing the biggest part of my life, to not feeling a thing and I didn’t know where to go. And being transparent I still don’t understand everything that took place. And that’s ok. Because trusting in God sometimes means never knowing.

Through all of this, there is one thing I am learning, that in order for me to truly find my worth in Christ, I had to first become a STRANGER TO PURPOSE.

So, I know my story, healing and testimony aren’t over. And neither is this!

(to be continued)

UPDATE 2022: Continuation: "I am Beautifully Unfinished"

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