Grace Among Us

032 - Prioritizing Purpose: Grace's role in the Pursuit of Purpose

November 27, 2023 Carri Richard and Ebony C. Gilbert
Grace Among Us
032 - Prioritizing Purpose: Grace's role in the Pursuit of Purpose
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today we talk all about Prioritizing your Purpose and how Grace plays a big part in the carrying out of your purpose.  In today's culture often what is left out on the purpose journey is Grace's Provision. Purpose is the assignment and there is help along the way. This journey isn't a smooth ride, but will pave the way to personal growth, joy, and impact. We'll dissect the prevailing culture of instant gratification, and emphasize on the need for patience and persistence, even when it involves discomfort. Remember, true purpose might not always feel comfortable, but it is a calling that demands your commitment and resilience. So, buckle up, and let's learn to embrace discomfort in our pursuit of a purposeful life!

In the next part of our discourse, we'll probe deeper into the various facets of purpose - provision, protection, prevention, and most importantly, persistence. Through personal anecdotes, we'll illustrate how staying true to our purpose often requires counterintuitive choices and prioritizing it above our comfort. We'll also delve into our motives, encouraging you to identify what drives you and not let fear or negativity be the compass.

We'd love to meet you in person! Come Join Us in Heaven's Net. A 3-day retreat March 13 - 15, 2024 - find out more by clicking HERE.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Grace Among Us, the podcast where we unearth the many faces and places of grace and share stories of the power of grace in our human lives. Our desire is that this will inspire you to see grace in your own life and share it with others.

Carri Richard:

Hello, hello, good morning, afternoon, evening, Whenever you're hearing this, my name's Carri Richard. I am a mindset coach. I help people make space and enjoy the ride, especially those high achievers out there, and I am here today with my dear friend, ebony Gilbert, and I bet you all can guess what we're going to talk about. So hi, Ebony.

Ebony Gilbert:

Hello Carri, how are you?

Carri Richard:

I'm great. How are you?

Ebony Gilbert:

I'm good, I'm ready to talk about grace. Let's talk about it.

Carri Richard:

Awesome. Who are you Ebony?

Ebony Gilbert:

I am Ebony C Gilbert. I'm from a small town in Florida, north Florida, called Fernadina Beach. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I work in the healthcare industry and then I try to find time to talk about grace as much as possible.

Carri Richard:

I love it. I love it. So, ebony, we had started this conversation before we hit record and we're talking about purpose and it's kind of a buzzword these days Find your purpose. Do you know your purpose? Are you living your purpose? And there's many schools of thought around purpose of like, "if I'm living my purpose, like everything is unicorns and rainbows, or doors are flying open or it's. You know, if it's not a I hear this if it's not a hell, yes, it's a hell no. And there's a lot of, there's a lot of focus on how to be intentional, I think, is another way of saying it. Here's this other school of how to be intentional, and it's. We're in the middle. I'm going to say a lot of words for a minute. We're in the middle of a very noisy existence with cell phones and notifications. When I started work, we typed letters on a typewriter, we put it in an envelope and we put it in the mail and then we waited, and now we get thousands of these messages a day. So I think there there's a lot of need, or a lot of hunger, or a lot of desire for this groundedness of purpose.

Ebony Gilbert:

So Groundedness of purpose. I agree with you.

Carri Richard:

So I'll tee up, a question for you. So, let's look through grace glasses at purpose. I find that purpose is not comfortable. It doesn't always feel good, so I'd love to talk about that and see what your thoughts are.

Ebony Gilbert:

I agree. I agree that it doesn't always feel good, and you know, the first not the first, but somewhere near number one. First thing you want to do is, once you get really uncomfortable is, "I don't belong here, this isn't the right place I'm supposed to be in, the right space I'm supposed to be in, because I shouldn't feel this way. I think, at this point in my life, I know, at this point in my life, I know enough and I've seen enough to know that that doesn't. It's not congruent with real life at all and it's easier. So there's focus in this priority, right, we're talking about this at work right now. It's easy to focus on a thing that feels good or, in some situations, the thing that feels the worst. You go to the extreme, you go to the extreme thing, the outlier, right, and you make that the priority. But what is the thing you should be making the priority is purpose at all times, whether it feels good, doesn't feel good, whether it's uncomfortable, comfortable, and I don't see that as being your choice. That's what you're called to do, and we take it upon ourselves to choose where we want to focus our attention on, based on how we feel. And that was a lot of words, I just use. We've got to use a lot of words today, so we're circling the wagons, I think we're getting the mandate. Purpose is the mandate. That is the default priority. Everything else we may or may not choose, based on where we want to place our focus, based on how we feel in the moment. I dare to say that Jesus was pretty uncomfortable on the cross.

Carri Richard:

I don't think he was. I know he wasn't real happy about it.

Ebony Gilbert:

He didn't feel good, so what greater purpose.

Carri Richard:

I like what you said about um, it's not, it's, it's a calling, like my purpose here. I didn't make up, I didn't make up, you didn't do it. No, and it found me, but I have to listen for it. And uh, you know, we are in the world of instant gratification, ultimate convenience. I can sit here and I can order pretty much anything I want, and I live in the country, anything I want and at some point in the next day or two it'll be sitting at my doorstep (Ebony - and if you pay a premium, you could probably get it in two hours). I'm not. I'm in the country, but I've lived in those places. I have lived in those places where I could get it immediately, right. So we'r, "e in this landscape of hey, if it doesn't feel good or if it's not working like ski battle, get moving do go through something else, and what happens is we get so scattered that there's there, we're not being persistent with our purpose and that shifting the priority and, and although being on on purpose can be uncomfortable, the discomfort comes from the growth within it and it also is like uh, uh, directly in proportion to the joy that can come with it. And so for anybody who know what their purpose is or they're getting real familiar with what they're being called to do, and it gets uncomfortable. Please stick around, (Ebony - don't run) like stay for the rest of the show. Uh, literally, stay for the rest of the podcast. But also in a bigger perspective stay, stay on purpose. So, uh, you brought up some other, like two other " that were interesting. So protection and provision, and we can get really caught up in trying to do those things ourselves, like protecting, protecting ourselves from things that are uncomfortable, and provision meaning I gotta go out get it, gotta go get mine. I gotta make it happen exactly and the grace is remembering that it's not all you, it's not about you. This isn't, I do it myself now. That's not to say that you don't put feet on your faith and move. Take action, guided steps we talk about that too all the time yeah, but Ebony had an interesting story about. Well, do you want to tell the story?

Ebony Gilbert:

About the sheep. Yeah, sure, and this you know, this isn't, it's not an original story, okay, but they're not. They're not taking credit for the story. It is real life and I've heard others talk about it before, but it came to my mind this weekend. Sheep have shepherds because sheep are not known to be the smartest animals. Their followers they follow, they're not leaders. Okay, this is common knowledge. But sheep on the hillside of farming villages in the Middle East and throughout the world, they will wander off into things that don't make a lot of sense, that's not intuitive to the well-being of the animal, such as they will stick their head in a hole where snakes live. That's right now, and there's not a sheep community where they have counsel and say, hey, don't do that anymore. They don't do that, and that may sound strange, but there are actually some animals who learn from other animals. Right, we're sparse with the animals and they say, oh, don't go over there. Elephants are notorious for having this kind of behavior chimps, things of that sort. Well, sheep don't do any of that. So sheep will stick their head in a hole with a snake. So the shepherd knows this. The shepherd has observed the behavior of his sheep and he knows that it's his job to protect and provide for his sheep. So what he does is he puts oil, a certain type of oil, on the face of the sheep, and this oil Clevers the face of the sheep. And then, when the sheep sticks his head in the hole to see what's in the hole, we know what's in the hole. We know how this story ends the snake doesn't come near the sheep because the snake is repelled by the oil on the face of the sheep. So now the shepherd has created a situation in which he is taking his observation of his flock of sheep, who he knows are going to behave in a way that's counter to their well-being.

Carri Richard:

But in their nature.

Ebony Gilbert:

In their nature. It's in their nature. They're not trying, they're not suicidal. The sheep are not suicidal. It's in their nature to do this thing, this behavior Shepherd knows this. He puts the oil on their face. They put their head in. The sheep goes and knows exactly what he knows it's going to do. It Sticks his head in his hole. The snake is repelled and now the sheep is not harmed, even though it's doing behavior that would justifiably harm it. So the sheep has a purpose to follow. It's his job to follow the shepherd. It's going to do some other things along the way, because it's in its nature. The shepherd has a job to provide and protect, which it did by putting the oil on the face of the sheep. So go with me here. We are the sheep. We are the sheep and we're going to do things that are counterintuitive and we're going to do things that could potentially be harmful, that we know is harmful. Maybe we don't know, we don't. Who knows it's harmful one way or another. And we have a shepherd who graces us with oil and this oil protects us and this oil keeps us out of trouble when we should give what we deserve by putting our head in that situation to begin with, and I was thinking about this and I was uncomfortable with the fact that, are we just as simple minded as sheep? And I thought, if we're talking about how we compare to the great shepherd, yes, we are. Yes, we are, and it is our job to follow the shepherd. And he does his job by protecting us and gracing us in situations where we should get what we deserve. And he graces us to, not, he gives us mercy and grace and protects us. So we do our job and follow him to do his part and grace us through it. So, no matter what hole you stick your head in, no matter what crap you get yourself into, the anointing, that anointing oil on your face, the presence of the shepherd will protect you through it. And you and I were talking about this before the call, because there's situations in both of our lives. Right, and we're not going to get any given moment in time, we're doing something Mexican, right here at home.

Carri Richard:

Yes, because it's our nature.

Ebony Gilbert:

It's our nature, yes, curiosity we're trying to be the one who's providing and making it work or we're trying to be the protector and it's our job to stay on path and follow and stay in that purpose and then let him do the rest. And it helped me because there's a lot of pressure to protect and provide when that's not the role you're supposed to be in.

Carri Richard:

Yes, and that is like, if I'm doing those things, I am in doubt. I'm in doubt of what I'm doing, where I'm at, what's going to happen, what the future looks like. I'm sticking my head in a hole. I had no idea that they did that with sheep, with the oil, and what came to mind is the sheep don't know the purpose of that oil, nor do they need to? which is the exact same thing. Like I don't have to understand, I don't have to understand how I'm being provided for, what the protection is, and most of the time, I can't understand.

Ebony Gilbert:

Me too.

Carri Richard:

There are things going on that I can't see, I can't understand, and when I am in my right place in the process, in the whole picture, then all that protection, all that provision is available to me and my place is to be on purpose and have faith that I am not, that I am not at the helm here. I want to add another P, you ready?

Ebony Gilbert:

Let's do it.

Carri Richard:

Prevention.

Ebony Gilbert:

Talk about it.

Carri Richard:

I stick my head in a hole when I try to prevent something. I think it's a form of protection. We could really they could go together, but there are times fewer than there used to be, but I find myself saying something or acting something or not doing something, in the hopes of preventing something from happening in the future.

Ebony Gilbert:

How does that work out?

Carri Richard:

It never works out and often I'm trying to think of an example because I have a feeling. You may say what's an example? Oh yeah, it's coming. An example is saying something in the hopes that somebody's feelings aren't hurt, trying to protect them or prevent them from being hurt by some action, event, and I'm actually robbing them of their experience. I'm also trying to play God, which it's not my job.

Ebony Gilbert:

Can I ask you a question?

Carri Richard:

Oh, please.

Ebony Gilbert:

How do you know when it's appropriate to say that thing or not to say it? Like, how do you differentiate between I just got to get this off my chest and I'm being told to speak?

Carri Richard:

The difference is the motive, and I can feel it these days.

Ebony Gilbert:

Okay.

Carri Richard:

If my motive is really, I just don't want this person to be mad at me, I need to keep my mouth shut. If it's hey, I was hurt by that statement. Or just to say, just to speak, what's so, it's different. Does that, does that help?

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely Makes sense. So we have purpose provision, protection, prevention.

Carri Richard:

Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

Priority. We got a lot of peas today. You want to add another one in? You got another one.

Carri Richard:

I do Persistence.

Ebony Gilbert:

Persistence. I knew you had another one.

Carri Richard:

So the priority is to be persistent on our purpose and to not get into protection provision or prevention.

Ebony Gilbert:

That's good, that's good.

Carri Richard:

That felt good to say.

Ebony Gilbert:

That's good. You know, it's so easy to sit here and have a conversation on a podcast. I don't think either of us are implying that this is easy or that there's some magic wand that just makes it happen all of a sudden. I think it's something that we're actively learning every day and we practice it. Practice, now the thing, is something you have to practice. You have to practice being on purpose. Practice being on purpose. Okay, practice of being on purpose. Yeah, it's not automatic. It's not a light bulb switch.

Carri Richard:

No, no, it's not, and awareness of it is the beginning of the journey. With it, I'm still going to stick my head in a hole.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to do it because it's my nature.

Carri Richard:

I'm human. That's another thing. I got to let myself be human and when I'm aware of all of this, of where my place is, there's number eight in my purpose. I become aware of when I stick my head in a hole a lot faster and I give myself grace.

Ebony Gilbert:

Absolutely the sticking your head in the hole might be sticking your foot in your mouth. It could be a number of things you know whatever the sticking your head in the hole is for you, whatever counterintuitive behavior that you're doing on any given day, I know what mine are. You know what yours are.

Carri Richard:

Oh, I want to list some for a second.

Ebony Gilbert:

Transparent moment let's give it.

Carri Richard:

Yes, Complicating things. When I think I have to do extra the words that come out of my mouth, I might say something. If I'm in fear, anger any of that, the things that come out of my mouth usually aren't the best choice of words. Yeah, I just went blank. Oh, I got one.

Ebony Gilbert:

Avoidance, the literal sense of sticking your head in the hole.

Carri Richard:

Yes, la, la, la, la la. It's not happening. You're going to put your hand up.

Ebony Gilbert:

Is this happening? When you ignore this and this is going to go away, today is Thursday. By Saturday, it won't be an issue. People will forget and will move on. No, it doesn't work.

Carri Richard:

These are not the droids you're looking for.

Ebony Gilbert:

It doesn't work. It doesn't have to be. You know, oh, I cussed out somebody at the grocery store. It doesn't have to be something horribly egregious. It could be. It could be the things that we do and make excuses for that aren't as big as other things, you know. You know what they are, I know what they are.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, another thing could be being stingy.

Ebony Gilbert:

With your time, with your gifts, with your resources, with your attention, with your money with any resource and with your time. Absolutely With your gifts.

Carri Richard:

Yes, please and thank you. Yes, don't hide that light under a bushel.

Ebony Gilbert:

Ah, you got to let your light shine, so, whatever it may be, however, you're sticking your head in the hole. Thank God for the oil. Yes, it keeps my enemies away.

Carri Richard:

And that's the grace, that grace of seeing that you're being carried through things, that there are resources, that are things that are happening around you that are outside of your orchestration for your good, and they're always there and it's it's putting the glasses on to be able to see it, believing that it's true and staying on purpose and letting the other stuff not be your focus.

Ebony Gilbert:

That's good. Prioritize your purpose.

Carri Richard:

Yes.

Ebony Gilbert:

That's good, all right, did I? Did we answer the question, Carri?

Carri Richard:

I think we answered the question. Do you have would you like to wrap us up?

Ebony Gilbert:

Oh, it's so much. It's so much, it's good. I almost had a part two. There's so many things going through my head. I'll say this. I'll just make it personal. I find myself in situations that are very uncomfortable and I I won't go into detail I find myself in situations that are uncomfortable where I'm thinking it's time for me to move on. It's time for me to move on because this, this would not feel this awful if this is where I was supposed to be. And I had to challenge myself and say that's? Who is that talking? Is that Ebony? Or is that me hearing from God? Because he never promised me comfort, he never said you'll know it's me if it's comfortable. I can't find that scripture anywhere. So I had to challenge myself and realize that it takes more than just my comfort level or how I feel to discern if this is purpose. So I would encourage everyone to dig a little bit deeper, just a little bit deeper, just a little bit beneath the surface. If you're feeling yourself where I find myself all the time and saying that it wouldn't feel this way if it was right and I've heard people say that to me if it was right, I wouldn't feel this way. And what way is that? Because there are some things that are just uncomfortable sometimes and you got to go through it. Persist, persist. The greater the reward, the greater the purpose and sometimes the greater the discomfort Persist, and that's helped me. That's not always the case. It's not a band aid, it's not a blanket prescription for how to get through life, none of that stuff. But there are moments for me in my experience where I've known that part of the plan. The purpose for me was to persist in spite of the discomfort, in spite of the present feeling, and leave the provision and the protection of me throughout that uncomfortable space to God, and there has not been a time or situation where he has not protected me and provided for me when I remained on the purpose. So that's. I hope that encourages someone, because I have to remind myself of that sometimes when I forget which is Thursday today. But let Him grace you through it, let Him carry you through it, provide for you. He is the protector, he will provide you. Stay where you're supposed to be.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely. I got one last thing and I got a dog barking , so excuse me, Buster. Yes, that's Buster.

Ebony Gilbert:

Buster wants to talk about protection and provision.

Carri Richard:

I think he's trying to protect the house as a herd dog.

Ebony Gilbert:

That's his purpose.

Carri Richard:

Exactly, and when I'm on purpose, I'm growing, and growth is uncomfortable. So I like often I will say to clients that resistance is uncomfortable. If you're growing, If you're on purpose, you're in that the resistance is in proportion to your purpose. So if you were meeting with a lot of resistance, often it means you're right on track.

Ebony Gilbert:

What's the thing you say? Oh, I've heard you say it Divine discontent.

Carri Richard:

Yes, yeah, that's the one Think.

Ebony Gilbert:

That's the thing. So, guys, tell us what you think. What are your thoughts? Feel free to disagree. You have to know what you think about it. How does purpose make you feel? How do you connect with it? How do you react when you're just miserably uncomfortable but you think you're in the right place? What next?

Carri Richard:

Yes.

Ebony Gilbert:

Persist yes.

Carri Richard:

That's what's next Persist. Well, ebony, again, thank you, this has been good. We got eight peas out of it. I think there probably is a part two.

Ebony Gilbert:

What are the P's?

Carri Richard:

Purpose.

Ebony Gilbert:

Purpose.

Carri Richard:

Protection.

Ebony Gilbert:

Protection Provision.

Carri Richard:

Prevention.

Ebony Gilbert:

Prevention, persistence.

Carri Richard:

Persistence Priority.

Ebony Gilbert:

Priority. There was one more. Okay, I think that's it. Well, if you guys think of it, put it in the comments.

Carri Richard:

That's the test for the day.

Ebony Gilbert:

Or if you think of other great Ps, let us know. We'll put them in our little word map with all the P's relating to this.

Carri Richard:

Okay, all right.

Ebony Gilbert:

Thank you, my friend, thank you too All right Grace out.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know. We love to hear from you and share it with a friend. Also, please be sure to subscribe so you're notified when a new episode is posted. We hope you're leaving with another pointer to grace, a new perspective that will light it up in your own life. Until next time, be well, be bold, be kind to yourself and be on the lookout.

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