There is a place just around the bend that your heart has been searching for day and night. Nestled deep within the trees, it calls to you from the end of the road. It is a place where you long to be. A place where your soul will sing and your heart will be free. A place where you will not only find shelter but where you yourself have something to offer. A place where you feel full and satisfied as you cry out in sheer thankfulness, “This is what I was made for!”
Can you see the destination? That little house off in the distance offering fertile ground? Or has the winding road you have traveled taken such concentration that your attention has drifted off the path? Perhaps you have even stopped along the way thinking surely there is nothing better on the horizon, that you had better stop and take what you can get. For some it feels like being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, where you cannot even see the road in front of you. You live day to day hoping that tomorrow will be better, but you really do not even know what to long for. You feel stuck. You feel useless. So you quit trying and you give up.
For 42 years I swallowed the lies of the world. I took the bait, hook, line, and sinker. My life was characterized by an endless wandering around the outskirts of that little nestled house. And although I could see the hopeful lights flickering in the windows, beckoning me to come, I could not for the life of me figure out how to get home. Somewhere deep down inside, I knew I had something to offer. I knew there was a place where my heart would fit just right. A place where I would give and the world would yield. But just as soon as I would hope, a great fear would rise up within me, forbidding me to move, much less find purpose in life. The voices of shame and doubt left a deafening ringing in my ears, “Who are you to dream when your heart has been crushed? Who are you to think that you could offer anything to the world? How could such a mess of a person ever amount to anything?” I listened. I obeyed. And I gave up. The hunt for more was so utterly scary to me that I walked away from the visions of that little nestled house, I thought, never to return again.
Until one cool October day in 2015. For several months, faint whispers of hope had been tickling my ears. An unquenchable desire for purpose was welling up inside of me, and I knew it was time for me to really live. I began to sense that my entire life had been a dress rehearsal for what was to come. The hope for more filled me with excitement as I begged the Lord to make it my time. I begged to find the place in life where my heart would sing and where I would shout, “This is what I was made for!” But where in the world do you start when you have no idea where you are going? Although I had a pretty good understanding of my strengths, gifts, and passions, they all just swirled around in my head like a big mess of desire. Oh how I longed for help! I longed for someone to listen to my heart and to what I loved to do. I needed someone to listen to my history and my struggles and my hopes for the future. I needed someone to help me figure out how to solve what felt like a great big puzzle to me.
At the same time, in the heart of one of the most amazing people I know, God was placing a very special desire. pathFinder was birthed out of a God-given passion to help others find purpose in their lives, to help them wake up excited about living in a world where they are being used by God. I have had the privilege of watching Anna Nash as she has sought the Lord in every step of this book, listening and being very brave to do what He has called her to do, to say things the way He has said them to her, and to bring hope to those of us who have lost our way. By far the most beautiful part of the process to watch was the unveiling of God’s plan for pathFinder. I had a front row seat to the Father gently revealing His place, undergirding every single principle in this book. He made it abundantly clear to Anna that this was His plan, His book and His purpose. And you know what? The more God took over, the more Anna loosened her grip. I watched her heart grow in humility as she relinquished control, and I can still see her contagious smile as she delighted in knowing that God had chosen her to spread this message of hope.
You hold in your hand a book that was written from two little knees. A book that was written while praying. A book that was written out of obedience. I have watched lives changed, including my own, through this book. I have seen God use pathFinder as a tool to reveal and clarify the paths of those who earnestly seek Him.
Every day of my journey through pathFinder felt like Christmas in my heart. I woke up excited to see what the Lord would reveal to me that day. I longed to listen to His voice instead of to the voices of the world. I learned to see myself more like He sees me. I began to see my gifts the way others see them. And for the first time in my life, I began to walk in freedom! pathFinder became a safe place for me to throw off the constraints of the world to explore my deepest hopes and desires. It was finally okay to dream without worrying about what I should or should not be doing. I was changed. I am changed. But I am also still changing. This quest for more is a journey we will enjoy our entire lives. When I think about that, I get so excited! We can wake up to Christmas morning everyday as we continue our pursuit for purpose here on earth.
There is a way to find that little house off in the distance, the one beckoning you to come and thrive and flourish. And when you arrive, it will be just the right time. As you embark on this journey toward more, let God redeem the broken parts of your life and make them into something far more beautiful than you could ever have imagined. And I pray that in doing so, you will see the purpose in your own story that He has been writing since the day you were born. You have always had a story. You have always had hope, and you have always had purpose. Now it is time for you to begin to see yourself as the Father sees you. Your grand unveiling awaits.
Brook Duell, 2016
(For more of Brooks' writings go to: goldfeather.org)
Finally, the new edition of pathFinder is here! We are ready to get it into your hands as a wonderful tool to assist you in discovering new purposes and passion in your life. Go HERE to order pathFinder and read a bit more about what its all about.