I’m not exactly sure when it started, but there came a point in my life when I had a growing sense of purpose. There was something I was supposed to be doing, something the world needed from me. I envisioned it as a pair of shoes that were custom made to fit me and only me and they were waiting for me to step into them but I had no idea what they looked like or where they would take me.

I was aware of two schools of thought on choosing a career, the “do what you love and the money will follow school” and the “pursue money in the hope that someday you’ll be in a position to do what you love school”. I took the latter path. I entered the workforce in whatever job I could get and worked my way up as the winds of change and opportunity presented themselves. I got to a point where I had money, a house, a car, the clothes, but I wasn’t happy in my job. I loved the people I worked with, but I had no passion for the products my company sold. At some point in all the years of working, I had sold out for security. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of reasons to justify this decision. After all, I had a child to support and I was single, but there was some part of me that knew I had placed money before my own contentment and peace of mind.

This is a common situation in our society and workforce. It happens with millions of people who work for years in jobs they don’t really care about, sometimes 60-80 hours a week. This is 2/3’s and more of our lives. Few people find satisfaction and fulfillment breaking their backs to fill someone else’s coffers. After working 30 years or more, people are lucky to walk away with a pension and lifetime medical, and a gold watch to top it off.

Some people start questioning this approach to work and life, it’s often called a mid-life crisis, the culmination of years of dissatisfaction and lack of fulfillment. They start questioning what life is really about and their place in it. More and more people are looking for a sense of purpose in their work and their time on earth, feeling the need to leave the world a better place for their having been here. They’re looking for their “pair of shoes”.

Security is, of course a real issue. Especially times like our current economic crisis where fear is widespread and rampant. People are losing their jobs whether or not they were ready to leave them. The tough questions become foremost in our lives, how will I survive? How will I take care of my family and my obligations? It’s not just about security however there is also fear of the unknown. Walking into a future that is uncertain. What will I be called to do?

During the last year I worked in a corporate job I was struggling with these questions. It was the most stressful year of my working life to that point. I was the only single mom in a department where working long hours was the norm and working from home was not an option. I took some classes on creativity and writing, looking for and hoping for answers. As a result, I came to the realization that I needed to leave my job and step onto that path of uncertainty. A month later when I got laid off I realized I was being called to let go of my vision of security and take a leap of faith and trust God to lead me every day, every step. I had asked and prayed for a shift and here it was. You know that old saying, “be careful what you ask for, you might get it”. I can tell you from experience, it seldom looks like what you envisioned.

What does it mean to take a leap of faith? In the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, one of the requirements of the knight’s path to the Holy Grail was a “leap of faith”. Indiana came to a great chasm he couldn’t leap across but when he took a step without knowing where his foot would land, the bridge appeared. This is indeed how faith works in my life. For years I had succeeded through life entirely on my own capabilities, skills and talents, but now I was facing insecurity and the unknown. The leap I was contemplating was wider than my own strength alone could manage. Faith requires a belief in something greater than me, something that can bridge the gap between where I am right now and where I need to go. Faith has been the bridge.

Applying faith to this situation meant I needed to trust the voice of intuition inside of me and keep taking steps forward doing the next right thing. Within a week of being laid off, I learned about life coaching. It felt right, so I researched and signed up for a coaching school. In coaching school they told me to sign up for Toastmasters to improve my public speaking skills. In Toastmasters I increased my confidence and ability to speak in front of people. One thing led to another and another.

It’s been over seven years since I got laid off from that corporate job and I can tell you now, it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. The call of security has continued to knock on my door, job offers and marriage proposals have beckoned but over time I have gained clarity that maintaining my faith and staying on the path is more important. I just couldn’t see giving my shoes to someone else. Each time fear threatened to overwhelm me, faith has brought me back.

Today, I start out each day praying for direction and guidance to continue walking on the path, my path, in my pair of shoes, to make a difference in the world and to feel contentment and fulfillment in doing it. If you haven’t already, it is my hope that you too, seek out and find your own unique pair of shoes. A sense of purpose is one path to contentment, gratification and peace of mind. It all starts with a leap of faith.

Author's Bio: 

Jaqui Duvall works as an author, trainer, and spiritual life coach and counselor to help people live authentically and genuinely through defining and connecting with their inner spirit. She develops and delivers workshops, leads mentoring groups and works with individuals to help them identify and express their inner spirit and live a life of consciousness and intention. http://www.theevolvingself.com.