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The Beautiful Promise in Boundaries

I consider myself a passionate person. I care deeply about things and am drawn to take action to help when I can. While I am growing in my financial generosity, my giving of time has always been strong. I hail from hearty New England roots where giving back to the community with your time was expected.

In my twenties, I had almost no limitations, or what I would now call boundaries. If there was something that needed to get done I was your girl. I said yes so you would like me and so I wouldn’t have to say no. It was more about my image and less about my real purpose and passion.

Then in my early thirties, I experienced a lot of emotional and physical stress. I lived through the events of 9/11, lost my mom to ovarian cancer, dealt with some childhood abuse issues, moved cities, and switched jobs—all in a five-year period. It drained my body and soul dry. I had nothing left to give.

Learning a new way to think
While I wouldn’t wish burnout on anyone, looking back I can see that God was using that time to reorient my thinking. He used Psalm 16 to ground my understanding of my role and how to live out my purpose and passion. The psalmist praises God for being his place of refuge and identity. Then in verses 5-6 it says this:

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

In biblical times, people marked their boundary lines using rows of rocks to indicate where one person’s property ended and another’s began. For the first time I realized that my boundary lines were non-existent and this was not the will of God. I was on other people’s property doing the things they should have been doing.

Even with all I was doing I didn’t have any sense of security or peace. Now I was reading that His boundary lines for me were in pleasant places, that my lot was secure, and that I have a delightful inheritance. I knew I needed to figure out my unique contribution and start living out that purpose and passion instead of looking for my identity as the go-to girl for whatever was needed.

Living with limits brings freedom
With this powerful Scripture as a backdrop, I was able to learn my purpose and identify my passions. I started to live with my limitations and celebrate them since they protected me from further burnout and pain. I found more meaning in joy working in the things that God had created me for, and my “no” became easier as I could confidently shared with the receiver why I wouldn’t be best for that role.

I also love saying a hearty “yes” to things that line up with the season of life I’m in, along with my purpose and passion. Psalm 16 ends like this;

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

What a great and beautiful promise.

Have you identified your unique purpose and passion? Are you living within your boundary lines? Take some time to journal and pray for God to guide you to the path of life He has for you.

Not sure?  Join us for Inspiring Generous Joy (now WDW Signature Event) to learn your purpose and passion.

Julie Wilson

About Author

Julie Wilson

For the past 25 years, Julie has been a visionary strategist and communication specialist. After graduating with a degree in journalism from Boston University, she landed the highly competitive job as an NBC Page in New York City, the same year she became a follower of Christ through the ministry of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. She spent 13 years as a start-up team builder with Priority Associates, a ministry of CRU, and helped launch Revolve, a national tour and conference for teenage girls, which attracted over 38,000 attendees in its first season. In her role as President of Women Doing Well, she gets to engage her passion for women and leadership with her purpose “cultivating change.” Julie and her husband, Gary, live in Richmond, Virginia, with their daughter, Ella.

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