How old were you when you first felt your life had a purpose that was much greater than yourself? A purpose for which you’d be willing to give up everything? Mother Teresa was only twelve. From this tender age she felt the call of God on her life so strongly that only six years later, she left everything behind to pursue this call.
At the age of eighteen Mother Teresa left her home in Skopje, Macedonia and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. She trained there for just a few months before being sent out onto the mission field in India. Her first assignment was as a high school teacher in Calcutta, but after 17 years of teaching, felt called to serve the poorest of the poor. After receiving permission from her superiors, Mother Teresa devoted herself to serving those stricken by poverty in the slums of Calcutta.
When she first began she had nothing. No money, no support, no team of people around her. But she didn’t let that stop her. Mother Teresa took what she did have, and started an open-air school for children living in the slum. Talk about a no-fuss school! And as she stepped out in faith, God provided beyond her wildest dreams, both financially and with the support of thousands of volunteers.
Perhaps one of the most significant contributions of this amazing women was the creation of her own order “The Missionaries of Charity” whose primary task was to care for those no one else wanted to. This order has now spread all over the world, serving those marginalized and forgotten in countries like Asia, Africa and Latin America. More than one million people continue the work Mother Teresa started across the globe.
Though she had little to call her own, no beautiful house, no children or husband, no earthly possessions, Mother Teresa changed the world as few others have. She has been recognized and acclaimed worldwide and given numerous awards and distinctions including the John XXIII Peace Prize. She is an amazing example to all of us who feel called to love and serve the world around us. Her sacrifice and dedication reflect the heart of Christ and make her a true inspiration.
–biography written by Heather Boersma for The Tiny Twig
Hayley weighs in:
I was raised in the “self-esteem era”, so I always felt pretty purposeful growing up. I felt like I was born for a purpose and that eventually that purpose would be revealed. However, it wasn’t until I met my husband and experienced living in grace for another day in and day out that I felt like I was really living my purpose. Some days, I feel like my purpose might be really grand and impacting in some small way to many…but most days, I feel like my purpose is simply to love and humbly extend grace, which can be utterly life-changing and life-giving to a few.
So, when did you realize your life had a purpose? How did you come to that realization?