“People’s stories really inspire me…Everyone has a significant story, and we can all learn something from other people’s stories.”
Melody – Mel, for short – lives every day with passion and purpose. The first question you will want to ask her, after she finishes talking because she is the definition of Little Miss Chatterbox, is how do you fit it all in? How do you find the time to get so much done? I imagine if you were to ask her answer would be: I live with passion on purpose for freedom. Passion overflows as she speaks, moves and animatedly gesticulates about what she is doing right now: living in her promise, reacting in faith to life’s setbacks, and living beyond her feelings. The Apostle Paul states: I have learned the secret to being content always. (Philippians 4:12) But if you want to know the secret in our modern-day Western First-World society, just ask Mel…and Joyce Meyer.
At only 21 years old, Mel finds the time to study social work at Salford University, ‘work as a support worker with people who are overcoming an addiction to drugs and alcohol,’ ‘work as a Disney princess,’ and ‘also volunteer with the homeless.’ ‘I’m just waiting to start my social work placement as well.’ Phew. Do you need a breather too? I’m seriously feeling tired just typing all she gets up to on a weekly basis!
I asked her what she found most fun because for me I’d imagine it to be working as a Disney Princess, but her response was humbling. ‘It’s really hard to pick one thing. I think it’s the little things. I think in life you think it’s the big things, but for me it’s everyday just waking up being grateful for the opportunities that I’ve got.’ My Gratitude Journal would agree!
What can you and I learn from Melody? How can she inspire us to be better each day?
Live your passion.
When I think of Mel, the one word that snaps across my mind is ‘FREEDOM’.
So I would be doing Mel an injustice if I didn’t mention her innate desire to purposefully seek freedom for those she meets in this world: freedom from addiction, freedom from mental and emotional slavery, freedom in the name of Jesus. Her purpose is freedom and her lifestyle is passion. She is inspired by ‘just being crazy’, letting herself go to be free to live like the characters in Alice in Wonderland: ‘we are all mad here!’
Galatians 5:1 “It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free.”
II Corinthians 3:17 “Where the Spirit of the LORD is there is FREEDOM.”
‘I think it [freedom] really gives me a foundation and a root in my purpose but also shows me how to look outward and how to live.’
That’s why she loves the homeless. That’s why she works with those suffering from addiction. That’s why she works with the young adults in church ‘and pray[s] with them’. For freedom – mental, emotional, physical and most importantly, spiritual freedom.
Prayer on Purpose: Walk in Faith
Melody knows freedom as her purpose because she is connected with a power beyond herself. When Mel is at a crossroads she always turns to God for direction. When four years ago, she didn’t get an offer to do social work at the university she really wanted to go to, Mel fell into a ‘month of surrender’: ‘Just praying, just seeking God’s heart for like, ‘Should I even be in social work? Have I misread?’
Now, four years later, Mel has ‘some more clarity’ about God’s direction for her life.
‘So I really wanted to be a substance misuse social worker, which you can’t really do in England, so I didn’t know how it was gonna work. And I got talking to the couple on the airplane next to me and it turns out he was a substance misuse social worker.’
If this serendipitous encounter and a previous ‘general chat with God’ telling her to move to the Philippines were not evidence enough of God’s intention, Mel still ‘sought God’s heart to make sure it was right’ and ‘He gave me Isaiah 49 – it’s all about restoration, setting the captives free…it literally confirmed everything on my heart.’
As you take the first step in prayer, God meets your heart’s desires.
Remember the university situation? ‘So I was speaking and praying to God, and I remember the head of social work rang me after a month and they’re like, we’re sorry we made a mistake – you do have a place at Salford. It made it more exciting when I did get in – I knew it was right then.’
And Mel’s story illustrates that as you walk in faith, everything begins to take shape. ‘And then I found one church on Friday that is being planted in Manilla, so I’ve just emailed the pastor there. So everything is sort of coming together.’
Know God, Know Purpose
Mel lives a purposeful life for freedom led by God’s direction. But what is your purpose or reason for living? What wakes you up and gets you out of bed each day? And if you don’t know your purpose, how can you live everyday with purpose and passion? The simple answer: you can’t.
Thankfully, if you follow the three easy(ish) steps above (live your passion, walk in faith, get to know God) you too can live a truly audacious, purposeful, and happy life.
But if you remember only one thing, remember this:
‘Just whatever we do just be passionate about it.’
Thanks for reading! If you would like to connect with Mel or find out more about the causes she cares about, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pass it on to her.