About ten years ago, I was running a very successful professional sports agency and doing national television on a regular basis. I was traveling around the world as a speaker and promoting my new business book that had hit #1 in the Women & Business category. To top it all, I was newly engaged to a man that seemed to be Prince Charming and getting ready to become a bonus mom to his three children. I was on cloud nine — so much so that I closed down my agency, which was the fastest growing, female-owned sports agency in the nation, for love!
My fairytale turned into a nightmare six days before my wedding when I found out that my fiancé was cheating on me — talk about a rude awakening! Not only was I heartbroken, but I became broke too. After studying Isaiah 48:21, I found myself in the middle what I now refer to as a “split rock” moment — a place of divine disruption. Isaiah 48:21 reads:
They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts;
He made water flow for them from the rock;
He split the rock and water gushed out.
Isaiah 48:21 (NIV)
The rock here represents a hard place where we feel abandoned and when circumstances seem impossible to survive. But through my pain, I’ve learned that what seems to be meant to destroy you, is actually intended to develop and deploy you.
New life, like streams of living water, flow from difficult places. We’ll never really know why things happen the way they do. But I do know disappointment and disruption get our attention and open us to divine reinvention. God is not out to punish us, but I am certain He takes every opportunity, no matter how messy, to prepare us.
Perhaps disruption has landed on your doorstep too. What appears to be happening to you is actually happening for you because of something greater within you. Disruption is an invention to shift into a higher dimension of purpose and calling. The shift may not have been caused by God, but it can certainly be used by God to catapult you into destiny.
Adversity comes to align you with a greater version of yourself that God has been trying to unleash for far too long. Disruption detaches us from who we think we are so that we can become who we were really made to be.
Let’s just go ahead and be
what we were made to be . . .
Romans 12:6 (MSG)
As I rebuilt my life, going from stuck to building a successful company and finding new love again, I realized that every woman will experience disruption. It’s not a sign that you’re broken. It’s actually proof that God is building something magnificent in you that will bring forth His glory.
As I started working with women to help them reinvent their lives, I’ve found that each of us has a unique mission and message, and I noticed a pattern that I call the Five Stages of Divine Reinvention and Purpose or The Purpose Map™.
When we look at our lives, we see a mess. However, God sees a map. The map shows us where we are on the purpose journey and makes clear that we are all called to impact and influence. No one is exempt. Most never make it out of stage two, but it’s time to change that. God calls us to reinvention, not retirement. Here are the five stages:
Stage 1: DISCOVERY. This is where we’re taught the do’s and don’ts of life and where we learn to shrink, settle, and play it safe. We ask the question: Who I am supposed to be?
Stage 2: TALENT. We pick a lane, start climbing the mountains of success, and master wearing masks that cover up who we really are. We ask, Who did I decide to be?
Stage 3: THE GAP. Disruption or simply discontent flip our life upside down, and we find ourselves in a wilderness — an in-between place of transition. We’re trying to figure out who we really are, what we really want, and what it’ll take to trade success for significance and let go of what no longer belongs. We ask, What is happening to me?
Stage 4: GIFTS. We uncover untapped potential, life-changing gifts, and our ultimate superpower — our voice. We ask the question: Who was I really designed to be?
Stage 5: INFLUENCE. We step into our life mission and the bigger impact we’re here to have. We are all called to lead. Finally, we ask, Where am I now being led to lead?
No matter where you are, know that you are indeed on a necessary path. Disruption makes room for us to experience a fresh indwelling of the Holy Spirit and God’s restorative power in such a special and intimate way.
I raised you up for this very purpose,
that I might display my power in you and
that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Romans 9:17 (NIV)
In the middle of pain, purpose is calling. There is a mission with your name on it. You must believe bigger to perceive it and seize it. And when we change the way we think, we change the way we live and lead others to do the same.
One of the best ways to discover what God has for you is spending time in God’s word, and Scripture-led journaling is an intimate way to hear what the Holy Spirit has to say to you. 100 Days of Believing Bigger is a devotional + journal designed for women who seek to live out their full purpose and believe God for the impossible. Each daily devotion revolves around four pillars: Scripture, Reflection, Journal Prompts and Simple + Bold Prayers. It’s time to uncover the truths about who you are, why you matter, and what you are here to do.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
God was so merciful in giving me a new lease on life when I turned 50. What he has mapped out in my life is more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for. I’d give this book to a friend who is struggling with her identity in Christ right now…she’s doubting where she is and where God wants to take her.
Marshawn Evans Daniels says
Love your heart for your friend! Thank you for sharing!
Alison Kozlow says
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight. I have come through a season of loss and asked God to show me how I can glorify Him and how He wants me to turn my pain into purpose. I feel the call to write but it is so daunting. Thank you for the reminder “There is a mission with your name on it. You must believe bigger to perceive it and seize it.” If God is calling me to it, He will see me through it.
Marshawn Evans Daniels says
Proud you! It takes courage to own your voice and share your words!
Wow, how timely. This year has brought significant loss and struggle. I would like to give this to my pastor’s wife because she has encouraged me so much recently.
Marshawn Evans Daniels says
Encouragement is like oxygen! Wonderful of you to think of her!
I would love to be able to share this book with my daughter.
I would love to share this with my oldest daughter as she dreams about what is next!
Marshawn Evans Daniels says
How powerful and special would it be for momma and daughter to read together! My mom and I do and it’s the best! 🙂
I absolutely LOVE Marshawn’s book Believe Bigger. I’ve told many women about it. I’m so excited to see this journaling devotional that goes with it!! I would give a copy to a friend.
Marshawn Evans Daniels says
Thank you Natalie! 🙂
Lauren Griesmeyer says
How this really spoke to me Marshawn! I was in a very dark place with no end in sight, and God brought me thru it to a bigger and better place! Its nice when you make it thru! Not fun when you’re going thru it! However! Praise God that He see’s the bigger picture! Really unique post with fresh insights! Thankyou!
I would gift this to my daughter or to my friend Jenni, who is a prayer warrior across the miles!
I work in Kitchen. I would love to give it to ALL the ladies I work with. Together is how we are navigating this Season. Amongst are day to day lives. I could not do the work without them. God gave us eachother for NOW! We are STRONGER TOGETHER. We have EXcellent table talk! Gleaning from one another. PRAYER LOTS OF IT!!!! GLORY TO GOD!!!!!!!
Nancy Ruegg says
What an inspiration you are, Marshawn! Thank you for sharing your story. During a time of struggle and loss in my own life, I experienced God in fresh, intimate ways. And early on he gave me the scripture: “You do not understand what I am doing but later you will understand” (John 13:7). Yes, Jesus addressed those words to His disciples, but the morning I came across that verse, it seemed addressed personally to me and ministered a huge dose of encouragement. Praise God for the restorative power of His Word!
Heidi Roesli says
Wow! Your words touched my heart as a Mother and Grandmother. My daughter, her husband and 2 young children recently moved to a new area about an hour from their previous home, friends and family. She quit her job to be a stay-at-home Mom. Their son started a new school. All good changes, but definitely life-changing! I would love to have this book for her as an encouragement as she navigates her new life!
Ann Kathy says
I enjoyed reading this article! 🙂
Shelly Swift says
I have ordered my book / journal and waiting patiently for it to arrive. I would love to send one to a friend of mine who recently lost her husband. I feel this devotional may be of great help to her and guide her to her purpose through the pain.
Wendy R. says
Thank you! My Sister, Cindy – My Aunt, Carmen & a dear friend of mine, Ana.
I just have to tell you, you are so beautiful! I am sure you are just as beautiful inside as outside! My daughter has struggled for years but she is finally at a place where she is admitting she needs help and is in counseling. I would love to share this with her to see if it would motivate her to try journaling to express her inner thoughts and feelings and to give her encouragement to keep moving forward as she tries to get her life on the right track for her and her son. Thank you for the opportunity for this giveaway!!
Rose N says
Wow!! What an inspiration you are! Your words are from someone who has been there. Thanks for writing.
I would love to share the book with my daughter.
Renee Swope says
I have read, listened to and LOVE Marshawn’s book “Believe Bigger” and I cannot wait to go through her new devotional “100 Days to Believing Bigger”! If I were to win a copy, I’d buy another one to go with the giveaway copy and give one to each of my two daughter-in-loves! But I’d rather someone else win and I’ll just give my bonus girls one for Christmas!
Leslie Rountree says
Marshawn, I am so sorry that you had to deal with that horrible time in your life. I had a similar situation, it was the most painful thing I ever went through at the time. God had His hand on me though, looking back on it now, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. He was not a good man for me. I just wanted to reach out to you and to thank you for this (in)courage message. I really needed it. I have been dealing with being stuck in Stage 3 for years and I just learned about Stage 4 gifts that God has opened my eyes to just recently. I am taking your information and thinking bigger and moving forward. I know my purpose now and I’m excited to see what God has in store for me as to my mission!!
Beth Williams says
God allows disruptions or trials to get our attention. He got mine when my aging dad got geriatric psych & was hospitalized twice. I lived close to him so it was up to me to handle everything & relay his condition & medical information to my sisters. It was hard, yet I loved it. Loved being useful & helping someone. After that trial ended God saw fit to give me a good part-time job at a big hospital as ICU Step Down clerical. I get to interact & help RNs, CNAs, patients & their families. I tell everyone it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love. Watching people get better & go home & knowing you had a small part to play. Also being there when people are grieving. Just giving them a loving touch & a kind word seems to help. Yes trials strengthen us & help us see our true potential.