discern which opportunities were most
suitable. It was tough to know how best to
invest our time, energy, and resources to
help equip her for life. Just how do you
train up a child in the way she should go,
when you don’t clearly understand how the
child, her leanings, and her specific calling
We went in looking for a
needle in a haystack. What w e
found was a “Golden Thread”
that God had woven through
the entire fabric of her life.
Work Together to
Find an Answer
Faced with a big problem and few answers,
Gina and I set aside four hours and sought
out a quiet place to be alone with God. We
went in looking for a needle in a haystack.
What we found was a “Golden Thread” that
God had woven through the entire fabric of
her life. This Golden Thread was ultimately tied to three essential pillars of
purpose: her significant audience, her
delightful method to serve them, and her
life-changing message to share with them.
Tracing the Golden Thread followed a
PICTURED IS GINA NOVOTNY ROBERTSON
Bible whom she wanted to be like? Had she
made significant commitments or responded
previously to a call of God?
On to the next page: Did she have
regrets about things that she hadn’t done?
Why? What was the one thing in her past
that came closest to fulfilling the deepest
desire of her heart? How about future
dreams, aspirations, and activities? We
analyzed her responses and expanded her
discoveries. The yellow pages took on a
golden hue as I began to understand my
daughter at a deeper level than ever before.
1. Discover your life purpose.
2. Define your pursuit.
3. Develop your plan of action.
asked the questions and took notes while
Gina worked to articulate the answers. This
inquiry prompted much discussion and
discovery: “What skills, gifts, and talents
has God given you that you would delight
in using to serve, help, or minister to a
group of people that you care for greatly?”
We talked in detail about her answers, and
then she listed three delightful methods to
effectively serve this people group she
cared about. For me, having her list things
in triplets revealed important repetitions of
methods, people, burdens, spiritual gifts,
To clarify her comments, follow-up
questions like these brought additional
A Process of Faith
There is only one way to successfully navigate this process—by faith, which is the
Spirit-led ability to comprehend and
accomplish God’s will. Only by faith can
we understand the purpose for which God
has created us. Only by faith will we
understand how to accomplish the great
things He plans for us.
Can you help me understand what
you mean and why this is so significant to you?
This sounds important. How would
you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10?
Can you give me an example of a
time when you experienced this?
A daughter in distress is a call to action.
We started with prayer and a yellow legal
pad. Then, I asked Gina to list past activities and identify the ones that she had most
enjoyed and through which good things
had been accomplished. She noted what
and whom she took delight in and recorded
where she had seen God at work. For activities that she didn’t enjoy, she mentioned
critical aspects of those situations that were
missing and noted why those were important to her. She also listed activities and
circumstances that had caused her to grow
Together, we moved through additional
discovery questions. For the most part, I
As we continued the search for Gina’s life
purpose, the notepad was filled with potential clues. Had she identified guiding
Scriptures? What did they mean? What wise
and influential mentors had God brought
into her life and what characteristics did she
desire to model? Were there heroes in the
Define Your Pursuit
Gina’s answers and comments served as
“portals of discovery” into the most
exciting and relevant areas of her life.
Further discussions in these areas revealed
significant themes, repetitions, and
patterns. Together, we identified types of
activities she enjoyed, whom she enjoyed
doing them with (and where and how),
types of meaningful relationships, her
learning orientation, motivations, spiritual
gifts, talents, future interests, passions, and
so much more.
Along the way, there were indications
that we were on the verge of our greatest
discoveries. Misty eyes, big laughs,
obvious excitement, and moments that
suddenly turned serious beckoned us to