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How I was missing the purpose of my faith

Robyn Cranmer thought her career was her purpose, and then she discovered why her prayers weren’t being answered.


Robyn Cranmer’s college life was everything it should be.

That’s what she thought at the time, anyway.

From the first week of her first semester, it was non-stop parties and drinking.

Swapping stories with her friends about late nights spent in packed bars and crowded houses. Talking and flirting with guys. Waking up with hangovers and hazy memories.

“It was what college students do,” she says.

It took two years of that relentless cycle before Robyn was willing to admit her life was out of control. After a really bad weekend, she decided it was time to get her life together.

In December 2013, Jesus rescued Robyn from herself.

But she had to wait until she graduated to begin to understand what she was rescued for.

If I don’t have a great job, I’m not good for anything.

Robyn celebrating graduation from the University of South Carolina. After college, Robyn spent six months unemployed.

A Narrow Understanding

When she decided life needed to change in her junior year, she knew going to church was her first step.

She had grown up in church, but she had run in the opposite direction after high school, when she was old enough that her parents couldn’t stop her.

She had heard about NewSpring from her friends and had visited a few times, so she decided to go to an event that would help her get connected at the Columbia campus.

When the event host invited people to ask Jesus into her life, she knew she had to give up control to Jesus and let him show her the life worth living.

I thought I was doing everything right.

Until that moment, she never understood what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus.

“It just hit me. I realized I didn’t have any knowledge of Jesus at all.”

Robyn began serving immediately. She worked in a pre-school, so KidSpring seemed like an obvious place to start. A few weeks later, she was volunteering in Fuse, too.

“I loved it. It was great,” Robyn says.

When she returned from Christmas break, she wasn’t going out with my friends anymore or getting drunk. She was visiting church every week. She was reading the Bible daily and surrounded herself with other Christians in community.

She was doing her best to follow Jesus.

“I thought I was doing everything right,” Robyn says. “I was growing a whole lot.”

Robyn hanging with her Fuse group at Gauntlet 2017. Being a positive influence on high school girls is one of Robyn's greatest loves.

The Job of Waiting

Then came graduation in the spring of 2015.

She earned an advertising degree, but without internship experience, her career path was unclear.

She begged God for an opportunity in her field — or at least a good full-time job that could lead to one.

She believed God would answer her prayer. She waited. And waited. But nothing happened.

The job prospects just weren’t there.

She saw all her friends moving on to new and exciting things, and she began to be bitter, and resentful. It seemed like God had broken a promise.

Nothing on earth is going to satisfy like Jesus.

She spent six months unemployed.

“I was really trying to follow Jesus but I was looking for answers,” she says. “It was tough. I prayed and prayed and prayed for jobs and purpose, and I didn’t have it. I had I had no idea what I was supposed to do.”

She started questioning all the hours she’d devoted to serving. In her skewed thinking, she wondered whether she would have been better off focusing on herself, using the time to pick up relevant work experience.

“I have to get a great job,” she believed. “If I don’t have a great job, I’m not good for anything.”

By the end of summer, her anger, fear, and doubt reached a tipping point. She quit church and her volunteer roles.

Robyn’s old college lifestyle started calling out her name. She chose hanging out with old friends and drinking again.

Getting drunk wasn’t her plan, but it happened several times over the course of the next few months.

One night, the physical and emotional reality of what was happening came down on her like a tidal wave. Continuing down this path was dangerous, and she knew it.

Robyn's new intimacy with Jesus has overflowed into relationships with her friends

A Frustrating Lesson

Robyn returned to church and recommitted herself to following and trusting Jesus. She started serving again, too. She eventually took a temporary job as a receptionist until she could figure out what was next.

Then at beginning of 2017, Jesus broke into heart with a new, radical understanding of what it meant to follow him.

In the first years of her relationship with Jesus, she had trusted Jesus with her eternal destiny, just not her future — or anything else.

“I had a realization that my satisfaction is never going to come from a job or something God is going to give you,” she says. “Nothing on earth is going to satisfy like Jesus.”

Two months later, God brought Robyn her current job supervising 75 tour guides at the University of South Carolina.

… It’s never going to give me as much joy as following him.

While she was waiting, God burdened her for working with college students, and that's exactly what she’s doing now.

“It’s totally the Lord,” Robyn says.

The hard, frustrating path taught her what she couldn’t have learned any other way.

The overflow of that love and grace she has experienced has changed her relationships with coworkers and her beloved Fuse group.

“My heart was kind of hard and it was hard toward other people,” she says. “When you really understand how much the Lord loves you, you can love other people that way, too.”

Robyn discovered God’s promise of fulfillment is fulfilled only in Him.

“I am operating in my calling and doing what the Lord has laid out for me, but it’s never going to give me as much joy as following him,” she says. “I literally have the joy of the Lord in my heart every single day."

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