AT 27 years old, Michelle Blake believes she has found her calling and is urging Jamaicans now at home due to efforts to minimise the spread of COVID-19 to use the time to discover their life’s purpose in order to unlock their true potential.
The young woman, who is one of the pastors at Glad Tidings Zion Sabbath Church of God in New Haven, St Andrew, says now is the best time to find yourself.
“Since we can’t assemble or go to school or work, why not stay at home and work on yourself and find something that gives you joy?” she urged. “Contrastingly, most people are occupied mentally, thinking about the coronavirus or busy engaging in unfruitful activities on social media, such as scrolling lengthy hours through news feed.”
The Government, in an effort to stem the local spread of COVID-19 — an disease that has so far infected 1.2 million people and resulted in more than 66,000 deaths worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University — has announced a slew of measures since the first coronavirus case was confirmed on March 10, including limits on the number of people who can gather; closure of schools until the end of the Easter term; closure of bars, nightclubs and other places of amusement; a mandate for people 75 years and older to stay home for a 14-day period and public sector workers, 65 years and older, to work from home, except where granted exemption.
Blake, who was ordained in 2015 and is now studying at the Jamaica Theological Seminary, is calling on all Jamaicans to use this time at home to accept greater responsibility for their own development and engage in activities that will align themselves with their true gifts and passions.
Recounting her journey to becoming a minister at the Kingston church, Blake admitted that she didn’t think she was ready for the role.
“I remember the first day my mother, Pearline Tyrell, who is the head pastor of the church, said to me that she wanted me to be a pastor. I wasn’t ready. I was questioning the Lord saying, ‘Why me, Lord? I’m not ready for this.’
“There were even persons, as well as some of my own siblings, who were saying the only reason I wanted to become a pastor is because my mom is a bishop,” she recounted. “I remember a family member warning [me] to go and get a profession, because pastoral [work] doesn’t pay.
“However, I did not allow all these negative words to discourage me, [instead], I said to myself, ‘God, if this is what you want me to do, then this is it’,” said Blake.
The young minister said she came to realise that one’s purpose is that thing that you do best, with the least amount of effort.
“It brings you to a place where you are most suited, most creative, and most functional, and where you are most loved. If finding your purpose during this period involves reading, preparing your trademark dish, or even standing at your gate, masked, so that you can observe others, I implore individuals to just do it,” she urged, adding that one of the best ways to find your purpose is to make a step, because everything starts from a step.
Blake, who is a past student of Spanish Town High School, further explained that it takes dedication and passion to discover one’s purpose. She said, too, that the lack of financial resources should not deter people unearthing their true talent.
“It takes a passion to find yourself. You have to be sick and tired of the old, and willing to come out [of] your comfort zone. You have to decide where you want to go by clarifying your vision, then identifying the goals you wish to accomplish, and start taking the actions that will move you in the right direction.
“It’s not money! Money doesn’t allow you to discover your purpose. If what you are doing requires money, it will come once you start detouring and begin your new journey to unravelling your purpose. I’m thinking that Noah didn’t have the first nail to build the ark, but in the end he got help with the material,” she charged.
Blake, who has also written a book, Don’t Scatter Your Purpose Fulfill Them, told the Jamaica Observer that in it she details everything she’s gone through that has led to her finding her purpose.
The book also shares the importance of creating a new purpose-driven generation, as well as the personal benefits of awakening to one’s purpose.
“There will always be a fight when you’re trying to find yourself. If you are birthed to preach, there will always be a fight for you not to preach… You will also find that a lot of people are disappointing you, not showing up, and saying bad things about you,” said Blake.
She told the Observer that it brings her joy when she sees repentful souls.
“When I’m preaching and not seeing anybody receptive of it, I’m going to be troubled, I’m going to wonder what’s happening… I think I have an unusual anointing. I think God gave me grace for people to become repentful,” she shared. “After preaching at a [service], I remember a young lady who was touched by my words and went from a ‘fast life’ to becoming one of the Lord’s instrument. She spoke to me and told me that I really touched her; she said she was broken from the spirit and wanted to be in arrangement with God.”
According to Blake, once you find your purpose, things that would bother you no longer do.
“It becomes the thing you say ‘Hi’ to, and the thing you say ‘Good night’ to — it becomes your everything!” she said.
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