Updated: Oct 3
I recently sat down with Rev. Antonio Clinkscales to discuss purpose on my podcast. Being a minister and a mental health specialist, he had a lot to share on the subject. Rev. Clinkscales has taken years of experience from various roles that span from 12 years in the federal government to ministry and back into the school system to help people to be whole.
I appreciated every word he shared and found it very beneficial. I’d like to share some of it with you.
God Says Yes When the World Says No
Rev. Clinkscales admits that while some would look at his resume and say that he was all over the place, he says that all of his experiences were steps to lead him to divine operation. It turns out that everything he’s done to this point was leading to what he is now doing today with the business he founded in 2019, Lifeway Services. Lifeway Services provides youth and adults with mental and emotional services that will aid in their transition towards wholeness through preventative, intervention, intensive, and educational practices.
With his business opening just before the pandemic, he saw needs that needed to be met, and when everything on the earth shut down, his business was in a position to reach out and help the community and students who were greatly impacted. Rev. Clinkscales says you don’t have to know what God is doing or when or how He’s going to do it. You just have to trust and believe in Him. Know that what He leads you to is intentional.
During the pandemic, Rev. Clinkscales also introduced his national conference, Tackling Trauma Together: The Way to Wholeness. Rev. Clinkscales says we need to understand how the brain works and how it operates. Thousands of pieces of information are interpreted and translated in our brains every second. It’s determining whether we’re in a safe or healthy place. If we want to be healed from past hurts and trauma, we need a source far greater than our past pain, and that’s why Tackling Trauma Together: The Way to Wholeness is so important. It keeps us from a false sense of healing and from relying on other sources of healing, like medications that we depend on for the remainder of our lives. It’s the scientific and spiritual elements working together to make us whole.
“How can you walk in your purpose when you’re weighted down from the things of the past?” –Antonio Clinkscales
Ministry Doesn’t Stop
Problems people had before the pandemic still existed during the pandemic. Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean that everything stops. Rev. Clinkscales says his business had to think outside of the box to get the community the services it needed. In fact, more services were needed during the pandemic, with everything else shut down. For instance, pandemic or not, people still needed to eat. Many people needed access to food and his business partnered with the right sources to get people food access that they otherwise would not have had.
God said to move. We don’t have to see the end result or understand all the circumstances and challenges. But just trust and believe that you’re in God’s care and he is along on this journey.
“I’ve built that trust and that faith and know God’s voice and understand the consequences of not fulfilling those assignments.”
Stay the Course
“You can’t abandon the vision or what God spoke into your spirit, just because it gets hard …” – Antonio Clinkscales
Rev. Clinkscales encourages us to stay the course even though the hard times will come. Whatever the situation, stay the course because things will turn around. Whatever the journey, enjoy it. Even if it doesn’t feel good. Know there’s a greater good. Appreciate the valley experiences and struggles because there are no wasted experiences.
One more bit of advice for those of us trying to find our purpose: If you’re trying to get to your purpose, God has to be at the foundation. From there you’re guided through those tough times. “Your purpose does not come from you having a good idea.” Good ideas may come from something we saw or heard and think we can do it too. Rev. Clinkscales says that’s not purpose. Purpose comes from a place within that does not originate from us; it comes from a source greater than us, and it cannot be reversed. Your purpose is a part of who you are. Know where your purpose comes from and then walk in it.
Take time by yourself and listen to the full episode of my discussion with Rev. Clinkscales. Don’t just listen and keep on with your life but take the time to really listen to discern your next steps to fulfill your purpose.