My mom and dad bought a subscription for me to a reissue of a Civil War era newspaper when I was a teen. This was at the time of the 100th anniversary of the War. At first, I read the accounts of the era. After a few months, I stopped reading. I didn't tell my parents. Not because I afraid they would be mad because of being out a fair amount of money (they could have canceled the subscription.) No, because I liked getting something in the mail. It made me feel important.
As a teen, I fought for anything that would give me a shred of identity or purpose, even if it was as flimsy as a newspaper subscription. In other words, I got my identity and purpose from things OUTSIDE me. My world defined both me and how I felt about me. All of my energy was taken up in insuring the world around me propped me up.
While I like to think I have matured over the years and find my identity and purpose from within; some days, I long for some good old EXTERNAL validation. Some days, that comes. Most days, it does not.
Two thoughts. First, have you genuinely encouraged those around you? Second, have you asked God to expose to you your identity and purpose. You are no accident. You are here entirely because God thought you were just what was needed.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good Genesis 1:31a (NIV)
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)