It seems from the moment I was born, I was thinking about my future calling. I remember back in high school when my idea of a perfect, successful life entailed both my husband and I being renowned doctors and our children going to prestigious schools. But, you know what they say… if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for tomorrow.
Most people spend a lifetime figuring out who they are, but who I was hit me like a truck my junior year of high school.
My best friend had had a rough weekend that was exacerbated by attending school. It was a rough Monday for me, as well, because I knew she was upset, but I had to sneak my phone and try to talk to her when I could throughout the day. After school, I received a message that read “Promise me, no matter what, you’ll remember you’re a good person.”
That moment started what was to be the worst night of my life. I lived over an hour away with no license, and I couldn’t reach her for 4 hours.
But we got through that night, and the next day, and the next until she was okay. Today, she’s a successful Division I athlete who loves life and lives hers to the fullest. That night made me think, “I wonder how many people in the world want to kill themselves.”
I went on Twitter and searched the word suicidal, and I was not expecting the dark world into which I was suddenly thrown. I found Twitter accounts with names such as @CarveAndStarve, @BladesandRegret, and @JustKillMe.
I saw tweet after tweet after tweet of people degrading themselves and stating how much they wanted to die. That’s when I thought to myself, “What could I do to make these people’s lives better?”
I started a twitter account in which I talk to people who are suicidal. My best friend told me she didn’t know what she would have done without me that night, which made me think about how many people just need one person in their corner if for nothing more than to be there for them and tell them it’s going to be okay.
I talk to people who struggle with depression, anxiety, self-harm, gender dysphoria, eating disorders, and other obstacles that have consumed their being. The more and more people I helped, the more I started to feel better myself and more steadfast in who I am. Of all the types of people God could’ve made me to be, He made me a helper.
When I came to this realization about my life, I knew what my earthly purpose was and who He wanted me to be. I used to always ask myself if Heaven was the end goal, what’s the point of life on earth? When I found out what that was, I woke up every day excited to find someone else who needed help.
Sometimes, it got hard to talk to these people, and I wondered if this is what my calling really was. But Galatians 5:13 says, “For you, brothers, were called to freedom. Only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity to gratify your flesh, but through love make it your habit to serve one another.”
Make the world a better place by making one person smile at a time. I know it sounds cliché, but that’s what I was doing. I reached out to one person, and one person turned into two, and two turned into five, five turned into 15 and so on, but I still didn’t feel like I was reaching enough people. I wanted to reach out to more people with a message that says they’re loved and they’re not alone.
I asked my followers to email me their stories if they wanted to use them to help others. I received over 100 stories and used the majority of them in the book I published entitled Hidden in the Shadows.
My book is a compilation of my followers’ stories separated into different hardships such as eating disorders, depression, friends and family who have been affected, etc. and ends with success stories and words of encouragement for people who are going through some of the same things the people in my book are.
The responses I’ve gotten from my book are amazing, and it’s so satisfying to know that the little things I do are helping people become happier.
If you’re going through a lot right now and just can’t see your destiny, know that God took the worst night of my life and made it shaped it for the better. If you aren’t religious, you have a purpose too. Everything happens for a reason, including your existence.
While I couldn’t see any good in that situation at the time, now I’m grateful that it happened. Jeremiah 29:11: “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.”
I say all that to say, my calling found me. I wasn’t even looking for it. When I graduate college, I have plans to go to medical school and become a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Everyone deserves happiness, and it starts within.
I don’t expect sharing my story to inspire you to suddenly overcome your struggles, but if nothing else, I pray you received some hope that your darkest nights can turn into your brightest days.
The calling God had for me turned me into a selfless person who would do anything for anyone and is nice simply because you never know the battle someone else is fighting. When you realize the calling for your life, it will change you for the better. Just be patient, for your purpose is greater than your challenges.