When I was in middle school my mother passed away from lymphoma which is a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Three years after my mom’s death, I wrote a story called “The Day I’d Never Forget.” In this story I told about the day she passed away, a day I can still remember from beginning to end. Every little detail of that day is engraved in my mind, so telling the story was no problem. I simply wrote what I remembered, which was everything.
My teacher, Ms. Kim, read the story and was amazed at how well I was able to tell the story and how descriptive my writing was at the time. She said she felt as if she was right there with me hearing the news of my mother’s death. She told me how she cried because she felt my pain through my words. Ms. Kim urged me to submit my story to the Louisiana Young Author’s contest. I did and during that time and for many months after, Ms. Kim encouraged me to keep writing. She saw something in my writing that I really didn’t see for myself. I knew stringing words together to form sentences came with ease for me, but I definitely didn’t consider myself a writer per sa. Well, my story won first place in the state. I was so proud, but it wasn’t because I won, it was because others had read about my mom. For me, it was a way of keeping her memory alive.
Well, after I left Ms. Kim’s class and ventured on to the next grade, I had the honor and privilege of learning under Mrs. Gloria Davis. Ms. Davis had been teaching for many years, and coming from a very small school, I’d already heard all the horror stories of being in her class. I was so afraid that I’d asked to be placed in another class instead, but that request was rejected, and I thank God that it was. That was a lesson for me that I still live by to this day, “always judge a person based on your own experiences with them, not someone else’s.” Mrs. Davis turned out to be my favorite teacher. She knew English like I knew my name and she taught it to us well. When I’d write papers in her class, she constantly told me I should really consider journalism. Mrs. Davis also saw something that I didn’t see at the time. I was a writer.
I graduated from high school and went on to study Elementary Education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. Every English teacher I sat under encouraged me to keep writing. They all said I should really consider journalism, I should write for the school newspaper, they wanted me to perfect my craft, but I wanted to teach.
Little did I know that all my English teachers were right, but so was I. Writing is my gift, it is the tool that God has given me to use for His good, but so is teaching. I know this because of the list of parents who would request me as their child’s teacher. I was meant to teach and I was meant to write.
The biggest mistake we all make is missing the cues. We spend so much of our lives searching for something that’s been with us all along. Our purpose isn’t something we have to seek out. We just have to be open and listen to what others are saying about us. Don’t dismiss it as just something you like to do, perhaps that something is the reason God chose you.
My plea to you today is don’t waste time looking for something that you already possess. Take time to sit still, listen to the chatter of others, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be just like me, and realize your purpose has been there all along. You were just too distracted to see it.
I’d love to hear your story of how you discovered your purpose or if you feel you still don’t know, share that too. Tell me about yourself maybe we can figure this thing out together 🙂