Struggling with purpose

Perhaps it was my cancer scare and surgery three weeks ago that instigated this unusual journey

Somehow, along with removing a mass in my chest the size of my hand, something changed….and with it, an enormous number of tears have escaped my eyes, rolling down my crimson cheeks, accompanied with the agony of revelation.

This is an intensely personal and painful journal that I am sharing with you today, and don’t feel you need to continue—this is about my own struggle with purpose.

Since I was very young, my self-worth seemed to be wrapped around what I could do for others, how well I could be of service to my family. It seemed as if I was only valued if I was in constant motion, helping others, mitigating damage between my parents.  Or the equally agonizing role to stand silent day after day and absorb the horrific abuse levied upon me.

And for what?

For being born. Because I was born too soon, according to my parents, who were not ready to begin a family. My life seemed to be ever an apology to my parents who frequently remarked that I was a mistake. And because they were unprepared to become parents, I became the parent to my four siblings–a role that I was unprepared for at the tender age of seven.

Always in the back of my mind was the drive to appease my existence, for being born, for my burdensome life, and I would overcompensate in cleaning, caring for others, and self-sacrifice to the point of exhaustion.

There was never peace in my home, and my mind was in constant turmoil…….a state that no one was allowed to see, for we were never to show weakness.

But I was weak.

Raising a family and struggling through a difficult first marriage of children that were also married too young and for the wrong reasons, seemed to escalate my feelings of unimportance. While I tried not to make mistakes, to do a better job than my parents, to be the best, I faltered and was left hollow.

Years later, when I sprung free, I saw a glimpse of what could be, where God might be calling me, but too afraid and insecure, to move.  I closed that door and continued my exhausting path of serving others with nothing to replace all that I gave away. And it isn’t as if I haven’t tried to follow His lead, I have. Hours on my knees, praying, offering personal sacrifice, and listening have not cracked my heart enough to know that I am enough.

After God healed me from what my doctor told me was cancer,  curiosity abounds about who I am and what God wants me to be. Surely, there has to be a reason He saved me, but I have no clue as to what it might be.

The tears flow for the many losses in my life, for mistakes made, and for my inability to use God’s gifts in a grand way.

What is the reason that I am still here?  Surely, it must be something; for who am I to be healed  when so many others much greater than I, beg for healing and are denied?

I feel too paralyzed to move forward, stymied as to the direction to go, and emotional…..extremely emotional.

At 53, am I too old to begin again?  And if so, what am I supposed to do when I can’t calm my mind, my feelings, my emotions that wrestle between gratitude and sorrow?

I read this morning, “My Word is a lamp to your feet; My Presence is a light for your path.”

Perhaps this is a beginning……

2 thoughts on “Struggling with purpose

  1. Dear Karen,
    I might completely miss the mark but I want to offer you this: stop struggling, let go of it. Pray. Go sit with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and let him heal you. (Confession! GO!) Let Jesus dry your tears. Talk to Him or just sit there and let him speak to you. He loves you and has great things for you but it may not be a purpose that is “grand” to the world but to Him. Remember sometimes, some of us, are meant to do “little things with great love” not “great things” (to paraphrase Blessed Mother Teresa). You may still here for yourself or someone else. Your children maybe? Our grand purpose is to get to heaven and to help our loved ones get there as well. God bless you.


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