Thursday, March 19, 2015

Gift of Hope: Do You Embrace Your Purpose?

Several years ago, I endured the darkest time of my life. My body was plagued with pain, I wasn’t able to work, and my heart ached, continuously. During the day, I tried to put my misery aside and care for my home and children, but at night I cried until all of my tears were gone. Every night, alone on my deck, I talked to God and cried. My misery stemmed from my unwillingness to do His work and my rejection of His purpose for me.

I didn’t want to be scarred or to live in constant pain. Fighting every day to do simple tasks wasn’t what I wanted for my life. Yes, I wanted to be an author, but I wanted to be funny, and only write fictional stories that excluded any similarity to my life. Opening my heart and sharing my deepest heartaches was NEVER part of my dreams. It was, however, the desire of my heart. I just didn’t know it yet.

God was so patient with me through the process. Every time my heart began searching for understanding, God was there to instruct me. He comforted me as I cried, and gave me the encouragement, faith, and courage to keep going.

I will never forget the moment, when my heart asked Him why. Some viewed me as burden, fluke of nature, defect, etc. and even made comments that my scars were a punishment. Seeing the disgust on their faces made me feel even worse about myself. While some people believed that I should have never questioned God, I needed a new perspective about my scars. In most situations, there are two perspectives: spiritual and scientific. Since no one could satisfy me with the scientific explanation, I desired to know the spiritual reasoning.

Did God, in fact, have a reason for my scars?

One night, as I sat on the deck God gave me a glimpse of my scars’ purpose. A light shined upon my hands and extended from them. At first this vision scared me, and I closed my eyes. I rubbed my eyes, and breathed deeply. But when I opened them the light was still shining on my hands and I could feel His spirit in my heart. God showed me that my hands would give others hope. Sometimes it is so comforting to know that we are not alone in our journey.  And in that moment my feelings about my scars changed. My whole life I had been ashamed of my scars and tried to pray them away, but when the light faded I saw them with a different understanding. I was not punished with scars, but blessed with life—to love and be loved. My situation could have turned out differently. The bands could have wrapped around my body and taken my life, but God spared me. Since that day I have never looked at them the same way. I’m so thankful God blessed me to live. And for the beautiful testimony He placed in my heart to explain them.

Some people hate the word inspiration, and believe it is a form of pity. I believe it is a gift from God. Anytime that He will allow me to inspire another life is priceless. According to the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to inspire is a :  to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration. In my opinion, we should all strive to live an inspired life. 

My son captured this picture of my sister and me at an event. The first thing I saw was the light on my hands. As the tears fell from my eyes, I remembered that moment with God on my deck. Regardless of what people think of me, I know this is my purpose. As long as there is breath in my body, I pray that I will do His work and live my life for Him. To give others hope, when they feel hopeless, is a beautiful gift—it’s priceless.

Do you have a group, school, or event that you feel would benefit from hearing my story of hope? If so, please email me at candidasullivan@yahoo.com. 

May God bless you,

Candida Sullivan


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