When I was young, my life’s calling was softly introduced to me. It may not have been a path I would have chosen as an adult or of my own desire, but it changed me and made me who I am today. I guess my mother’s illness and death deeply impacted my life. I never forgot the realm of devastation or the pain it caused me as my days unfolded without her.
This strong inner impulse toward my purpose was the pure compassion. My heart ached for those who faced similar circumstances. I would reach out to people I knew or didn’t know who had lost a family member or loved one. I started writing heartfelt letters or email expressing empathy and sharing my personal experience.
It’s not always easy to depict our callings. I have had many insights as to what I thought may be my purpose, but it wasn’t until I was in my forties that I realized it was to heal broken hearts.
It wasn’t easy to understand, but as I look back, death had become an enormous part of my life. My mother died from breast cancer when I was only twelve. My life was never the same. Years later, my father passed away from kidney cancer and then tragically, I lost my only older brother to pancreatic cancer. His death revealed more than ever my purpose in this life.
Our calling is simply our heart speaking its truth. There are no mistakes in life. There are only purposeful moments.
The question is how are we all bringing love and light to the world? Not sure? Just listen to your heart. I listened and began writing. My intention was to write about tenacity, faith and learning to move through grief rather than constantly remind ourselves of what we lost and how horrible our lives are without that person near.
A written testimony can have a profound impact on so many lives. The thought of comforting those who struggle with loss inspired me to persist through the stacks of disappointing rejection letters I received on a regular basis. I would feel this surge of excitement after grabbing the mail from our box and seeing a letter from one of the publishing companies I had sent a proposal to. As I opened the letter while still standing near the road, I could see the words, “regret, doesn’t fit, best of luck”, as I skimmed over the letter. My heart would sink with a quick moment of disappointment.
The years of trial and error led me to a fury of research. I wrote more proposals with an excess of determination to make my story most appealing and hopefully get noticed. Becoming an author wasn’t about notoriety, fame or wealth, it was about reaching out to those in need.
I’ve had a few articles published on a local level as well as a couple nationally. It was a beginning. The best way to begin the writing process, unless you are a well-known author or celebrity, is baby steps. Learn about the industry and never give up. Never lose sight of why you love to write.
Mary Webb 2011