Inspiration from Another Story of Healing and Purpose

“I am really enjoying reading the stories you are sharing about purpose. It is really inspiring me.”

That statement meant the world to me, coming from one of the most purpose-filled people I know! She’s living her purpose out loud! It served as real confirmation to me to continue sharing stories of healing and purpose.

I love what George Bernard Shaw says about purpose:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrapheap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

More than anything, I desire to live my purpose and be thoroughly spent of sharing it, until the moment I breathe my last breath.

That’s the true meaning of living for me.

But it wasn’t always that way for me. And maybe it’s not for you at this point in your life.

That’s why I am sharing these stories.

To inspire you.

I honestly believe that any of the dozens of stories that were submitted (when I asked people if they would share their stories) would have inspired me to do whatever it took to find my purpose earlier in my life.

Regardless of where you are in life. Regardless of mistakes, missteps, or any other adverse thing in your life … YOU have a purpose!

Regrets turn to overwhelm us. And overwhelm keeps us cycling towards yet another round of regret and overwhelm. And the thought of us taking one step towards ending this cycle overwhelms.

ALL of us who’ve decided to stop this familiar merry-go-round of madness and take that first step off, faced that same overwhelming feeling created by that kind of cyclical, habitual thinking. 

Changing regret and overwhelm into purposeful living, is as simple as deciding to replace these cycling thoughts and actions. But also as difficult as daily surrendering to do it!        

My hope and prayer is, that these stories will inspire you to purposeful living!

It’s not too early! It’s not too late!

1. What was your trauma?

Last week, I shared Nate’s story. This week, I’m sharing his wife’s story, who was his fiancé when they attended the Power of Purpose together in London.

Antoinette was abandoned on the doorstep of a ‘foundling hospital’, and they believe she was about two weeks old when she was dropped off.

She was adopted by a family who had given birth the year before to a baby that had died. However, she did not know she was adopted until she attempted to get a passport when she was a teenager.

“I guess there was no reason, through the years, for me to know that I was adopted. I had no clue.”

“I suppose I grew up in a normal household. My mother was quite depressed, and a very angry woman. My father was absent most of the time, and I don’t blame him. She was awful!”

“Even if my mother was saying something positive, she did it with such a sharp edge in her voice that you would feel cut to your core. And positive things were rare. Negativity, criticism, and judgement were her major themes.”

“I remember when I went into the educational system, I was shocked that teachers did not speak with the same edge.”

“I recall asking my mum at one point why the teachers smiled and laughed so much. Her response was: ‘Because they’re possessed by a spirit or mentally ill’.”

“I suppose I thought that I was fortunate to have a mum that was not possessed with evil nor mentally ill since she did none of that.”

“I knew I wasn’t wanted. I always had the feeling that I was an unwelcome guest in my own home. Their home. Of course, it all made sense when I found out I was adopted, in order to fill a hole in my mum’s soul when she had lost a baby.”

“After elementary school, I started attending church with a neighbor friend. They had a lot of activities that were really fun.”

“Then I found out a couple of years later they were going on a mission trip for the summer to work in an orphanage in Romania. Something about that appealed to me deeply.”

“I began to talk to my parents about it, and they interrogated me like I was on trial. Why did I want to go? Why was it important to me? What did I think I would have to offer kids who didn’t have a home?”

“I thought the line of questioning was odd. Ultimately, they said no because they didn’t want to spend money to send me there. Now I know they thought I was bordering on finding out the truth about being adopted. No one knew I was. Neither friends nor family. To this day, I have no idea why it was such a secret.”

“I offered to find a little job to help pay for it and was informed no one would hire me.”

“I cried each time I got messages from my friend in Romania, telling me how wonderful it was to work in the orphanage. And they had even gone out to some gypsy camps to do something like a little summer camp with the kids.”

“The same thing happened the next year. But that’s when I decided to go ahead and figure out how to get a passport and find a way to go.”

“I asked for my birth certificate, saying that the school needed it.  Another interrogation ensued, and my mom said she would take it to the school.”

“I actually set up an appointment to speak with the principal and confessed my sin of lying to my mum. But I begged her if she would at least keep a copy of the birth certificate for my file, even though she might have to tell my mum that they didn’t really request it.”

“Although I was in severe trouble for saying the school needed it, the principal did keep a copy for me. And to make a very long story short, I began the process, my parents found out … and then they sent me down for ‘the talk’.”

“They told me that I had been adopted, and they had hoped that I would fill the void in their lives, but clearly, I hadn’t. And they used me starting the investigation as proof that it had been a mistake on their part to ever take me in.”

“At the time it didn’t seem to matter that much, because I had already figured out a way to go to Romania for the summer and I’d been dreaming of it for over a year. That’s what mattered to me.”

“I got there, and my soul came alive.”

“I didn’t know why at the time, but now I believe it was because they accepted me. They (both kids and staff) wanted me there. Secretly, I wished I had grown up there … instead of in the home where I was a huge disappointment.”

“After that trip, they just let me live in their home. They did nothing for me or with me. They never invited me to the dinner table again but would say something like there’s food on the stove after they ate. And of course, I was always expected to do all of the cleaning.”

“They didn’t even attend my graduation.”

“I moved out one weekend, and there were no goodbyes.”

“I found a job at a childcare center and lived in a hostel. I married a boy I met there. No wedding. Just a trip to City Hall. Within a year, he decided he didn’t want me either. I decided it really was me that was the problem.”

“From then on, I kept to myself. I worked with kids and really enjoyed that. But really… I felt alone, lost, and empty.”

2. What is your purpose?

“I met Nate in a little café where I was having tea. He was seated at a small table near mine. We had a nice conversation over tea, and I wished that we could talk again.”

“Little did I know he was wishing the same thing. We both visited the little cafe numerous times, hoping to see the other. But never at the same time. “

“One day I was having tea, and the manager came to me and asked if my name was Antoinette? I said it was, and he handed me a piece of paper and said this man described you and asked me if I ever saw you to give you.”

“My heart skipped a beat when I saw his name written on the slip of paper, along with his phone number. I kept it on my little table but was nervous about calling. Finally, I did.”

“We had been seeing one another for about 6 months when a friend of mine from the church I had attended years before told me about the Power of Purpose workshop. It sounded intriguing, but I didn’t want to go alone.” 

“I invited Nate, and although he didn’t seem very enthusiastic about it, he was pleasantly willing.”

“I don’t remember the morning of the first day, because I was concerned about whether or not he was comfortable, and was more focused on him than the program.”

“It was that piece on the emotional train that got me. Really got me! I realized that years ago I shut my emotions down. And the only things that I ever felt were shame and worthlessness.”

“When you talked about buying a ticket for our trains, I realize that unknowingly, my adopted parents had bought me a lifetime ticket to the emotional train-of-shame.”

“Shame about who I was. Shame about everything I did. Shame about how I looked. Shame about no one ever really wanting me.”

“As a matter of fact, Nate and I were getting more and more serious, and I could feel myself pulling away. I knew that once he really knew me, he would not want me. My birth mum didn’t want me. My adopted parents didn’t want me. My short-term husband didn’t want me. Why would this be any different?”

“I dared to wonder what it would do if I chose to destroy my lifetime pass to the train of shame and worthlessness.  To let down my walls. To really love. Completely.” 

“Then the first exercise on purpose reminded me of how I felt at that orphanage in Romania. I realized that if I could feel that way again, my life would be totally different.”

“The second exercise on purpose gave me the courage to believe that there was more to my life than there had been. I even wondered if what I had been through could be used to help people know their true value.”

“When you were doing the movie of your life exercise, the woman shared about how she’d escaped from domestic abuse. But believed that she deserved to be abused. So, she had stayed on for years of it.”

“Although I had not been through domestic abuse, I understood the feeling of deserving nothing good.  I wondered if there was some kind of place where people who had been abused could go. Where I could find them.”

“Then when it came to the letter… Oh my God, I will cherish that letter the rest of my life.”

“My purpose just poured out of me…

‘My purpose is to help women who are survivors of domestic abuse to come back to life, find their true value, and to live life to the fullest!’

For the first time in many years, I once again felt what I’d felt in Romania.”

(From my AA recovery friend … “Our needs can keep us sick, and our needs can heal us. It comes down to selfishness or surrender. Selfishness keeps you chasing that relief and the numbing of those needs, so you can reach that conscious moment (the buzz) when the unconscious needs don’t seem to matter. That’s sick. Surrender is not knowing the why of your needs, but the willingness to not control how you’ll discover them and trusting you will. That’s how you heal and uncover the needs, that lead to your purpose. And to being yourself.”)

3. What difference did it make in your healing and/or in your life?

“Well, that whole experience was just the right breath of fresh air on the spark that Nate and I had shared with one another.”

“Shortly after we shared our purposes with one another, and saw how closely they were aligned, he took me to meet his mum.”

“Oh my goodness. For the first time in my life, I felt what it was like to experience a mother’s love. You cannot even imagine what that did for me.”

“I immediately knew that somehow God brought Nate to me, if for no other reason, but to feel the love of a mum.  And I loved her like she was my mum.”

“Nate proposed, and we had a little wedding in a garden. It’s one of the most special memories of my life.”

“He looked into my eyes and read his vows and pledged his adoring love to me.  I saw the tears in his eyes, I felt the warmth of his heart, and I knew I could believe that this was real.”

“For the first time in my life, I felt valued and treasured. By both Nate and his mum.”

“He and I begin working together on our purposes, and what was already a sweet relationship became rich and priceless.”

“It’s not that we’ve not had any difficult moments. But for me … all I must do is take a moment and remember his adoring love. The love of his mum. And the fulfillment of helping women find for the first time, or to reclaim, their value and worth. “

“I see it happen, and it thrills me every single time. No one should go a day without knowing their worth and value. And being a part of that has been the most rewarding thing I ever imagined!”

“And may I say this? You hear these little things people say… But for me, they all became true when I found my purpose…

The sun shines a little bit brighter.

The flowers are a little more fragrant.

The colors of nature are a little bit more vivid.

The sky is more expensive.

The twinkling stars are a little more captivating.

The sunset is even more magical.

And life is so much more incredible than my heart can contain. I overflow.”

“My hope is that I will overflow so much that every heart I encounter will also overflow. “

“Most of all, I hope our children overflow. Yes, we tried to get pregnant and could not. Through an extraordinary set of circumstances, we were asked if we might be willing to consider adopting twins to be born 6 weeks from the date we were asked.”

“Knowing that it would complete my circle, I told Nate that I really wanted to do that. Nate said it would complete his too, and we now have 2 amazing young adults in our home. Both attending the University. Nathan in the law program, Natasha in the medical field.”

“We couldn’t be more proud parents.”

“What would I say to your audience? I would say don’t live one more day without knowing your purpose. Life is meant to be rich and fulfilling. And overflowing with goodness, joyfulness, peacefulness. Your purpose sets all of that into motion! “


My hope is that this story inspired you.

This week, someone asked me … “How will I know if I have found my purpose?” Great question!

My response was … “If it feels bigger than you, scares you a little, but also creates passion, or a fire in your bones … it’s probably your purpose!”

It’s like John Wesley says:

“Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.” 

I have always loved the writing of Og Mandino. But I must say that I hope I can live my life as he said he was committed to living his:

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”

Living with purpose is not hard. Living without purpose is!

My hopes and prayers are that this story will inspire you to do … whatever it takes … to find your purpose. Remember, the world needs what comes with your purpose.

Don’t think giant step.

Think next step.

Then the next step becomes the next step.

And every next step … turn into giant steps! As the ancient proverb declares … “Man devises his ways, God directs his steps.” Your next step is all you need to find the next one! And it will lead to your purpose.

PS – If you’d like more info and upcoming dates for the Power of Purpose, click here: