A New Life Purpose

Given a two-year life expectancy, I decided to do what mattered most in the days I had and to trust God to give me exactly what I needed every step of this new journey.

By Carol Kuykendall, Boulder, Colorado

As appeared in

If you are going to be used by God, he will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all; they are meant to make you useful in his hands. —Oswald Chambers

When I placed this quote above my computer several years ago, I wanted a reminder that God intended to bring some good out of my Stage 4 ovarian cancer diagnosis. I had no idea then how meaningful those words would become for me now.

When first diagnosed, I was given a two-year life expectancy. Instead of fighting that prediction, I let it shape my life purpose: to do what mattered most in the days I had and to trust God to give me exactly what I needed every step of this new journey, even if it included dying much sooner than I expected. But I didn’t die, and when I passed the five-year anniversary of my diagnosis, I wondered if I could find a new life purpose about being a survivor.

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Soon, my phone started ringing and people identified themselves as recently diagnosed cancer patients. “How have you survived cancer?” I was asked again and again. I felt a bit baffled. I didn’t have any nice neat list of do's and don'ts about not eating sugar or eating only raw vegetables. My survival is far more about what God has done than what I have done,” I replied, and went on to relate my story about the ways God prepared and equipped me for my journey.

In these conversations, I keep discovering how life-giving and hope-bringing our personal stories can be, especially when they are shared with a person walking the same challenging path that God has walked with us. That’s sacred ground. And I’ve discovered a new life purpose.

Lord, I hope that I am useful in Your hands when I tell and retell my stories about Your faithfulness.

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Your Comments (6)

:) I am always happy to read survivor stories.

Thank-you for this reminder. Once I started each day with the prayer - "Lord, make of me a blessing to someone today" but several Life blows wore me down and I drifted. Well, it's 10am here in Scotland this morning and your piece has reminded me.

Lord, on this morning of 10th September 2013, hear my prayer. Make of me a blessing to someone today. Thank-you for the blessings others have been to me. Amen.

I have been a Daily Guideposts reader for several decades!!! Your devotional above and the past ones are always inspiring . Thanks for opening your heart and ministering to me. I pray that I can have the courage and faith to always look to the great and mighty blessings that God bestows on our family everyday. God has blessed us with seven wonderful grandchildren that are being brought up in Christian homes.....and they think we are wonderful grandparents too!,,,May God continue to use and keep you in His tender care.
In His Love, Susan

I am a stage 4 breast cancer survivor. Going on 2 yrs now. They say only 20% live more then 6 yrs. I let God me everyday and I am trusting that I will be in that 20% and can helps others.

I will like to get in touch with Carol Kuykendall on 'the Life purpose'. I am currently going through some emotional storms as my younger brother is on the Hospital bed; suffering from a brain tumour. He was operated upon in India sometimes in November last year but a recent scan indicates that the tumor has grown back and he was re-admitted to one of our Teaching Hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria.
I need prayers, I need encouragement, I need support, I need the Lord Jesus intervention in his case.

I trust in His divine healing for by His stripes, by brother is healed in Jesus name! Amen.

Yours in Christ Jesus,
Ade Aregbesola

Hello Ade. If you wish to write to Carol, you can send a letter to her care of Guideposts, 110 William Street, 9th floor, New York, NY 10038, and we will be happy to forward it to her.