You remember yesterday/last night/actually early this morning, when I was musing about how I want to leave a mark in the world, to do something important and worthy with my life? The gist was that I couldn't really fully put into words what I was longing for, but I've found it! I found the words to explain my mission! Whenever I read the Hands Free Mama blog, it's perfect timing for something, either a struggle I'm going through or a thought or philosophy taking shape that needed a little guidance and a shove in the final direction. This time, I came across this article called Your Most Important Role, In Case Someone Forgets, and I'll go ahead and copy the sections that jumped out at me the loudest.

I ended up taking that two-hour drive with Scott. I can’t even remember if he got the job; I only remember the look of gratitude on his face when he dropped me off, saying he would have been way more nervous if he’d gone alone. All I’d done was simply remind him of what he already knew—the good stuff we tend to forget about ourselves in times of doubt, stress, uncertainty, and fear.
Over the past two decades, I’ve referred to that experience many times: As a special education teacher looking into the eyes of a young man who killed his pet … as a mother whose Noticer of Life child admitted she felt “different” from the rest … as a confidant whose friend confessed dark truths she thought made her unworthy of happiness and true love.
“You might not be able to see it right now, but you hold great value,” I’d said to all of these precious people. “I see your value. And I am here to remind you when you forget.”
I have a dear friend who has written a literary masterpiece coming out in April that “illuminates one highly dysfunctional family’s tentative, desperate crawl toward a life of meaning and worth.” My friend says it happened largely because I believed in her. What Katrina doesn’t understand is that I had no choice. Her gift was so obvious and so needed in this hurting world I simply could not let her give up.
While working on the manuscript for my third book a few weeks ago, I needed grammar assistance. I knew exactly who to go to for help.
“Thank you, literary genius,” I texted Katrina after she provided exactly what I needed.
“You’re welcome, soul changer,” she wrote back.
I began to cry.
Out of all the things I could be in this world, I couldn’t think of anything better than that.

Soul changer
I never had to ask my friend what she meant by the term.
I knew exactly what it meant because of the experiences I had with my husband, my former student, and my child.
It means seeing someone’s inner light when he cannot see it for himself. It means putting your hands protectively around her light through upheavals and uncertainties so the precious light doesn’t diminish. It means reminding people of the beautiful things they know, but tend to forget, about themselves.
And I don’t do it for others due to noble reasons; I do it because it is what I hope someone will do for me. And because certain people in my life have done it for me.
One night Avery was playing her guitar and singing her heart out. Suddenly, I remembered an uplifting video I wanted to show her. As a self-professed “fan of adorable old people,” I knew Avery would enjoy seeing this video showing the impact of familiar songs on despondent seniors in a retirement home. The video was so touching and so personal, the newscaster lost his composure at the end of the segment.
After seeing the way the guitar-playing music therapist brought foot taping and hand clapping to the nearly lifeless seniors who began to sing along, Avery jumped up with excitement. “Music therapist? I never knew there was such a thing! I could do that, Mama! I want to do that!”
“There is very strong connection between music and memories,” I repeated from the news clip. “Just imagine. You could transport elderly people back to a beautiful time in their lives. You could help them remember their best memories and remind them of who they are.”

Soul changer
It suddenly occurred to me that we all have instruments in which we can change people’s souls. Some instruments are more obvious than others, but we all have them. Sadly, some people may never even know they’ve changed someone’s soul.

Soul changers
Thank goodness, they are all around us. Thank goodness, they are within us.
My friends, what an important role each of you play in this often-hurting world. You have the power and the instrument to help someone remember these critical truths: You are worthy. You hold value. You are not alone. 
Perhaps you do it with strong hugs or comfort food delivered right to their doors.
Perhaps you do it with a make-up brush and healing hands.
Perhaps you do it with long drives, quiet presence, or faithful prayers.
Maybe it is your green thumb or the tender way you wipe tears.
Maybe it’s the way you remember people’s names and say them with love.
Maybe it’s the way you bring humor to heavy situations or drop everything when needed.
Maybe it’s the way you always know when to pick up the phone or send a hand-written card.
Soul changers
Sometimes all we need to believe in ourselves is one person to remind us of what we already know.
And like a familiar tune from long ago, just a few notes is all we need to start tapping our toes and singing the lyrics we never forgot. And low and behold, we find it’s just the anthem we need to carry on.

That, my dear friends, is what I want to be. That is the essence of what I found myself longing for after hearing Rachel Scott's story, after watching The Mission for the first time and every time after when I listened to the soundtrack with my eyes closed. That's the quintessential Mark Maker that I want to be, the one people remember as the changer and caretaker of souls. Even just one.

I know that I truly loved my work with The Healing Journey, even though it brought up a lot of difficult things for me in the dark of night, and I know that I would have thrown my whole self into my massage therapy, had I been able to complete the training. I continually gravitate toward these professions of healing and helping, because that's who I am. That's what I wanna be. Now that my body is in a state of constant rebellion I can't accomplish the goals I once had for myself, but the delicious thing is that I can be a soul changer and a caretaker of hearts even from the depths of my own pain and from the cushions of my couch. It doesn't seem like such an unattainable goal after all, framed in this kind of concept. The very very best part? I know that I've already met this goal many times over, but each time will be beautiful all over again. Also, when you invest in the people around you, they tend to turn around and take care of you right back, which I've experienced much of. Now that I'm more dependent than ever, I have a lot of good people who have my back. Give and receive, ebb and flow.

Suddenly the next 28 years don't seem so much of a burden anymore.

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