Pay Attention To Those Little Signs

Oct 23, 2013

Our purpose unfolds as life moves us forward.

As a young girl my heart was drawn to adoption in the strangest of ways.

“Am I adopted?” I’d ask my mother sometimes feeling that I just didn’t fit into my family.

Always the quiet one

reflective and sensitive

I longed to do something meaningful with my life but had no clue what that might be.

From the moment I walked in the door of that HeadStart Program and faced the curious

stares of over a two dozen four year olds

I felt purpose and peace.

Yes, sitting beside those children teaching them letters and colors

they taught me the joy of wading into the needs of society and doing something.

My heart beat wildly251591_3815704947523_2123314045_n with excitement and passion and purpose as each day I went to that summer job.

Nineteen years old and beginning to see.

It wasn’t just the Christmas box that I slipped by the front door of that old broken down shack

that that little boy I worked with called a home.

Dad was an alcoholic, mother raising four children.

No, way before Christmas I had given my heart to do all that I could to relieve the needs

and help the children.

I went back to college having had a small glimpse of an ocean of pain and suffering.

A few years later I began teaching first grade

still drawn to do what I could for those who had so little.

Buying crayons and markers for those who had none.

Going that extra mile and discovering joy.

Weaving stories of hope and promise for those who had none.

Purpose continuing to flower as my heart embraced the call.

Spinning the globe as I sat in my living room floor.

“What country do you want to adopt from?” the social worker asked.

“Anywhere” I answered knowing it did not matter.

Wherever there was a child who needed a parent, I was open and willing.

Drawn to by an irresistible Love to do all I could.

Weakness stepping into an ocean of need and discovering that I was carried and supported

All along the way.

Raising two Russian born girls and finding it joy.

Purpose continuing to unfold as my life moves forward.

A purpose that had visible signs early on in my life.

Pay attention to those moments when you feel fully alive

And  on fire.

Is it writing? Then write.

Is it teaching? Then teach.

Is it working with children or the elderly or the sick? Then do that.

Whatever it is that taps into your hidden energy


and in so doing your purpose will be revealed.

As you give your life away

you will receive your life.



  1. neilstirlingbowers

    My wife was adopted, so this piece really hit home with me. Additionally, my mother went through a lot of sacrifice to follow her dream of earning her teaching credential while essentially a single parent, and began her 20 years of elementary teaching when she was nearly 40 years old. You are so right about finding your passion and pursuing it! And it isn’t selfish to do so, either. God is the one who hard-wired us the way He did, and gave us a love of the things we were meant to touch with our lives. This was beautifully written, and inspiring to boot!

    • SharonBrani

      Thank you for such encouraging words, Neil! No, finding your passion isn’t selfish at all. Instead knowing it and beginning to live it out, awakens you to life on a deeper level, don’t you think?


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