What Part Are You?

Cari Troyer w/husband Steve and daughter Kaitlyn

Cari and I met at the Speak it Forward Boot Camp in October of this year. We immediately connected on our awesome tastes in fashion and our desire for others to understand their own value. You matter. Below, Cari shares the significance of knowing your purpose.

Few things matter more to me than the singular idea that each person has dignity and worth.

I believe very whole-heartedly that we each have been commissioned with a mission of hope—a message destined for a desperate world. And each message is as unique as the person it has been entrusted to – we are as the many instruments of an orchestra, our solo melodies blending together to create a master symphony.

Like parts of the body, we each have a specific purpose and are all necessary for the proper function of The Whole (1 Corinthians 12). But two things must happen for all parts to operate as they should:

1). Each part (person) must realize they are part of the body (or what I call ‘The Whole’ – or God’s Divine Plan), and
2). Each part must know and perform their job (or unique purpose within that Plan).

A hand cannot be used to see, just as an eye cannot be used to feel. No part of The Whole is lesser than another – for what is a foot without a leg? Or a head without a neck? Likewise, what good is an ear that doesn’t know its purpose is to hear, or that tries to be a mouth?! (It sounds absurd, I know, but consider how true to the mark this analogy may actually be — most of the difficulties in my life have occurred when I tried to play a part I wasn’t designed for.)

My vocation in life is to help provide the tools, information, and motivation to assist others as they identify their place and purpose. I am passionate about this idea because I myself once believed I had nothing to contribute to this world, that life was futile and not worth living. As scripture puts it, “… I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world” (Ecclesiastes 2:20).

I chronicle my life-long battle with chronic depression and persistent suicidal thoughts in my book, Risen From Low Places: How I Overcame Depression & Despair. It was on that concrete floor, alone, that I made the choice to live. By the grace of God I have successfully treated my depression and have now achieved wellness. And let me emphasis this point, because it is pivotal: I got up off that floor and sought wellness because I made a decision. Fulfillment and purpose require Action. Choice. I chose to accept the fact that I had a role to play in this life, and I chose to dedicate myself to the diligent pursuit of seeking it out. That is where meaning is to be found. All else is waste and loss. And let me add that I don’t believe that people are afflicted with mental conditions, or difficulties of any kind for that matter, as punishment for sin; what I believe is that it is through despair that God can raise us up.

John 9:3 discusses this concept. The Jewish High Priests were dumbfounded when Jesus gave sight to a blind man. Jewish tradition held that tragedy and disability were punishment for sin. The High Priests asked who had sinned to cause the man’s blindness. Jesus said, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”

Through my depression God molded and shaped me so that my story of survival and redemption might be an example of His divine patience, mercy and power. Be reassured, there is value in your struggle, and good can come of it. For God said in Corinthians 4:6, “’Let light shine out of darkness’”!

It is because of my trials, not despite them, that I now go boldly and unapologetically toward my dreams. My perseverance has given me hope. For it is written, “…we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4).

Again, I tell you, be assured: no matter your circumstances or struggle, you are part of a magnificent Whole. Through trial and difficulty God can mold and perfect you, and ultimately, He can use you to achieve a Greater Good.

Cari Troyer is an Author & Speaker, specializing in personal and professional development.



13 thoughts on “What Part Are You?

  1. There is nothing as compelling in story-telling as someone’s honest journey; thank you for sharing your struggles .. and your inspiration .. with all of us.

    I loved the message of, “He can use you to achieve a Greater Good.”

    Cheers! MJ

    • Yes, we each have new commissioned with messages of hope. I gained that knowledge at a high price – my former life, a life lost to death and woe. I have been the bitter blackness and had that heart of darkness!

      Oh, how I implore you to love & live! Time is a precious and expiring commodity!

      I tell you with certainty beyond all doubt, as someone who has lived this truth and claimed it – that every moment we do not spend purposely living we spend passively dying.

  2. We all have a role in the body… I have said this time after time. One of my HUGE frustrations in life is trying to force myself into the role that OTHERS want me to be in. “We don’t need what you bring to the table. We need this over here instead. Go be that for us.”


    I will be me. I will bring what I have to the table and put it out there to be used by all for His greater good. If you do not need or want what I have to offer then I will move on until I find those who do need and want it.

    That is how I will fully become the man God made me to be. By offering what it is that he put inside me to the world for His good… not by trying to put this round peg in a square whole!

    On a side note… this post puts your comment to me about not quitting in a different light. It gives it body and meaning.

    Thanks for sharing this great message with us. We NEED to hear this.


    • Thank you – you know I’m your #1 fan. Like you, I choose to L.I.V.E.
      *Love what I do, *Invest in myself, *Value what is real & good, *Engage my passions/ Encourage others.

      • Cari, thank you for sharing your post on this site! I am thrilled to be able to share other peoples’ perspectives. I can relate to what Ivan has said above: One of my HUGE frustrations in life is trying to force myself into the role that OTHERS want me to be in. “We don’t need what you bring to the table. We need this over here instead. Go be that for us.”

        I find that I am constantly trying to put myself in roles that do not fit – as a result, I am frustrated and the people I am trying to help are frustrated or they can sense I am not being genuine. I’m finding that I make the biggest difference when I am true to myself – others are naturally drawn to me when I am living in my strengths!

    • Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

      Luke 12:48

      Psalm 71:20

    • Matthew 5:14-18 English Standard Version (ESV)

      14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

  3. Cari,
    Really loved what you wrote here! I can really relate to your journey in overcoming depression…and feeling stronger and more alive on the other side. I had a similar journey. It’s like I had to walk through that fire to come out more refined.
    I like how you said, “it was on the concrete floor alone that I made the choice to live” well said, and totally true! We DO make the choice to L.I.V.E!!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!

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