A Message of Inspiration from a Burn Survivor: Finding Purpose and Meaning

Written by Taylor Campbell on October 23, 2023

Survivor Stories
Testimonials / Impact Stories
Inspirational Stories
Equality + Acceptance
Personal Growth
Faith + Spirituality

You are stronger, braver, and more capable than ever before.

As a new day begins and the sun rises, you pause, taking a deep breath before looking in the mirror. You hope today will be a day when you love the reflection staring back at you. Living in a world filled with hate, not only accepting yourself but truly loving yourself becomes vital. Have you ever wondered why this happened to you? Why are you different? Or why can't you just be normal?

The Truth

You are not alone in this; in fact, you are never alone. Trust me in knowing you were made for this battle least expected. The journey doesn't end the day you leave the hospital. There is a hard, long road up ahead, but it is a beautiful one if you make it. It is very easy to feel discouraged and hopeless as all you have ever known now seems stripped away, but that is not the truth.

You are still the same person. You are not as lost as you may think you are. You still know exactly who you are, and you are the only one who truly knows. No one on this earth knows you better than you know yourself. Yes, your physical appearance may feel dismantled currently, but with patience, I assure you that is a simple cure.

Not only are you a survivor, but you are also a fighter, overcomer, and world changer! If you struggle to see your story as that now, I encourage you to write those words down daily and claim that part of your identity. You are so much more than your scars and what is reflected in the mirror. YOU are still YOU. To this day, I even surprise myself with my strength to share my story and stay true to my purpose and identity, which is to make a difference in the world. By fostering true self-love and acceptance, you too can have that feeling, and your courage can inspire others along the way without you even realizing it.


In order to move forward and embrace this new identity, let's first understand what the words "purpose" and "meaning" truly mean. Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. The word purpose also is a verb which states, "God has allowed suffering, even purposed it." "Meaning" is defined in many different forms depending on the context, but my favorite definition is, "the belief that your life and contributions matter to others and yourself, the feeling that your life makes sense, and the feeling that you are actively pursuing fulfilling goals." Now knowing this makes it much simpler for us to break down the path of overcoming.

When you share your story, share it with boldness and courage. Never be afraid to tell others about the battles you have conquered. Remember, you are not a victim for sharing your story; you're a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. One of my favorite quotes says:

My scars are a part of me but do not define me.

In other words, your physical appearance is just one part of who you are, not the entirety.

The Why

After my accident at the age of eight months, my mom was at my bedside while I was fighting for my life with a 7% chance of survival. I had second and third-degree burns covering over 64% of my tiny, fragile body. She thought she had ruined my life and was in disbelief that this was her baby, whom she couldn't even recognize because of bandages wrapped around my entire body except for my pinky toe. Everything she knew about her baby was faded out of view. It is safe to say I had a hard road to beat the odds that were 93% against my survival.

I did not do this on my own. The doctors and nurses were vital factors in my survival, but I don’t believe they were working alone. I believe in the power of God. I have unwavering faith that God pulled me out of the fire, kept me breathing, and healed me. I don’t believe I would be here today without the one who knew the plans

He had for me, plans to prosper not to harm, plans to give hope and a future. Yeshua is Hebrew, meaning to save, rescue, and deliver. Here, almost twenty years later, I believe that by His name, I was saved, called, and purposed for such a time as this.

You may have a different relationship with faith and spirituality, but you can still find meaning and purpose in your journey. Self-love and acceptance are the keys to unveiling your true purpose and meaning. You are far more than the physical scars you bear or the reflections in the mirror. You are an extraordinary individual, capable of changing the world with your resilience and courage. Embrace the fighter within you, for your story holds the power to inspire and uplift others. Let self-love guide you, and may your journey be filled with hope, growth, and the unwavering knowledge that you are destined for greatness.

On good days, remember never to let anyone steal your fire. Break down the prison bars that held you captive for long enough. That can be fear, guilt, shame, lack of confidence, or security in your identity. Let those breathe, give them wings, and set them free now. Show the world who you are without fear. You are stronger, braver, and more capable than ever before. Release that fire and ignite the world with your story because you are someone's hero. Fight on, Fighter!

Taylor Campbell is a college student attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Communications and minoring in Creative Writing with a focus on Journalism. She is the author of Hope to the Third Degree and is currently working on her second book.

Learn more about taylor