For a long time I had clarity for the purpose of my life, then out of nowhere as if a bomb landed into my world from knowing exactly what I needed to do to a point where I was completely and utterly clueless on what the purpose of my life was. Time stood still. My world went silent. The world carried on, nonetheless. The clock ticked away. Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock.
From knowing that at the end of a nine month pregnancy that you’d be a mum to a living child to the sudden death of your child. Your emotions strewn haplessly everywhere, as you grasp on anything that seems tangible, anything that somehow helps you make sense of your life. But all the meaning in life seemed to just drain out down the drain pipe. Flushed away were the dreams and hopes that you built for nine long months. Nine long months of eager anticipation. And with that your child the one you had dreams and hopes for was born with a quiet silent dignity. And the doctors were moved with the event. Tears sprung out of their eyes, somehow touched by the predicament of the situation that I landed myself in. Somehow.
It was a rapid plunge into the pit of despair. Into the cave of deep human anguish. And a slow climb back up into the light, with one step forward and ten steps backwards. And so I kept battling the thick slushy marshland of negative emotions trying to grasp helplessly at anything that seemed to be tangible and anything that would lead me from darkness back into light. It took a lot of strength to climb out of the pit of despair to making something out of your life after death knocked you right down, and the only thing that you really truly knew about your world was grief, deep human anguish. The ugly shoes that were on my feet, that was no longer able to take off your feet. This became my journey.
My bandwagon of grief across the rugged plains of earth trying to figure out the meaning of my life. Trying to make sense of what happened. Trying to make sense of the purpose of my life. Why did my son die? Does God have a greater purpose for me that He let my son pass away? What was the purpose of being pregnant for nine months only to go home after a nine month journey of pregnancy with nothing, with empty arms? Nothing but the distant memory of a pregnancy gone wrong. The lingering scent of hope clung onto me, but hope left through the backdoor, and in entered the torments of the devil. The tormenting feelings that all of this was my fault – somehow. That my son’s passing was my fault. But was it? An endless waterfall cascading down with questions, the ‘what ifs’ in life.
If my original purpose was to be a mum but then that was taken away. What is my purpose then? Am I still a mum even if my son no longer lives? What is my purpose in this life? Twenty-three months after my son passed I am slowly beginning to see God’s bigger picture in the death of my son. A book written – ready for publication. A life in ministry perhaps helping many women who are broken. Who are dealing with the loss of a child where hope just left through the back door, and didn’t dare take a second glance at the hopeless case? Not all is lost. I am still battling depths of depression, but I am conquering each impracticability that comes with it. I am learning that in life, no matter how many plans you make – your plans don’t always come through. It is the plans of God that come through. It is God that is in control of your life.
I realize with each passing moment that to fulfill my purpose in life is to follow the steps of Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:11-13
11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
If there isn’t love in life what is the point then? What is the point in life when you cannot be a blessing to others? Why should we live for ourselves? Is it unreasonable to ask to do favors for others in this world? Or is it selfish to do things for yourself? In a world where everyone just focuses on consumerism and on themselves – I want to make a small difference. I want to impact people’s lives. I want to be part of the ripple effect. Giving people hope where their hope has left because of some tragedy in their life.
My purpose from twenty-three months ago is very different to the purpose of my life now. I have different desires and dreams. It doesn’t mean that I wish sometimes we could turn the clock back and go back to a place when the contents in my life seemed to be a lot simpler. Seemed to make a lot more sense than it does now. Now I am just grappling/clutching at straws walking tentatively and learning by God’s grace to take small baby steps and to live my life by faith, and to let God be in control of my life rather than let me be in control of my life. I know full-well that I cannot be in control of my life, because if I am every dream and desire that I have unravels like a piece of yarn and I am back to square one like the Israelites. Better to trust that God is in control then to let your life spin out of control.
I know that I am a mum. I also know that God is preparing me for ministry. That I could help the broken-hearted. Reaching out, giving each one hope that even after the sudden passing of a child that this is not the end. That life can continue, that life can carry on. That you can leave a legacy behind for your child that never got to draw breath on planet Earth. I also know that I am a daughter to my mum and dad and that I have a duty to fulfil. A duty to look after them, a duty as a sister, a duty as a mum to leave a legacy behind. But I also have a duty to myself to live life to the fullest.
I think when death has struck your world three times too many you begin to realize how fragile life is. You begin to realize that you are not in control of life. That having anxiety is not going to help you be in control of your life. Its nigh impossible. Life is about riding the storms with a smile on your face. It is not about riding the storms and drowning in the pit of despair. It took me a long time to realize that. I am still learning to ride the storms of life with peace in my heart knowing that God is in control and that God is teaching me something through each of these trials. That there is a purpose for everything that we go through. And that purpose is to glorify God’s kingdom. It is not to glorify my life. It is to bring people to the cross. The Lord is my strength and my savior and in him I shall place my trust.
Am I naïve to think that because so many ‘bad’ things happened to me, that no more bad things will happen? Each trial that I experience – God is sifting me. He is preparing me for something big, and I simply have to trust God that he will pull me through. My purpose in life is to trust God, to walk by faith and to stop letting fear rule my life. To learn to let go of the things that I cannot control and to just be joyful and peaceful in spirit. Ultimately, I cannot change the events of tomorrow or the events in six months’ time.
When I was pregnant with my son – I let go of all the worries of life, and just learnt to trust God. Learnt to live by faith, and let fear go out the window. There was no point worrying about something that could happen. Instead I learnt to focus on the small important details of life. I learnt to trust God, and through my trust and faith I witnessed God move mountains in my life. That is the life I want to live. I want to live a life where I can carry on trusting God and believing that God is watching my back. He’s got my back. He loves me, and in the same way I can only extend my love to the nations across the world. My purpose is to love freely and to bless people of all walks in life. My purpose in life is to help other parents who have lost children in unfortunate circumstances. My purpose in life is to walk by faith. My purpose in life is to be joyful and to be prayerful. My purpose in life is not to judge, but to be grateful for every blessing that comes my way. What is your purpose in life?