Purpose

Beauty, Passion, and Hope

Esther’s House Gala Dinner, 2016

I was not sure what to expect when I walked up the steps of the building and toward the room hosting the third annual gala dinner for Esther’s House, for this was my first time attending. I had heard wonderful tales about a dessert auction and had been warned to that I would most likely cry at some point, so I came well prepared with cash and tissues.

The first thing that I noticed when I walked into the room was beauty. The room I had entered was beautiful, with tall white and green flower arrangements and soft candles. The women at the door were beautiful. Throughout the evening, there were continued moments of beauty: the singing, the honouring of people, laughter, beautiful cakes, and the beauty of so many people gathered together with the unified aim of supporting Esther’s House. Not least was the the inner beauty of the woman who spearheads Project Esther, and the beauty of vulnerability that she and the other speakers shared with us.

esthershousedinner

As beautiful as it was, the night was just as passionate. I was moved by how deeply Gaye believes in this cause. Nothing said that night was just words. Everything was from a place of deep conviction. Each of the three speakers were eloquent and moving, compelling me to look at myself and ask, “what can I offer?” I was challenged by their passion. Pregnancy and motherhood has been something I have long been interested in, amplified after I lost several pregnancies, but I have struggled to know how to act on these interests. While at this dinner, I began to see how I could start putting actions to my beliefs.

The night was a lot of fun. It was fun to be with friends, acquaintances and other like-minded people – people who believe that there is hope and solutions for women who find themselves in impossible situations. It was fun to be silly and to not be looking after my toddler (back at home with daddy), and to catch up with people I had not seen for a long time. And this might sound trivial, but it was so enjoyable to dress up. I have not had the chance to wear my favourite dress and pile on sparkly eye-shadow for some time now, and I took full advantage.

Did I cry? Yes, a little. But I laughed more, and I feel like fresh hope was breathed in to me. There are people taking action to help provide resources, support and help to women who find themselves in vulnerable or even scary positions.

And I am sure you are wondering about the dessert auction. Let me assure you that it is all you can imagine, and that the Death by Chocolate cake our table won was a wonderful way to top off a beautiful, passionate, fun, and hope-filled evening.

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He is My Inspiration

Theodore’s early death is a source of grief, because we looked forward to having him and raising him so much. His life, however, is a source of encouragement and inspiration to me now. It spurs me on to love more, forgive faster, and to have my eyes focused not on the temporal but on the eternal.

After his death, I remember reading Psalm 139. Verse 16 was a huge source of encouragement for me. It says this:

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

I read this, and I knew beyond doubt and beyond questions that Theodore had already lived his life. Every day ordained for him had been lived out. In less than twenty-four weeks, he had lived every moment he was meant to live.

I remember being so blown away by this. I was so filled with peace and satisfaction; any feeling that my son’s life had been robbed from him was banished. Instead I had an awe-filled knowledge that he had lived his life, every day he was intended to have. It is hard to be too full of sorrow when you start seeing things like this. Yes, the grief of losing him is still there; grief is a process. But, for me, this helped to resolve practically all of the anger and confusion I had been feeling at times.

At the same time as feeling the relief that Theodore had lived his life, I felt a responsibility settling upon me. If Theodore has lived all his days, if his earthly life is spent, then it is my responsibility and my husband’s responsibility to make sure we allow the purpose of Theodore’s life to come to fruition. This calls us to a higher level of love and trust and faith. It spurs us on to behave in a way that is kind and patient and understanding. We could so easily have shut ourselves away and let ourselves become bitter and angry. We could have refused to believe that any good could come of this. We easily could have blamed God. But we were so careful not to let this happen. We did all we could to keep ourselves open and caring and loving. We did all we could to make it easy for people to share in our grief, and also our joys. We have worked hard to keep our eyes trained on the faithfulness of God and his promises.

It is not always easy. I think sometimes, people see me as being more healed than I am. I keep trying to be patient, because how can I tell someone that they are hurting me, without hurting them in return? So I try. I try so hard to keep walking in love, in patience, and in forgiveness. There are times I see Theodore in my mind’s eye, ahead of me, encouraging me on. “Come on, mum. Keep looking up.” And I am reminded that this life is just for a short time. I am encouraged that I can live this life well, and walk in love for every day of it.

Theodore’s short and precious life motivates me so much to keep my eyes firmly fixed on what I am living for, on who I desire to become. It helps me remember the peace and joy I have when I intentionally – trustingly – release myself into the safe and steady hands of God, and into the unknown, surprising, demanding, exciting future and purpose which is in store for me.

Quite frankly, my son is my hero. He is my coach, my champion, my muse, my encourager, and my inspiration as I live out everyday, every moment of my life.