This week we’re diving deep into what hope looks like as we live literally and figuratively after Easter. We are unpacking what it means to be faith-filled hopers when it comes to some spiritually heavy words/concepts like: freedom, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Yesterday, Kate helped us chew on the word salvation. Today, we marinate on purpose.
I’m going to need to start today’s post with a confession:
I am a Christian writing to you about purpose and I’ve never even read “The Purpose Driven Life”! (I’ve also never read anything about Harry Potter or watched a Star Wars movie… I know, I know, you’re outraged, aren’t you?)
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll also confess that I chose purpose as my topic because the post had already been written for me…
It came in the form of a letter, a brown paper envelope encasing five hand-written pages, postmarked 28 July 2015, thirteen days after the death of my daughter.
It is one of the most treasured gifts I have ever received. It’s a letter written to my deceased daughter for the day of her birth. I’m honored to transcribe it now because I believe there is something in it for all of us. If someone could say this much about the purpose of my chromosomally-defected baby girl who only lived for four days, what purpose must God have for me, for you?
Sweet beautiful baby girl…
You are here!
You are within the embraceable closeness of your mama and daddy and brother and sister. They can touch your skin and softly kiss your face. This is the day we’ll make an altar out of. Because today you were brought from the womb into the world – more prayed for than possibly any baby I’ve ever known of. You have taken breaths and probably made soft whimpers by the gracious will of our God. Your God.
He is not your parent’s God… He is YOUR God. He loves you. Fully. And always, always will. He loves that mama of yours too. In fact, the way that she has prayed for you, ached for you, longed for you, believed for you, HOPED for you, is a taste of how her God loves her.
I’ve thought about you a lot little one.
I’ve wrestled with anger at this chromosomal “defect”… angry at our broken world that is steeped in sickness and pain and angry at the enemy that made it that way… the enemy that broke our world and God’s perfect plan. But if I unravel that thread of thinking down deeper, than I ultimately would have to follow that thread to somehow giving credit to the enemy for you! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
The Lord OUR GOOD GOD, our PERFECT DESIGNER, OUR MAGNIFICENT CREATOR gets credit for you sweetheart, and I refuse to rob Him of that honor. HE made you. And here’s the thing, I got to thinking about why babies were born…
Does God make babies to please their mom and dad? Does he stitch together little people and their little hearts so that they can look cute in tiny onesies, and make everyone laugh when thy smash their first birthday cake and steal the show at the kindergarten performance of “Goldilocks”?
God creates to bring glory to his name. Mountains, rivers, sunsets, snowflakes, relationships, joy, hope, beauty, laughter, and yes – babies.
Fill in the blank with whatever you can think of that His hands stitched together, but HE CREATES TO BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME.
And little one, He created you to bring glory to his name. And you HAVE.
I wonder if in all my 31 years I have encouraged men and women to pray and hope and long and talk to the Lord the way that you have.
I wonder how many mothers have deepened in intimacy with their Savior and sustenance during the months of pregnancy as much as your mama has. And so, sweet beautiful girl, if God creates to bring glory to His name… to draw His sons and daughters to Himself, to reveal His love…
Than YOU, in EVERY SINGLE SENSE OF THE WORD, are a PERFECTLY designed creation knitted together by the Holiest artist.
You are perfect.
You are lacking in nothing.
You are His.
You are beautiful.
And you are fulfilling the purpose that ALL of us were meant to; you’re just doing it better than most… and you’re only hours old sweetheart.
And however long that Holy Artist and Perfect Creator wants to use you to draw others to Himself, He will. If he wants to show His power by bringing crazy unpredictable medical marvels about, then He will. If He wants to show His power by the testimony of your family in a season void of mere medical marvels, He will. If He wants to minister to the thousands that have prayed for you – HE ALREADY HAS.
You are already serving an ETERNAL PURPOSE!
I cried today and my hands shook at the announcement of your birth, because I rarely see tangible redemption and this birthday of yours was starkly beautiful.
You were HOPED for, and here you are, bringing beauty from the ashes of all that the enemy tried to burn down with hopelessness.
We don’t know how long your perfectly designed life will stretch, but your purpose is not wasted or missed.
I hope that your mama (and daddy and brother and sister) will themselves be an altar to what our God does- He DOES redeem. He DOES answer prayer. He DOES want His kids to hope. He DOES create without error. He DOES love. And he loves them deeply. And He loves you wholly. And He deserves praise for all the jumping joy in our hearts that you were born today. Whatever may come, each of our lives has one purpose and whether our lives on earth last 1 hour or 100 years- if we have pointed people to Christ Jesus, then our lives were eternally meaningful, and yours ALREADY IS.
Thank you for pointing me to more to the TRUTH of Jesus than to the despair of the enemy.
The enemy doesn’t win. Not in the end, AND NOT TODAY.
Your life is a beautiful victory, and your story is a gift.
There will be a hole, an inexplicable ache without you – but we will SAY OUT LOUD that the God who stitched you into being can be trusted to stitch your mama’s heart up with hope of heaven, and the HOPE of HIMSELF.
So much love,
The same Artist that made my short-lived, precious daughter made YOU. He loves you passionately. He plans for you as you hope for Him. All of your days will be redeemed to fold into His purpose. You are an altar intended for His Glory. Turn yourself over, daily to His purpose.
*yes, that’s the brilliant Kate behind Hope is Hard, our Monday hoper.