I am determined to live life to the full. I am desperate to use every day, ever opportunity to make a difference in the world around me. I don’t want to go through life chasing after things that don’t matter. Often that’s easier said than done. I want to have adventures and see the world, I want to serve my King and creator and enjoy each and every road He takes me on. Sometimes my choices seem unconventional and sometimes foolish. I know people often look at me and shake their heads… “When will she ever get a real job, get a degree and grow up?” Maybe I am unconventional and maybe even foolish.. But rather foolish and having the adventure of my life following and serving God than a life full of comfort and selfish wants. Life is so short. The past few months I have been reminded of that over and over again. I have been reminded that it is only God who knows how long we have here. There have been 4 people who have died in the past year or so that have made profound impact on my life. And for that I will be forever grateful. Death is a part of life. Sometimes it just happens way to soon. A lot of the times death comes and we are not ready for it, sometimes a life well lived and a disease ridden body makes death a welcome and almost comforting experience.
Let me share some of the amazing lessons I learnt from 2 incredible woman in my life.
Hazy was an amazing woman who I loved from the moment I met her. I didn’t actually spend a lot of time with her. She was my friend Vanessa’s grandmother. I loved hearing about the great times Vanessa had with Hazy. They were as close as a mother and daughter can be. It was beautiful. Hazy lived life beautifully. She loved God and loved her family desperately. The short time that I got to spend with Hazy impacted me in ways that I could never explain. Hazy had cancer but through the time that I knew her she never stopped smiling. I never saw her when she got very sick but Im sure that even though there was no smile on her face, somehow who she was still smiled, still oozed passion and joy. She made it a priority to spend time with her family, no matter what. She was more involved in her grandchildren’s lives than most parents are. I hope one day I can be like that with my family. I hope that one of my greatest passions in life will always be my family, no matter where I was or how I was feeling. What a beautiful woman Hazy was. She lived a life full of adventure. There was never a dull moment with her. And I am sure as she continues her adventure she is with God, laughing and worshipping with that some joy and passion that I caught a glimpse of when I spent time with her.
Vanessa. My dear friend Vanessa passed away late this year. I was in Mozambique and arrived in Durban and heard of her death. Vanessa was a fisherwoman. She spent days working late into the night working on the boats in Durban harbor to make sure her children ate and were healthy and safe. I used to go and spend time with her down there when she was taking break. She had a hard life. Thins were not easy for her. Life had dealt out some tough cards for her. But she was making the best of it and taking it all in her stride, growing and drawing closer to God every day. Every time I would ask her how she was she would respond with these words “Aaaah Lauren, Im good. I cant complain. God is alive and so am I”. Vanessa was the hardest worker I have ever met. She was the strongest woman I have ever known. She knew what it meant to trust God. Vanessa also knew my little kid Lucky who lived on the street. She cried with me when he went missing and rejoiced with me when he returned home. My life was changed the night I met Vanessa. She let me into her world and her life with no reservations. We prayed together laughed together and cried together. She had some rough times. Harder than anyone I know. I don’t know how she got through it. Never once did I hear her get angry with or curse God. She would always praise God for the little she had. She never complained because no matter how little there was, there was always something good for her to thank God for. An incredibly brave and strong woman who I hope and pray that I will become like one day. If I can have half of her strength and character I would be a very lucky woman.
She died too young. But I thank God for the impact she made while she was here. And I rejoice because she is now without pain and hardship. She is worshipping her Heavenly father.
Saying goodbye is never easy and I feel like over the past year I have said goodbye too many times. But I am grateful for having so many amazing people in my life who have challenged and inspired me.