What is your Purpose? The testimony of a sickle cell patient
There is always God’s purpose for us in every pain we go through. We just need to understand this and turn every pain into a purpose. This story is a reason not to give up.
“So, you’re trying to say he loves me, anyway?” I asked my Grandma for the umpteenth time in many years.
“Yes, he does. He’s an all-knowing God”.
“So, he knows why Mum and Dad died, how I’ll soon die and why he has kept you alive?”
“Laura. Don’t be too inquisitive. Don’t question God”.
This has always been I and my Grandma’s conversation for years.
My name is Laura, and I have sickle cell anaemia. Mum had it. Same as Grandma. Dad was AA and Mum, SS. So, they were compatible.
Despite the pleas of my Dad’s parents not to marry a sickle cell patient, he went ahead with it. He and my Mum had a tranquil wedding.
Mum died a year after giving birth to me. I was brought up by my Dad and Grandma. At 9, Dad was involved in a very terrible accident, dying in the process. Grandma was the only surviving family member I had left.
Sometimes, I blame my parents. How could anyone be so selfish? Why didn’t they love themselves and live their life?
Why did they ever bring me to the world? Why had I gotten an SS trait instead of the AA or AS? Grandma will always reply to me, saying, “He has a purpose”.
I was a Christian by birth. Granny always took me to the church downtown. From a young age, even until now, I was groomed up in the church.
We’d be in church by 7 am, sing hymns, heartfelt worships, and hip-hop praise. There was something exciting about service back then; the charming young pastor who preaches on wealth, sometimes, salvation with his beautiful Mexican accent catches my adoration. He’ll start a song, and slowly, everyone would be on their feet, the instrumentalists busy on producing a loud jam, in some seconds, the congregation is etched deep in the spirit, with hands lifted, heads shaking, mini jumping, while some shed tears. By 9 am, the service ends.
The service closes with warm greeting and reception among the congregation, it was quite exciting.
Was I really saved despite going to church? No.
I was mad at God. Mad because he didn’t make me whole, mad because he killed my parents, so I thought back then.
One night, I got on my knees and cried, I didn’t know why I did, but my face brimmed with hot tears of anger, frustration and unhappiness. Grandma always says, everything happened for a purpose.
What then was my purpose? To live and die? Throw away 22 years of my existence doing nothing? Was my purpose to battle anger and frustration against the God whose presence I enjoyed whenever I step into church every Sunday? I was tired of fighting in the shadows, and I desperately needed to feel God. That night, I cried and slept off.
The next morning graced me with a purpose, a yearning to do something worthwhile with my life and not live in guilt and pain.
Slowly, I started an NGO for sickle cell patients. I started having meetings at our house. Later on, I got an office for that. I created awareness of the trait. I told them how they were special, how they weren’t less privileged and how we were all in this together.
On my 22nd birthday, I felt more fulfilled. I had achievement. I was ready to leave this world anytime.
I laid on the bed that night, after telling my Grandma a final goodbye, it was going to be sad leaving her alone, but I had no choice, and she knew. I closed my eyes to sleep no more, but the rays of sunlight met my eyes the following morning. It was nothing short of a miracle.
Sickle cell patients rarely lived more than 20 years, right?
I ran to the sitting room, expecting to meet my Grandma taking coffee as usual, at the dining table. But she wasn’t there. Something was wrong. I ran into her room eager to tell her about God’s miracle over my life; right there, Grandmother laid lifeless. She was gone.