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Understanding Your Purpose

There are so many things that I have thought about since Adeline was taken from us. One of the biggest things has been why? Why my little girl? Why my Adeline? The biggest thing that comes to me when I beg God for an answer is a sense of purpose. I have a strong feeling that we are here on this Earth as long as we need to be in order to serve our purpose. I have never felt that I had a purpose in life except to be a mom and help others. As the kids have gotten older, mentally I have struggled with the sense of purpose and knowing what I am supposed to be doing.

When I lost Adeline, I could not understand the reasoning. I could not make sense of the world around me. I have continued to struggle with this each and every day. I have wondered the why so many times that I have lost count. However, I think that I am starting to understand something about Adeline. Adeline's purpose was love. Adeline loved with her whole heart. She loved her family, her friends, and her community. She loved all of those who she came into contact with and for someone who has held on to hate and anger in my heart, her love was something beautiful that I could not understand. There is only way to begin to understand that love and it is that I was blessed to be able to be the mom to someone who taught me to love so hard. I always loved my husband and children but it was through Adeline that I was gifted a patience and calmness that I have never felt before. At first after losing her, I felt that this was ripped away too.

The anxiousness and the overall overwhelming feelings that I struggled with were so much at times. There were days that these feelings felt like too much. There were times where I felt as though I could not continue on living because I felt as though I was dying on the inside. I didn't feel like I could be the mom to Huxley, Althea, and Andrew that I needed to be. I felt that if I could not protect my own youngest daughter that I could never be the mom that any of my four kids deserved. Through my searching, I kept trying to find my own purpose. I wanted my purpose complete so that I could be the best for my family.

This past week, my purpose (for the very first time in my life) became very clear. My purpose is to share that love that Adeline so freely gave and to make the world a better place to honor her. I have graveled with the idea of starting a non profit for some time. There have been different ideas but all of them centered around helping youth and children who might not be fortunate enough to understand that love through their home.

I am working to come to terms with the fact that losing my girl was a part of the plan or my purpose. I still really struggle with this and wish so very much that God would have allowed me to have my entire family, that I would not be sitting here 20 months after our fire struggling to breathe because the pain of loss weighs so heavy on my soul. I really struggle with the fact that I will have to likely live longer on this Earth after losing her than I got to live on this Earth with her. That pain is not only heartbreaking, it is deafening to where I can't hear the world around me and I feel like a shell of my former self.

That being said, my purpose is before me. I have felt my purpose with the students that I am working with. As a held a girl this week in my arms screaming and crying for her mommy, had a breakthrough with a child who had been acting, got to share love with a student who was being bullied and am working to make our classroom a loving and safe space, I could feel that purpose so strong within me. I know that my place is to help these kids, to share with these children the future that they can have as they fulfill their purpose and reach their full potential.

I am also learning how to be a better mom to Andrew, Althea, and Huxley. I am learning how to communicate better with everyone around me. I am learning to set expectations high, but to share those expectations clearly, to be able to calming and creatively offer lessons that will encourage my students to learn while building their self confidence and truly looking at their souls and the way that they feel. I am struggling still on the inside with the loss, but I do feel that I can be the mom that my other kids need. I feel that I can be the wife that Shane needs and there is a part of me that wishes that I had these skills so long ago. I have made so many mistakes in life. I have not been the best with communication or the best with calm and gentle guidance, but all I can do is improve.

I share daily with the kids that we are all human, that we all make mistakes, and that it is not our mistakes that define us, but how we arise to meet the challenges that are before us. We are working on taking accountability for our actions, apologizing when we do something wrong to others, and I am being an example of this. When I can't do something, I share that openly with the class and apologize if I can't get something done that was promised to them. I have actually felt excitement in life about something other than my kids. This is something that has felt like a huge personal breakthrough and these kids are that are in my first class as a teacher will always have a special place in my heart. They have attached themselves to my heart strings and even on the hardest and worst day, I am capable of looking to the good and seeing how we can move forward and have a better day tomorrow.

I know that teaching where I am is always going to be hard and a challenge, but the rewards that I feel when I see my kids improve is something that I would never have at an easier school. It is something that I would not get in a school district where 99% of the students walk into class and do what they should. The challenge that I am presented with daily, makes me rise to new heights as a human being and is something that is consistently propelling me forward and making me feel good in that I can channel all of the pain and anger and turn it into something beautiful.

This week has been incredibly challenging, the 20 month mark approaching was difficult. It was also really hard to see her best friends starting junior high, to see their lockers decorated and her picture hung there when I know that she will never get to share more than being a 3rd grader forever with them. One little girl's mom messaged me this week that her daughter asked to go sit at Adeline's tree and remember her after they registered for jr. high. One of her best friends took 1st day of school pictures with her stuffed version and the cat that she named after my girl. And a couple more had posted locker pictures where I saw her face hanging in their locker. The world will never be the same for me, but I am learning through the kids in my class that some people have had to deal with a similar and equally hard pain from a very young age. Watching their courage as they move through the day is giving me a strength that I didn't know that I had. And I continue to be open about my feelings and discuss things with them.

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