In my third year of college, I wrote this blog post one quiet evening in my residence room. I am grateful for the privilege of dreaming and of serving a God of miracles.
I am only 22 years old, a young student, and yet it has been enough to be able to experience a little bit of the world. You realize that you learn more about life in the 4 years of university than in the first eighteen years of your existence. That you actually know so little, that you are so unprepared for everything that lies ahead, so very small and unwise for this big, busy world. You learn that you are on your own, making your own decisions, keeping your head held high and lifting your chin in the midst of a world that wants to infuse your ideals. You learn that a degree may ensure that you will have a job someday, but that it does not guarantee you walking into a happy home at night. That happiness cannot be guaranteed by worldly success, but can only be found with your loved ones and with God. You learn that you must now build towards it, for your future. No one else is going to do it for you. You learn that it is nobody else’s job to believe that you are good enough in Christ; it’s your job, try to believing it every day, because you have to live with yourself for a lifetime.
You learn how quickly dreams can disappear in your head while it is still lighting up flames in your heart…
And how everyone just fights for acceptance, their own place in the sun. That those people who are cold and angry with the world are only seeking for a place of warmth, someone who will understand their hurt. And you learn that time really does fly by. That time really waits for no one. And if only for a moment, you wait too long, you might just miss life completely.
Someone once said: Do now the things that you are going to wish you had done when your time on earth is counted.
It made me ponder on it for a few years and now I’m writing about it. Because that day is coming. The day that I will look back on my life, my way of life, and reflect upon everything. Did I walk my intended path? In peace and in love? Did I pursue my dreams, made them come true? Did I do everything I promised myself in this short period of time on earth? Because there are so many things I would love to do before that day. I would very much like to meet a certain truck driver one day. The one who helped my mother and father on a quiet, deserted night, along the road to the Kalahari where the car rolled, and they waited for help, who turned out to be the truck driver. I would like to thank him. I want to meet the friendly woman in Somerset mall and thank her for picking up my 3-year-old sister and bringing her to my parents after she disappeared for two hours in the big shopping mall on a busy summers day. I would like to go to my grade one teacher and tell her that she did a good job, because today I am a final year student, on my way of becoming a grade one teacher too.
I want to be the best teacher any child can dream of. I want to make children believe in themselves so that they will know they will make it in the world. There are plenty of things in life that will make you feel that you are not worthy and that you will not make it. In my class, children will know that there is hope. I want to give children bread that is hungry, I want to motivate learners for the future, give story books for learners to read, where they did not even know a sound 6 months before. Where people look down on education, I want to show how it can make children know that they will make it in this world.
I will buy a lovely bunch of flowers with my first salary so that I can always welcome people into my house and make them feel at home. I would love to get married with beautiful tulips and my family as guests so that I can say my biggest dream came true. I want to be the best mother, but an even better wife and woman of God, like Proverbs 31 in the Bible describes her. I want to make my parents proud of what I have achieved in life, but even more so of the person that I have become. I want to work hard and save my money so that I can go to other countries and experience others ways of living, to learn more about life, get to meet new people and be a better version of myself.
I often read the passage that says, “What if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you’ve never got your memoir or novel written; or went swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or were you just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a wonderful, creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid?
It is going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Pick a new direction, one you want to end up with, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.”
May we never get so hung up with the world’s idea of perfection that we never have the guts to go dive in the sea or run up the mountains, or that we give up on our dreams just because our Instagram likes aren’t also 500k like most so-called ‘successful’ people. Stop procrastinating. Burn those candles, use those good linen and drink that expensive wine. Don’t wait for a special occasion. Don’t wait to start living your ideal life one day. Life is now.
I want to be fit throughout my life and be an example for others to take good care of themselves. I want to continue hiking, running and cycling and going out in nature as long as it is possible. I wish I could realize the importance of good health much earlier in my life. And how important it is to forgive yourself and to move forward. People are critical by nature. Be more gentle to yourself: at that moment, you probably made the best decision, the one you thought was right. Don’t blame yourself forever. The Lord has a plan for you, even if you do not always feel worthy enough. If you compare yourself to the world’s standards, you will never be good enough. Find your worth in Christ.
I want to start my own organization where I reach out to the poor. Not just financial poor, but emotional poor. I want to reach out to others, make people aware. Every night, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I can bathe in a warm bath, sleep in a warm bed. If I can only make the smallest of change in someone’s life, I’ll be humbled to do so. I want to tell people about God, tell stories so that they, too, will know that there is hope. I want to help plant flowers in people’s gardens, people who have never had a garden. Where I can, I want to make a difference. I’ve always wanted to help. I believe that God gave me everything so that I can give back to those who have nothing. I believe love can make our world whole. That is why God is all we need. But maybe God has different plans for my life. Maybe I’ll never get to live out all my dreams;
God’s plans surpass everything I could ever dream of anyway. What I do know is that I would love to look back one day and be able to say: “I lived my life”.