The Sledge Hammer Impact:
The Tragic Experience That Revealed My True Purpose in Life.
By Dr. M. J. Logan Family Nurse Practitioner
Life? Is that what we call it? I guess that’s the correct word in the English vernacular. There isn’t a day in “life” I have awoken since my youngest son was diagnosed with brain cancer and not wondered about the mysteries of this life I’m living. I often ask why we experience the things we experience, and what is God or the Universe (if that’s what you believe in- God’s my choice) trying to teach us? My youngest son was diagnosed with Cancer at eleven. Darkness invaded our lives, soaring in reaping havoc and punishing us for some unknown bad deed, some misunderstood or misguided decision, and now my child was suffering for it. Of course I asked why. Do I still ask why? Yes, every day. I am fortunately, God fearing and try living as a Christian to the best of my abilities. As I sit here in my cold garage drinking overly sweetened coffee, I ponder a question one of my friends asked as she faced her own challenges. “What is God trying to teach me?” Unfortunately, I had no answers, because I had the same questions, but wasn’t brave enough to ask aloud.
You see, her story is like my story. The truth is my story is like many of yours. I learned I am not unique! All of our stories have different characters, events, and the good and the bad may be different, however, the theme is synonymous. We ask ourselves why we face challenges, if we treat others kindly, avoid the “isms” of the world, practice good works, strong faith, and give God all the praise! I am grateful, yet I wonder why innocent children develop cancer or anyone for that matter. What was I supposed to learn from him suffering through brain surgery? What were 32 radiation treatments to his entire brain and spine exhaustion, hair loss, weight, memory blurs, and grief supposed to teach me. What was the lesson when the demonic chemotherapy entered his veins and I had to watch, and allow physicians to almost kill my baby to save him! I had to wake up daily with the uncertainty I was putting him through this for no good reason. Yes, I loved my God and my faith was strong, but I was still uncertain. I knew God was not a respecter of persons, as many parents lost their children, and the guilt of knowing with all the suffering my child was enduring, he was actually thriving compared to some children. So I asked God “what is my purpose in life?”
My family and the families we bonded with depended on me for answers. However, after a series of miraculous events in my life, my purpose was revealed! God Spoke to me and said, “You are here to teach, and your son is healed.” So first, I had to learn to let go and let God, and began writing a children’s fantasy to escape and let God do his work. I helped and encouraged families and they would respond “Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration”. My students chose me as favorite teacher and wrote papers naming me as the one person who most inspired their nursing career. I received over 100 excerpts and someone said “That’s your purpose in life.”
A sledge-hammer had pummeled our lives, and unfortunately, some had no idea how something of this magnitude takes over changing you forever. That summer my novel was published, then book II was released, and my purpose revealed. Previously I believed my purpose in life was to be some great historical/famous person. However, after months of feeling the impact of the sledge-hammer, my purpose was revealed. It came to me in a dream where I met a little man on the sidewalk. When he spoke, he knew my story and I remember saying to him “Thank You. You have inspired and encouraged me!” He responded, “Well, isn’t that what you do for others.” Suddenly, I was walking up and down hills and valleys. I was tired, crying, and breathless. At the end of the hills was Oprah Winfrey (I realized I was dreaming lol). I remember saying the same as before “Thank You. You have inspired and encouraged me!” She responded, “Well, isn’t that what you do for others.”
I woke up and rummaged through files sobbing, and out poured hundreds of remnants from my life (God only knows why I kept). They all carried the theme that I had encouraged and inspired someone. THAT WAS IT! My purpose in life was simple “to encourage and inspire others!” Now I can do it as small as the little man sitting on the street, or I can do it as big as Oprah. However I do it, is up to me and my determination, but that doesn’t change my purpose and it must be done through God. Suddenly everything made sense; I’d written a fantasy novel about a terrible disease, with God’s word intricately woven throughout it! I’d been doing what God wanted me to do- serving my purpose! I now knew my purpose as the sledge-hammer impact slowly lifted.
I told my friend her challenges were ultimately leading to her true purpose, because we all have one. Some of us may be disappointed that it isn’t to become a famous author, a billionaire, a professional athlete, or movie star. Truthfully, your purpose is what it is. How big or small, depends on the fight and determination within you! How much sacrifice, rejection, sadness, and failure can you endure? More so, how much integrity will you keep, and how many people do you refuse to step on to make it! Oprah’s a perfect example of carrying out your purpose majestically; I believe she did it with determination, integrity, without hurting others intentionally or knowingly, and by the grace of God! That’s how I want to do it, and if it doesn’t happen for me before the day I close my eyes, I will know two things… 1. I will get to meet Jesus when I open my eyes again, and 2. I have served my purpose on this Earth.
Dr. M.J. Logan is a Family Nurse Practioner and the author of the “Maurpikios Fiddler” Series. I thank you for sharing this poignant and touching story from which we all can learn.