Written by: Kailee Potgeter
I grew up in a loving, Christian household, attended church every Sunday, and even went to a private Christian school for the majority of my childhood. I grew up knowing the stories, memorizing Bible verses, and singing along to every praise song on the radio.
For the longest time, I felt like I was waiting for my big “come to God” moment. I was always confident in my beliefs, but everyone else seemed to have one drastic change in their life that sparked their strong relationship with our Father. But this wasn’t the case for me. Instead, God had a very unique plan for me. Throughout my teenage years, he helped me through anxiety, life changes, tough decisions, and truly shaped me into who I am today. It was a gradual process of learning to trust Him in every situation and gaining confidence in how He made me. I didn’t even realize it was happening until I look back now and see how far I have grown.
Now I realize that God has always been beside me. One particular way He has revealed himself to me is through my family. I have a particularly large family, lots of extended relatives, my parents, my older brother Brandon, and my twin brother Christopher.
I have a very unique relationship with my twin. My older brother, Christopher was born a few hours before me, with an under-developed brain. The doctors knew early in the pregnancy that he would likely not survive. But my parents did everything in their power to keep me, my mother, and my brother safe. I am so grateful that they did. Christopher was with us for 3 days before he joined our Heavenly Father.
Yet in his very brief, significant time with us, his life has completely transformed mine. God used a very important person, for a very short amount of time, to show my family how valuable our lives are.
My brother didn’t get the chance to have his first day of kindergarten, go to prom, get married, or even take his first steps. But I do. Because of him, I truly value each and every moment I have on this earth. He didn’t receive an opportunity to live his life to the fullest and soak in everything this world has to offer, and so I will.
Christopher was only with us for a few days. And while those days may have had pain, I know for certain that he felt unconditional love. From family members, gifts, friends, doctors, and even strangers in the hospital. Everyone deserves to feel that way. I hope that I am able to use my life to spread positivity and that same kind of unconditional love.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” - 1 John 4:7
It’s really that simple. Above all, God calls us to love one another. Even when I am riddled with anxiety, having “the worst day ever,” and struggling to see the good in this life, I know that God is right beside me. Just like He watched over Christopher, myself, and my mother.
It took me a long time to realize it, but God has blessed me in more ways than I can even fathom. So, it is my mission to use the skills and gifts He has equipped me with to continue to love others so that they can discover God’s purpose for them as well.
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