Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6 HCSB)
Recently, I attended a memorial service for a sweet sixteen year old who was in a horrific car accident. While I’d only interacted with this girl a handful of times, I knew her parents. It was heartbreaking to watch the video put together by one of her besties portraying her friend’s short life through pictures. The testimonies shared by two of her coaches as well as 6+ of her classmates. It was allot to take in. The community honored this sweet sixteen darling in huge ways, showing their love and support to this dear family. Even more, was the fact that her death, along with two others within our county were all killed in car accidents, all sweet sixteen, within 2 weeks. Heart wrenching for sure. I cannot imagine the deep hurt, the loss, the questions, the why’s and what if’s of it all.
What impacted me most of all, however, was when this girl’s father, who’d just lost his daughter days prior, chose to speak at her service. To witness a loving father share about his only daughter’s short life was moving and thought-provoking. He shared that he, along with his wife, had lost sight for awhile of what really matters. He spoke of their desire for not only having a nice home, working hard to achieve nice flower beds and a nice yard, wanting the right carpet and floors, furniture and decor. He then said, all of a sudden, none of that stuff matters anymore. What he shared next was really inspirational: he said that when we’re so busy keeping up with and striving to have all the right stuff in this life, we won’t have the time to focus on family, which is all that really matters.
Of course, it isn’t a crime to want nice things in this life. That wasn’t the point. Rather, it was the temporary loss of focus of what really matters in this life. Not meaning to sound morbid, none of us is promised another minute, hour, or day. My takeaway from this former Sunday school teacher of mine and his tragic loss, is what are we doing with the time we’re given? Are we being kind and loving? Are we selfless? Are we making a difference? Are we intentional in our relationships?
Lastly, this Daddy shared in the midst of emotion, that his daughter’s best friend came to him and said she knew that her friend had accepted Christ and been baptized, securing her a place in heaven. She shared that she wanted desperately to see her friend again. This Daddy and his wife shared how she could be sure she’d spend eternity with Jesus, in heaven, with her dear friend, leading her to salvation in Jesus. It didn’t end there! She brought several boys from their school who also wanted to know how they could know Jesus and live eternally with him after their life here on earth is through. A couple of them also prayed to receive Christ. All 3 will be baptized as a testimony of what transpired within their hearts. This Daddy shared that his daughter’s life wasn’t in vain. Although he desperately misses her and the daily texts he sent to her, “good morning, beautiful,” he knows that others’ lives were touched and impacted through her short life not only this side of heaven, but for eternity.
Let’s live our lives well. Be intentional. Love well. Risk sharing your heart as well as your faith. Smile. Don’t be judgemental. Give of yourself. Look for the good in others. Be selfless. Invest in others.
I cannot believe I’m about to turn another.year.older! Doesn’t seem possible. I mean, really!
I’ve celebrated birthdays in the past when I really wasn’t happy about where I was in life. You know what I mean. I’m ____ years old and I’m STILL single. Or, I’m ____ years old and still live in an apartment. Or, I’m _____ years old and still not a Mom.
Now that I’m in this ‘certain’ decade, I’m not bothered so much anymore by what isn’t; it’s a great place to be. Freeing, actually. I’m happy to report that most of what I’ve waited years for has now transpired. God has blessed me abundantly. I’m not saying that I’ve arrived or have everything I want or have dreamed of. It has more to do with enjoying the journey I’m on. I’m learning to be content with what I have and where I am. Why, oh why, does it take so long for us to realize that where we are or what we have, or don’t have is okay? If I could tell my younger self something, I would say “focus on the season you’re in and make the most of it”. Don’t dream your life away. All is coming. God gives and takes away and His timing is perfect. He’s never late. His ways are certainly higher than mine and He definitely knows best.
One of the many things about my life I’ve learned to (still learning!) embrace is being an older Mom. Sure, some people I know my age are GRANDMOTHERS for heavens’ sake! It’s okay though. I wouldn’t trade the 12 years of ‘pre-child’ with my husband for anything! I’ve been able to do a little traveling, take some nice vacations and do lots of fun work and have a pretty fun career. I really and truly hope that motherhood will keep me young. I’m hopeful it’s a side benefit, actually.
So, on the eve of another year of life, I want to celebrate all that God has blessed me with in this life. He has been good to me and cared for me in ways I would never have imagined. Life hasn’t always been a joyful journey but I cannot imagine not having Him in my life. I hope to ditch the comparison trap and focus on being the best Momma and wife I can be. I want to give my time and energy to things that matter and last. I want to celebrate life and the joy that I can choose to have.
Years ago, a couple of dear girlfriends loved celebrating the life of whomever it was in our group celebrating a birthday. It wasn’t just about “the day” rather “the life”. I loved the idea. I’m more of an introvert who prefers small gatherings rather than groups of people partying. Large or small, party or not, I like the idea of celebrating the person. It’s not about me really. Sure, it’s the day of my birth, but more important to be celebrated is the goodness of God in my life. I’ll be looking back over memories of birthdays past while celebrating what’s waiting for me just around the corner.