There I was. Curled up in the floor of my closet, head in my hands- sobbing. Begging and pleading with God. Pouring my heart and fears out to him. Scared to death. Crying out loud. Begging for peace. Asking for forgiveness.
This past week I was brought face to face with my own mortality.
Being in my late twenties, most of the time I still feel invincible, untouchable. Having never suffered severe illness or injury, I assumed nothing bad could happen. We had been through so much sickness with our son, I never even imagined something could happen to either of us.
After an unexpected ER visit the previous week, I learned I would have to undergo gall bladder removal surgery. A pretty common procedure, but major surgery nonetheless. Any surgery is scary, but having an actual organ removed from my body seemed overwhelming and terrifying. As soon as the Doctor uttered the words anesthesia and told me all of the possible problems that could occur, I felt sick.
The first thought that came to my mind was crippling- how could I leave my son without his mother? If something were to go wrong, how could I heap all of the parental responsibility onto my sweet Husband? We want to homeschool- we have plans! He can’t do this on his own! How could I put them through this?
The second thought was of my soul. I want to spend my eternity in heaven- but had I been living the life that God wanted me to? Was I doing all that I could? Was I sharing my faith? Was I ready to go?
Facing the real possibility of death really puts into perspective how you have been living your life. The small problems and annoyances fade away. That fight you had with your husband a week ago that seemed so huge, becomes a minuscule drop in the vast ocean that is your existence. You begin to wonder if you’ve been using your talents as you should have been all along, or have you been wasting your time on frivolous endeavors?
You begin to examine everything under a microscope. And, when you begin to delve deeper into your life, you really wonder if you could’ve lived it better.
We all KNOW that someday we’re going to die. It is inevitable and unstoppable. Death comes for us all. But, when that day COULD possibly be today, your mind changes about a lot of things.
I wanted to hug everyone that I love and hold them close. To tell them how much they mean to me. I wanted to rock my baby boy and read him every book on his shelf. To breathe in his scent for as long as I could. I wanted to hold my husband forever- I never realized how much I truly loved him, until the moment that I thought I might have to tell him goodbye.
God and I had a long talk that day in my closet. I made a lot of promises. Asked a lot of questions. And begged forgiveness for a lifetime of sin. After that conversation, I had a peace come over me that I have never experienced. I finally understood the phrase ‘peace that passeth all understanding’. A calm that told me not matter what the outcome, HE was in control and I need not worry.
I went into my surgery with a smile and when I woke the first words I uttered were, “Thank you Jesus!”
I hope to live a long life filled with love and laughter, to spend a small eternity married to my husband. But, today I am just so very thankful for the 29 years I’ve been given. I will try to live each day as if it is a gift, because I now know for certain that each day is a blessing and we’re not promised tomorrow.
Being physically sick taught me one of the most important life lessons that I will ever learn- to cherish life! HE works in mysterious ways, and sometimes you cannot for the life of you see how good HE is until the end of that season. Some seasons take forever, and some lessons years to learn. This one took me but a moment.
If you’re going through a hard time, I promise you that He really is working all things together for His good. Even when you can’t see it- even when you don’t understand. Someday you will look back and see he was there in it with you, going through it right beside you. And like that old ‘Footprints in the Sand’ poem hanging in every church corridor- sometimes he was carrying you through.