No guarantees

Lately it seems like “things” keep reminding me that there are no guarantees about how much time we have in this life on planet earth.

Chad’s cord was wrapped around his neck when I was laboring. It really complicated things. It was scary. But here he is, 20 months later–my sweet littlest boy with the never-ending lashes and the blonde hair like silk…saying more each day, making me smile multiple times a day. I’m so thankful for him, and yet I hear of the mother whose full-term baby died from her cord around her neck, and can’t help but think “why was I spared?”

One thing I DO know is that it wasn’t because of what I’ve done and that I somehow deserved time with my child more than she did. I don’t know her, but I can confidently say–NO. That wasn’t the reason.

When the day ends and you look back on it, there are those moments where a child wanted to tell you something and you were in the middle of a time crunch and it felt annoying at the time. When the day has grown quiet, those pangs inside remind you that your child is aware enough to have picked up on it, and how does that make you feel to know that you made your child feel like he’s annoying? The truth is, something could happen and he might not wake up the next day for you to assure him that you so very much love him.

It’s not fun to think about, but the truth is that every day around the world someone just goes to the grocery store but never makes it back home. Who’s to say my turn isn’t next?

Yet we too often live life that way–feeling immune…taking for granted–even if in small ways. Sometimes, though, those “small ways” collectively become much bigger with time than any one “big way”.

I’m sorry if this is a depressing way to start your day. It’s not meant to be.

If something were brewing within me that would bring an end to my life, I am certain that in my “final days” I would be bent on penning thoughts I wished my children to bear in mind the rest of their lives when I wouldn’t be there with them. But I AM here, and it is every bit as important for them to know those same things. I need to show them and tell them with each moment I do have.

You hear to “live life like it’s your last day on earth”, and while that certainly can be fuel for making crazy choices, I think there are some rational points to take from it.

If tomorrow my children had to begin life without a mom, I realize that with time Chad wouldn’t even remember me. I hope, though, that all of them could think of me and feel my love and maybe remember that I smiled and laughed a lot when I was with them. I really, really, hope that’s what they’d remember.

So as I go about my time until that happens, that’s got to be my goal: even if I’m feeling crunched, SMILE. Breathe. Listen. Be patient. LOVE. If God would call one of them to His side before me, what consolation it’d be to know that their days were filled with love.

As much as I want to lavish love on them and keep this perspective in mind, I haven’t had a heart transplant. It’s still the same sinner’s heart within me. I will mess up. When loved ones go, those left behind too often anguish over moments that could have been handled less imperfectly. It’s heart-wrenching.

But God’s grace covers over it! The slightest sighs from the sharpest words…the wrinkled brow to the piercing eye…the down-turned mouth to the tongue-lashing…the clenched fists to the raised hand…

In the blood of Jesus, ALL THAT is forgiven. What comfort!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As relief melts away guilty feelings, thankful hearts bring clarity which sharpen our perspectives and influence our choices.

If I go to be with Jesus today or tomorrow, I know for sure that’s where I’ll be and that my family will have peace and comfort despite the repercussive difficulties they’d face without my continued presence. If any of them would leave us, I’d miss so many things about them, but would have the same assurance. THAT is a guarantee.

After all, “I’m but a stranger here…heaven is my home.”

So…there ARE some guarantees, after all.

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