“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey
I came across a picture of my daughter and I among my FB memories that made me smile and reflect. So much ugly has been going on in the world, it’s been all too easy to become distracted from my purpose. It’s the goal, or should be, of every Christian to somehow be in this world but, not of it. To know that we are but travelers and should not find ourselves so easily ensconced in the intrigues of this society. But we do succumb, despite our best efforts. It’s what happens when we walk by sight, instead of by faith, by what we see and what’s in front of us, instead of what we believe.
I recently had an episode where I wound up in the hospital for a few days. It was nothing major, or at least, not something that couldn’t be aided with fluids delivered intravenously and emptying the contents of my gut – an evacuation order which my stomach willingly obliged. It was scary at the time, but simultaneously, not. I think it helped to clarify some things for me, helped to put my life in perspective.
My daughter always accuses me of being overly dramatic when I am sick (a few others may have agreed with her, lol!) but I made my peace with the idea of this being the end, just in case. Yes, I saw a white light – but my brother assures me that was merely in the process of fainting. No, my life didn’t flash before my eyes but my purpose did. I thought of my latest novel and how it wasn’t complete. Not now, Lord! I thought of my children and what leaving would do to them. I needed to tell them I love them. Then, I realized that this is the moment we Christians are supposed to be joyfully awaiting, preparing for this very event – to be absent from this body and present with our Lord.
Today, a week later, life is back to normal. Obviously, I survived the ordeal with very little harm and a new respect for medications. I probably received the much-needed break and medical attention that I had put off for so long. It’s not what I wanted to happen but I see how the entire episode worked to my benefit. But that’s not what I’m reflecting on today. I heard a song by Brian Courtney Wilson, Worth Fighting For which stirred to remembrance in me:
Eyes haven’t seen, ears haven’t heard, all you have planned for me …
And when I had reached the end of the song I was near tears. Maybe God isn’t finished with me yet. But more than that, I saw what God had already done. This is the day that my life flashed before my eyes. I was suddenly grateful; I am ashamed to admit, as I had never been before. This life is not what I expected. But it has been so worth it, worth living and worth fighting for. No, I didn’t see myself divorced before I turned forty but neither had I seen myself married either. That was an unattainable dream. I knew I wanted marriage but for some reason, I didn’t think it was in the cards for me. Same with children – never saw motherhood for me but I’m so glad God made me a mother. My children remain my constant motivation and are the great joy of my life.
On this day, I realized that even though I didn’t see these things for myself, I couldn’t conceive of it, but God did. Oprah said words to this effect – God’s plan for you is far bigger than anything you could ever imagine. I see now that I have lived a
blessed life. I can sing as Smokie Norful in Dear God:
It may not be all that I’d hoped for and every dream has not yet been realized
but to see you face one day God I know it’s all gonna be worth it
Lord, so I thank you for … my life
I appreciate every single bit of it – even the bad – because it made me who I am. And it didn’t kill me, it made me stronger, resilient, able to bend but not break under pressure. That’s what this life has done for me. Today, I recall my purpose – to live as a traveler, enjoying what this world offers like one on vacation, knowing all the while that’s it’s nice to visit but I don’t want to stay. I’m keeping my eyes on the prize and wearing this world as a loose garment. I’m resolving to be moved by faith, not by sight. I mean to press onward toward the high calling in Christ Jesus – that calling that invokes in me the desire to utilize all the gifts I’ve been given to His glory. I’m able to enjoy the miracle that Jesus himself didn’t live to see, nor was he meant to – the joy of being a parent. Not only despite my travails but because of them now, I am thankful.