So a lot has been on my heart today about the fragility and brevity of life here on earth. I was made aware today of a dear student of mine who has been going through some frustrations at home and at school and has had a difficult time learning how to cope with it all in a healthy manner. After many tears and difficult conversations, we are all working together to ensure she gets the help that she needs to overcome what’s going on. But, that really hit me hard. I am grateful she felt comfortable confiding in me, but I am pained by what she is going through. I am crying as I write this just feeling at such a loss as to what to do to help. I really do not feel I know what to say or what to do, nor do I feel prepared for all the situations I am confronted with in the lives of those around me. I was affirmed tonight by a friend who said, obviously you do or God would not have you there….and another who reminded me of the importance of continually allowing God to speak through me.
When caught up in all the emotions, frustration, and sadness, this becomes a difficult thing to remember to do. I become selfish wondering why this is happening to people around me and why I feel the hurt the way that I do. Really, though, it has not happened to me. It has happened to the people around me that I love so deeply and dearly. Which ultimately leads to feeling pain when they feel pain. In thinking back on my life, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for how “easy” things have been for me. Even though I have struggled with some things, the events that have impacted me most deeply really have not concerned me at all: my parent’s divorce, my sister’s hurts, Kisha’s death, my student’s disappointments. But, because I love these people, I feel some of the pain.
It is coming up on four years since my best friend, Kisha Gentry, passed away. In some ways, it seems like days and in some ways it seems like an eternity. I can still hear her laugh and often find myself thinking about what she would have said in response to different stories or situations. But, I sometimes wonder how our friendship would have developed. Many of my friendships have changed throughout my many moves across the states and through my constant changing, growing, and learning and I wonder where she would have been in the picture.
I just finished watching a Dateline which spoke about two students from Taylor University who were a case of ‘mistaken identity’. There was a terrible accident and five people were killed….five weeks later, it was discovered that the one girl in Intensive Care was actually one of the five whose funeral had been held, memorial service had been attended, and whose body had been buried. Can you imagine the twist of events for both of these families? What a bittersweet time. But, how interesting that the girl who has since fully recovered has been able to watch her funeral on video tape and see the site where her family chose to bury her. What a surreal feeling. Morbid, really. But what an interesting experience to have the opportunity to live the rest of your life with a different perspective. What would be said at my funeral? Am I living in a way that glorifies God? What else can I do today to ensure I have no regrets? Will I one day here the words I yearn to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I finished reading a book entitled, In Light of Eternity which was a very eye-opening look at Heaven and what we have to expect (and all that is beyond what we could even imagine) when that day comes. I took a few students out tonight and it was neat getting to have a conversation about heaven and each of our thoughts about it. I really am more scared of getting hurt than dying. But, this fear definitely holds me back from doing many things I really would like to do.
Through all of this going on in my heart, I pray God continues to use this to have me draw closer to Him. When confronted with situations so much bigger than me, I hope that I am constantly reminded of His sovereignty. With all the reminders of death around us, I am confident that the Lord will use them as reminders to make the most of each day….for Him. After all, we are called to Love. And let’s do so with reckless abandon. Even if it hurts.
Sorry if this was little “Debbie-downer”! More uplifting posts to follow I’m sure!