Wednesday, October 8, 2008

 If You Only Had One Month to Live

This post really took some thought. In fact I could spend a lot more time just contemplating this subject, but I really did want to get this finished and posted. Genny @ My Cup To Yours suggested a challenge to write a post based on the question "What if I had one month to live?" Genny recently read the New York Times bestseller One Month to Live and it inspired her to write several posts stemming from the thoughts it induced in her own life. I haven't read the book. I don't have alot of profound things to say. I am afraid that I may even come off sounding too much like I think I have it all together. I do not. Not even close. But with that as my intro, let me tell you some of my thoughts on this subject. I believe that God has given me a great and sweet gift. He has shown me the world through eyes of grief. He has allowed me to enter into some dark and uncomfortable places which have in turn shown me light and beauty in a way that I had never seen before. Light can not shine as brightly if it is not contrasted with intense darkness. In this earthly life I have experienced beauty that could only be described as God-breathed. Those moments that take your breath away. I have also been through situations that have made me long for my one true home. The experience of loving and losing two of our babies has given us a unique perspective into the significance of life. I love the word life. It is bursting with beautiful implications. In the Bible it is told as the ultimate gift. Not just life, but life forever! In light of eternal life we will never embark on our last 30 days, only our last 30 days left on this earth. Earth full of things that decay and won't last. Earth where we face heart ache and betrayal. Earth where we also experience touches of awe and beauty which only hint at the things still to come. James 4:14 says "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." This past Sunday I had the privilege of listening to a man speak who leads a ministry which reaches out to children. The majority of these children are very needy. They desperately need the love of Jesus to pour into their lives. He said something that really embedded itself into my heart; "Live for something which will outlast you". Each day I face an important decision; what will I invest in? Many times I have chosen the path known as self seeking. More times than most people would guess. It breaks my heart when looking back. Ignoring the question from the little one because it is the 1,456th question that day and I am tired of it. Or just plain tired. Ignoring the nudging to send a card or make a phone call, because I have other things on my mind. Allowing discontentment and greed to permeate my lifestyle. Allowing the kids to sit in front of the TV longer than I should because it grants more me time. Lazy over intentional. But then there are those moments when I allow God to take the lead and joy abounds. Abandoning what I am doing, taking that little hand, being led over to the puzzle on the floor and taking the time to indulge in the activity chosen by some one other than me. Reading If You Give A Mouse A Cookie for the 9th time. Saying no to some of those favorites because that money could be spent in some much more meaningful ways (By the way, that beautiful red trench coat - $770. Never would I do that! Ever). Making time with my husband, even if it means getting up early to have breakfast with him before he goes to work on those days when we know we won't see each other later in the day (And could I just add that he gets up at 4:15 am)*Smile*. Holding the hand of the baby whose beautiful eyes are shining with life because of seeds planted by God using the ministry I am a part of. Holding a dear lady while she sobs from the brokenness of being mistreated. Praying with the woman who thinks she has no hope. Showing her she does. Putting aside the insecurities of "but what if I look stupid or say the wrong thing?" and approaching the individual whom I feel may need a simple "hi", "you look great today", or "could I pray with you?". That is not only how I would desire to live my last 30 days on earth, that is my goal for each day. It is my desire that every day of my life be lived to the fullest. Few of us will have the opportunity to actually know when those last 30 days will be. Most of us wouldn't want to know. That means that it is our responsibility to live every day in a way which we can be pleased and satisfied with. Do I do this? So much more rarely than I wish. To some day hear those words, "Well done my good and faithful servant" motivates me to live my life investing in things that matter. Loving with out limits. Forgetting the things which inhibit me to reach out to people and invest in lives. I have so far to go. I am human and as our pastor has said many times "It ain't heaven till its heaven." I will always fight with my flesh. But when we get to heaven - oh friends can you imagine? "Now we see but a poor reflection, as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

21 comments:

Jules from "The Roost" said...

That was beautiful! So touching....Thanks for thinking through a tough question and blessing us.

Genny said...

Wendi,
This made me cry. I love how you said, "Light cannot shine as brightly if it is not contrasted with intense darkness," and I admire you for the way you have found hope and joy after your pain. I am so sorry for the loss you've known. You are such an inspiration to me, and to many others I'm sure. Thank you so much for participating in this, and for the inspiration!
Genny

Aspiemom said...

That was a very beautiful post. It was a provoking question and a thoughtful answer to it.

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

Oh, Wendi, I get chills thinking of what it will be like...hearing his voice...
And how I long to live a life that is pleasing unto him! I believe it is a struggle each and every day!
I needed to hear these exact words today, in more ways than one. I share this desire with you and thank you for putting it out there it was so geniune and beautiful!
Love you dearly friend!

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

OH Wendi, I can only imagine what that day will be like..I long to know and to hear his voice when it is all said and done; to live a life that is worthy and pleasing unto him. I believe it is an every day struggle!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us, I needed to hear it in more ways than one and I deeply share this desire with you!
So genuine and beautiful love you dearly friend
Jacy

Alaiyo said...

I am humbled because I do not know if I could answer this question, but this question and your post has me thinking...thanks for sharing.

Lena said...

Wow Wendi, I am speechless- what a beautiful post! I love the way you described grief- it's so true. We both know grief- and grief I think allows us to recognize true beauty. my church is actually is doing a series that has just changed my thinking "one month to live"- they are amazing messages- if you want to hear them you can check them out: http://www.mysouthland.com/content/view/22/73/

MoziEsmé said...

Thank you for this beautiful post! It is so easy to be selfish with my time and invest it to "my" benefit, but when I look back, the times I feel most rewarded are when I invested it in others. And that's what I want my "last" 30 days to be - a continual investment in others that benefits me far more than anything I could have done for myself.

Elizabeth said...

great perspective W...we should always strive to know what our investments should be...a good reminder.

Anne Elizabeth said...

This post was absolutely amazing. I don't have a lot of words right now because it really made me cry. You have a gift with words!

Becoming Me said...

I think most of the comments I leave here are about your beautiful, beautiful heart...it really shines through in this piece.

Rachel said...

Wonderful post - thank you for the challenge!

Cindy said...

Wendi,
This is such a beautiful heartfelt post. It is true, none of us will really know the exact moment we have 30 days left but we all know how fragile life is and that any breath could be our last.
Thank you for sharing your heart.
Cindy

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

I so want to read this book. Thanks.

mattpatt said...

Sheesz! And I make you cry???? I'm blubbering as only I can blubber!

Beautiful post!

Matt

jennifer@love,laughter,and lyrics said...

you are too precious, wendi.

Aminta said...

Beautiful and not at all what one would expect from a post with THAT title.
Lovely, absolutely lovely. Lovely for so many reasons, but the one real reason, is because YOU ARE LOVELY.
You should know that not only do you adore, but you are adored. And you are one FAITHFUL friend. Thank you. I was not sure people would understand where I was coming from and that I am GREAT now.....but you got it. I believe you know that there was so much more to that story.....but I cannot dwell in the ugly past. Just except it and move forward in His love and forgiveness.
Love to you DEAREST friend!

Growin' with it! said...

the gift of seeing this world through the eyes of grief...beautiful words. i really loved this post and i was touched by your perspective. i'm so glad i stopped by!

Kimberly said...

It is such a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your sweet comment over at my place. And thank you for this beautiful post. I was just reading somewhere else about "investing" my time. You know when you keep seeing something that God is probably trying to speak to your heart. :)

Thank you for challenging us all to live every day for Him, and also for doing it with humility and love. :)

Blessings,
Kimberly

dani said...

love this, wendi:)
~dani

DidiLyn said...

You've got me thinking with the 30 days thing. I will need to let that simer for a while. But I can't wait for that day ahead, and I'll stay in the race...