Hey ya’ll! Come on in, take a seat. Let’s chat about life! Life in itself, can be so many things to us on a daily basis. It can be amazing, nerve wracking, exciting, and very unexpected. There are some who say, “I have my whole life planned out on a schedule for the next ten years”. And then there is me. I often drive my husband crazy with it, because even though I plan things, they never seem to go my way. If they do, I have changed my mind 30 times before the end result. Hey, what can I say? I’m a jump off the cliff, and think about it later kind of person. I might wake up tomorrow and feel like driving 6 hours on a whim, to see Mom. Then, only to stay one night, wake up ready to hit the road again. I am getting better at planning, but there are times when it just doesn’t matter. There are times, that no matter how long and detailed our plans may be, some things can not be avoided. Like death. It happens to everyone, no avoiding that one.
Death can be so unexpected. Like a sudden turn in the road. If you are not careful, you’ll end up in a ditch! Slow down! Death can be like a robber coming in your home while your asleep in the middle of the night. I mean hey, if a robber were to tell you he was coming at three A.M. through the back bedroom window, you would be there waiting with a shotgun to let him have it, right? Of course you would! Who wouldn’t? But what happens when it is unexpected? Are you prepared to deal with it? I am not just speaking financially. Although, that is something that can be planned. The cost of a funeral is so expensive now. No, I am speaking emotionally. Am I, if need be, prepared for that day when I must bury Mother? Or my husband? Even one of my children? Again, I think not. Death is something that no matter how much you prepare emotionally, even if it is inevitable that it is on it’s way to claim the life of this person you are so going to miss. No one will ever be ready to lose a life. No one. Unless your just the type who has no sense of connect to others, no respect or remorse for life. But even then, there will be that one person, to bring even the hardest of hearts to tears.
In the past year, I have seen death fall all around me. A young man at my church, “Bill” I’ll call him, is a young impressionable teenage boy. He has a mother, a father, and 3 younger siblings, significantly younger than he. Earlier in the year, his father all of a sudden, became ill, and passed away. No planning could be made to prepare for this. It just happened. Now I get word yesterday, that his mother passed. Her lung cancer came back. So now, I look at this young man, and I feel for him. I was in tears, not because of my friend’s passing, but for these children. Now what? Fortunately, there grandparents are still around to take them in. But is this going to effect these young lives? All the softball games, the prom, the wedding, the babies. Their parents will not be around for any of it. It saddens me.
It saddens me to think that as much as I love my family, I would have to leave, and miss all of these life events! I look at my children, and sometimes I just shake my head. Other times I am full of joy to see just how far and wonderfully made adults they have become. Even though I never had any children of my own, due to health reasons, I happen to have been blessed with a huge family. I mentioned them in my post yesterday. I have 2 girls, 2 boys, a slew of grandsons and one granddaughter, Kennedi Nariah. Isn’t she just a doll?
Holidays are huge at our home, just like when I was a child. Family is everything to me! I often wonder though, are they really prepared for this rugged world? Are they prepared for that day when Dad and Snow will not be here for them? If not, I feel like Freddie and I have done all we can to prepare them. We have taught them values, respect, a sense of adventure, and planning. But Death? That my friends, can not be prepared for. Or can it?
My husband and I are avid motorcycle riders. A Harley to be exact. We used to be involved with a prominent outlaw Motorcycle club, or “gang” as society labels them. However, we have now been saved by grace, and turned our life to Jesus Christ, changing our lives for the better. Our lives have never been the same! There were times, as I look back now, that we should have both been sent home in a casket. There is no other way, except to imagine our parents and grandparents prayers from long ago protecting us from harm. Someone was on their knees for us, and I thank you.
One day I came to my daughter and told her, “I need to prepare you for our death, God forbid”. She did’t want to discuss it. I had to make her see, that even though she’s not the oldest, she is the only one, responsible enough to make it through, and help her siblings. To step up to the plate, and be strong for the others, if ever something happened while we are out on that road. I thank God, nothing ever happened. We are still here, now being an example to our children of living a Kingdom lifestyle. (That is a whole other subject). It saddens me, as I look back, that we took the chances we did, not thinking of our family, to just go on the road, with no sense of consequence, that we may not come home to our children. It saddens me the thought of possibly having to go through life with out any guidance, a parents love, a hug, their support in everything they do.
As I sit here writing this, with tears streaming down my face, I even feel saddened for what might have been, even though we were graced with life. So now what can I do with this? I can pick up my smile, throw that away in the past, and keep moving. That’s right, let the past remain there, in the past. But how about the future? I ask again, am I prepared for that day when someone closest to me leaves me behind? I do have faith in Jesus Christ, and the comfort he promises me that, yes it will be difficult, but I am built for this test. I can make it. And I will.
You will often here me speak of Jesus, and how much he means to me. If it were not for the Lord on my side, I would not be the strong independent person I am today. Jesus reminds us in his word, that even though that person is gone from this realm, if they are a child of God, we will one day see them again. Now if they are not saved by grace, of course then depending on your beliefs, you should be saddened. Some feel like we are just here, and after death, it is just over. That’s it? I am just gonna die, and that is it? I am so glad I know the truth. It comforts me to know Mother is waiting on me, that Dad is waiting on me. We will all be together again, IF we prepare.
“But Snow, I thought you said Death can not be prepared for?”. Yes, we may not be able to plan for Death. But we can prepare for it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7, NIV) says, “The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it”. At the resurrection, God reunites the body and His life-giving spirit, and the person lives again. So what does that mean to us? That means Granny is up there, with God, until that day upon His return. Now that is something to shout about, even in a time of grief! We are only temporarily separated. Isn’t that a little bit comforting?
So, long story short, if you are all of a sudden facing grief right in the face, reflect on this for a moment. Think about your own life. Have we truly “Prepared” ourselves for death? Or are we just living day to day? Death is never a subject we run to for discussion. But it is unavoidable. Every man, woman, race, creed, culture, and breathing thing in this universe, will ultimately one day face death. So let us prepare for it while we have the chance. Let us allow God to send a word of encouragement, a hug of sorts. A comfort in knowing that we will meet again one day. That is, of course, if the right choices have been made, to prepare that same path to a be with God. After all, the choice is ours to make.
I often refer to Deuteronomy 30:19 which states, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him”. I love this! You mean, even though Death can not be planned upon, I still have a choice after death?! Yes, that is what I am saying. For me, I choose life. I choose to prepare for death, even if I can not plan for it. I choose to go on living, knowing that, yes, I am very saddened, even in a sense of grief, over a possible loss. But at the same time, I am overjoyed knowing, I have prepared my path, and we will meet again. So, choose life! After all, we still have others here that need us more.
Until we meet again, pick up that smile, dry them tears, give me a big ole hug. Let’s keep moving. One day at a time is all you need. It will get easier with time, like a small whisper, a vapor of smoke, that grief will leave, and a small reminder will come to remind you of this person you have missed so. Then you will smile, and keep moving. Just do not give up! Keep going. If you can not keep moving for yourself, at least do it for those counting on us. I love you. God loves you. Be comforted, be blessed, be prepared. Stay Southern!