In my almost 37 years of life, I've endured the pain of losing loved ones along the way. I've been too countless funerals - more than I care to remember, but such is life. Some of them I may have predicted due to old age, long-term illness, etc. but many of them caught me totally off-guard. Weird when you think about being totally caught off-guard. Death is, in fact, inevitable. Yet, when we are faced with it, it's devastating for most of us no matter the circumstances. Death is scary. Not knowing exactly when or how it will happen is worrisome.
We fear death.
My father-in-law is dying.
At 67 years of age this man has a list of ailments stacked against him. A diabetic most of his adult life, he has also suffered from heart disease (from a long family history) and most recently, kidney and liver failure. The doctors told us we'd be lucky to have him here in six months. Watching my husband, who is usually my rock, deal with this sort of news has been nothing short of heart breaking. Having known my husband for about 11 years, I can count the number of times I've seen him cry on one hand. He's a solid person - walking in the path God has laid out for him, no questions asked. Death has never been a stumbling block for him. I've heard him say, on more than one occasion, that we should all be excited at the thought of meeting our Maker. I agree with you, not everyone shares this attitude. We fight to stay on earth as long as possible going to some pretty extreme measures, at times, to do so. And we leave it kicking and screaming. I'm certain my husband dismissed his positive thinking altogether when he received the news about his own father's impending death. I'm sure the selfishness crept in, begging God for more time with his dad.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Living 3 hours away from my in-laws has been a small hurdle for our family. Mike would obviously like to be there as much as he can, but he has a family and a job here in Memphis. Mike's mom has a job and she can't be at home with her husband as much as she'd like to either. Our lives are moving forward while this man's life is slowly coming to an end and it's hard - knowing what's to come. On one hand, you are thankful that you can make the most of your last days; however, it's like we're all in mourning already. As good as a day can be, there is a shadow over it because we're all wondering just how much longer we have with him. So I have to wonder.... is this better than a sudden, unexpected death? I'm not so sure.
One thing is for sure: while we are all saddened by the event currently taking place in our lives, our faith has never wavered. Of course, my father-in-law is scared. Even if you've been saved by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I think being scared is a natural response considering we're only human. But he knows where he is going. And we all know we'll meet again in the kingdom of heaven.
Would you please pray for my husband and his family? Pray specifically for God's will, for peace. Pray that I might be strong enough for my husband to lean on during this time rather than succumb to my emotions. Pray for quality of life rather than quantity. Let these last days be filled with happy memories.
Dear God, thank You for the time you give each of us here on earth with one another. Wrap Your arms around us during this time and remind us that Your grace is enough and to only lean on You during this time. While we may not understand Your plan, You are perfect. Wipe our tears away and fill our minds with happy memories and our hearts with peace knowing that one day, we will all meet again and live forever with You in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
You can read all of the guest posts from this series below:
- Press On by Casey from One Day At A Time
- Putting Together The Pieces by Ashley from Ramblings and Photos
- Touched By His Grace by Jill from Jill Samter Photography
- You Need Only Be Still by Katie from Beautiful Within Life
- Right Now by Branson from My Reflection of Something
- From Broken to Whole by Katie from Katie Lloyd Photography
- My Mind and Heart Are Set by Elizabeth from Just Following Jesus
- The Greatest Mistake by Jhen from From Here to Eternity
- For Such A Time As This, The Lord Will Be With You by Rosie from Leavesnbloom Photography
- Pursued By The God of Grace by Kathryn of Our Tiny Big Life
- Finding Beauty in the Every Day by Lora of Eager Hands
- I Stand Upon What Never Changes by Misti of Through a Photographer's Eyes
- Let Go of the World by Christy of Skinned Knees