5.18.2012

Just For You

The other day, I was feeling very emotionally drained. A lot of things had cluttered my weekend, unexpected things happened (namely, the death of Josh). And also a friend was going through something really difficult. I felt like I was just holding all the weight on my shoulders.

I had been chatting with a friend and he noticed how I didn’t seem to be doing too good.
‘You should go take a walk,’ he encouraged me.
‘Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.’

After telling him ‘bye’, I went outside and headed up our family’s hill behind our house. Knight decided to tag along for a bit, but soon got distracted with a patch of fresh spring grass. So I continued on my walk alone.

I reached the top of the hill just as the sun was beginning to set. The blackberries and bushes were a bit overgrown, so I couldn’t see the horizon through all the brush. But remembering that my bro had secured a ladder (that he uses for hunting) in a nearby tree, I decided to take my chances at being afraid of heights and climb that ladder. I just felt that I needed to be off the ground. Needed to see the sky, the sun, the horizon.

So I climbed that ladder. I was probably about thirty feet high when I was able to see through the trees and brush and catch the rays of the sun as it started disappearing below the edge of the hill.

It was suddenly hard to breathe. The scene before me was so beautiful. And not necessarily because it was a beautiful sunset. I had seen plenty of breath-taking sunsets before. But it was almost like I heard God’s voice telling me, ‘This is just for you.’ My eyes welled up with unbidden tears and my breath started coming in short gasps.

I remembered back to something…I’m not sure where I remembered it from. Maybe something I read. Maybe something I heard. Maybe God had manifested it to me during one of my quiet times with Him. Whatever it was, this is what I remembered:

God loves me. He loved me enough to send His only Son to die in my place. I’m an imperfect human being. I sin every single day. But God, in His amazing and unfathomable love for me – for all of us – sends little blessings, every day to touch us. Because in blessing and making us happy, it makes Him happy.

Now that beautiful sunset that I saw…if it was just another beautiful masterpiece, that’s awesome. But when I saw it, I felt like it was for me. And I believe that God would paint that beautiful sunset just for me, if He wanted to.

Just for you, I came to this world.
Just for you, I died.
If I had to do it all over again,
Just for you, I would give my last sigh.

Just for you, I painted that sky.
Just for you, I spoke.
The colors came together in a magnificent hew
Just for you, they glowed.
And through the storms in your life
When your sails feel heavy and down
I walk beside you all the way
Just for you, there waits a crown.

5.09.2012

A Beautiful Death

Ever since I was little, I always wondered how I was going to die.  Would I be in a car accident?  Would I get thrown from a horse?  Would I die slowly, from leukemia or cancer?  Or perhaps I would die saving someone from drowning?

I admit…none of these were really what I had in mind.  I would be perfectly content living to a ripe old age – dying quietly in my bed with my husband, children, grandchildren (and even great-grandchildren) circled around my bed, singing to me.  But I guess I’ll never know till it happens…

This last weekend has been very emotionally draining for me.  Joshua Eddy fell into heavy rapids in the Rogue River (in Southern Oregon) and has yet to be found.  Search and Rescue Teams were looking for his body for over 48 hours.  They searched 20 miles up and down the river, but to no avail.  It was hard but we finally had to accept the fact that Josh went home to be with the LORD. 

I didn’t know Josh very well.  I had only seen him a few times, and only really talked to him once.  But I have some good friends who were very close to him...and they and his family are suffering so much, so hard right now. 

But even though some people didn’t know Josh during his 19 years of life, God has used his death to reach people.  Josh’s blog has had almost 10,000 hits in just the last couple of days.  They made a page for him on Facebook and he has gotten almost 500 ‘fans’.  His legacy lives on.  He has touched so many lives.

This got me thinking (it’s not like I hadn’t thought of this before)…

What will it be like when I die?

I may not die a valiant, sacrificial death – such as, saving someone from a fire or throwing myself in front of a car that’s about to hit a small child – but will I die a beautiful one?  Will I have the peace to know that I left behind a legacy?  A beautiful legacy that points others to Christ?  Will people remember my words to them in a good way?  Or will I have hurt many people who will only remember me bitterly?  Will people who I had never met in life, be touched by the Holy Spirit through my death?  Will my parents and siblings be able to mourn for me, but at the same time, smile because of the wonderful, beautiful memories we had made together?  And to be able to rest assured that I am in heaven with my loving, heavenly Father?

These questions always make me think after someone I knew (or knew of) has passed away.  Thankfully, all of them had been believers and we were able to mourn and rejoice at the same time because we knew they were finally HOME.  But what hope do unbelievers have?  What hope do their loved ones have whom they left behind?  None.  And what legacy do they leave behind?.....

I may not die a valiant death, but I pray that I leave a beautiful legacy.  One that people will remember me as ‘the girl who gave her all to her LORD’.  One that will touch people who I was never privileged to meet in this life.  One that will challenge others not to take this life for granted.  A life that people would remember as strong and vibrant, living to its fullest, enjoying the small beauties, loving as many people as possible and always pointing to her Savior.  
This is the legacy I want to leave.

This is the death I want to die – a beautiful death.  And if I don’t, then my life wouldn’t have been worth living.  If I do, then I can die with a smile on my lips, a happy heart…

Because through it, I will point others to Christ.