There are times I look back on my life and smile when I see that God was preparing me for something before it hit.
Last week, when my husband was preparing to leave, we had our last Sunday in our church before he left. We were not stressed out about his trip, but the people in our church were. (I'm actually too busy reassuring others right now to be nervous myself!) They were very worried. I know where my husband is headed, and the difficulties he encountered last time are not going to play into this trip at all. This is no more of a danger than any normal trip... ok, so all trips carry some risk, but it is the way it is.
That Sunday in church, people were worried. A few even asked the questions that have no answers. 'How will you spend tomorrow - if you know that he is leaving and things could happen?"
Well, we spent it cleaning the house, ironing some shirts, and getting him ready to go. Not exactly what you would write home about if it were our last days. :)
I got upset at that question later in my blog and said there is no way to answer it. If you knew that tomorrow someone you loved would drop dead, how would you live? You would just live, hopefully, the way you are living now. If you wouldn't, then something is wrong with the way you are living now.
Then I went for a routine visit to the doctor. I took in #3, too, since he had been having some "nothing" symptoms.... It turns out that he is going to be tested for something that has a chance of dropping him dead at any moment. It is genetic, so if he tests positive, it means that I and any of my children have the remote chance of dropping dead at any moment in the middle of an active day.
Whew! That hit like a punch to the gut...
Over the next few days, I struggled with the question, "How then do we live?". How do we raise our kids with this knowledge? Do we restrict every minute of their lives? Do we panic? Do we.....? It was then that the question asked of me the day before came back to me: "How would you live if you knew that this was your last day?"
The answer is simple. Live normally. If I am living today with things unsaid, with things unforgiven, with things undone - there is a problem with how I am living today. Live normally.
Simple answers are not always easy battles to get to, and it took me a few days of tears before God before I was able to set it all back into His hands. In reality, all of us live like that. Tomorrow, my gas line could explode. Tonight my kid could slip on the sidewalk again and hit his head just so, and be gone. I can't live in fear of those things, and I refuse to live in fear of this, either.
God has written the days of each of my children. My first daughter's days were short, but she is not dead. She is very much alive - just not here with us. If one of my children drops dead, they will only be alive with God, not gone forever, but gone ahead of us. We can't imagine walking that path now, but I am convinced that if God calls us to walk it, He will walk it with us, with each and every one of us. I will not live in fear.
Realistically - we could all live a long happy life. It is true that #3 is showing signs of concern, but we go on. We do what can be done, we take what safety steps can be taken, and then we go on.
But as annoying as that question was last Sunday morning, God was asking me to think it over in preparation for the news of Monday afternoon. I'm sure if He brings other difficult things into our lives that He will prepare us for that also.
I am no longer annoyed at that person who asked that crazy question. God was using her weakness and fear to strengthen and comfort me for what was ahead.