I was driving on the interstate going 70 mph and a car in front of me had a huge piece of ice fall off the top of his car and almost hit me! It was one of those moments where for a split second; I thought I was going to die right there on the way to the doctor. So random, and just one of many instances where I did one of those gasps of relief and as I took in another breath of gratitude, something else happened…
I had one of ‘those revelations’ that caught me off guard in the most beautiful way.
I felt this overwhelming peace come over me.
Instead of that usual panic of “I can’t die! I can’t leave my kids and husband in the midst of their lives!!” I felt this sense of “If I was taken now, I feel incredible assurance that my life was well lived.”
Hmm. It baffled me and yet I was overwhelmed with this new sense of fulfillment and contentedness I hadn’t had until now.
For the rest of the 30 minute drive I reflected on my 47 years of life and dove deeper into those years through my restless roaming 20’s full of mistakes and carelessness, passing into my weary and worn 30’s full of anxiety and despair, and into my 40’s- where I find myself being refined and used more deeply for His Purpose.
It’s a miraculous and ever-changing journey, this life. And in it, I see how God has chiseled away some hard edges and plucked out some thorns. I realize how it took these days- all 17,245 of them, every single one… full of shame, recklessness, brokenness, meandering, experimenting, exploring, discovering, developing, learning, opening, forgiving, restoring, renewing, refining, and surrendering into a slow palpable discovery of grace.
Do I regret decisions I’ve made? Do I still feel shame and pain and wounds from those broken parts of my life and my heart?
Will there be more of it?
But I see the path more clearly.
I now know the power of ‘aging gracefully’.
Somewhere along the way, life takes a turn in this direction as we age and mature and truly come to know who we were, where it’s taken us and why. Our perspective clears out the ill-fitting pieces that somehow took their place in our hearts causing damage or destruction and we begin to sift through the garbage that had been rotting in those corners of our lives for years…
As we get older, our courage becomes bolder. And as I hold on to God tighter, I feel His merciful love pour over me, much like that car ride to the doctor.
We somehow get to the point of deeper understanding. We somehow learn to embrace our lives more fully. The years take us through an amazing journey in building stepping blocks of wisdom, introspection, gratitude, and peace.
I joked on Facebook about Heaven not being ready for my grand entrance that day…
I’m not ready for Heaven.
Maybe we have it all wrong. Here in this world of grieving over the ones we’ve lost, we desperately want them back on this earth with us. We miss them terribly and ask why oh why did they have to die so soon? We hang our heads in agonizing confusion and feel betrayed by God.
Could it be that we are only called home to Heaven, when we are fully prepared for His Kingdom? Maybe God’s purpose with this world is to prepare us for the world everlasting? I think of Kay and Kathryn and Jack and Zach and Peyton and all the beloved loves we have lost too soon. I believe they were ready for something far greater than we can ever imagine.
They came into this world more refined and prepared for His Holiness and therefore went home sooner. I think about all of the precious lives in mother’s wombs that never made it out into the air of this world. And somehow, I feel their place in Heaven is even closer to the throne of our Heavenly Father. Their purpose fulfilled long before their creation in a way we cannot ever understand.
These ongoing thoughts have unfolded this week, as I marvel at the limitless ways of God and how bound we are in our limited lives.
And although my perspective is blurry with details unresolved, I now have a new peace that has settled into my heart in a way that helps me grasp the idea of death. I will be comforted in knowing that if anyone I love is taken from this world…
I believe that they were ready for the Holiness of Heaven.
Apparently, either my purpose here on earth is not yet accomplished or I am not ready for His Holiness.
That’s cool. I’m good with that. Just know that if something should happen to me and I die?
I hope everyone who loves me can celebrate that I finally prepared to have His Face truly shine upon me.
I will make a grand entrance after all.