I tend to think about death a lot.  Not just death, more the idea of losing everything.  Losing Jeff.  Losing my own life.  It’s depressing and I don’t like to talk about it.  But I think there are some valuable lessons I’ve been learning that are worth saying.

The theme of our 2011 was letting go.  We have been learning to let go of the ideals for our family – timing of children, number of children, behavior of children.  And then we got a big lesson in letting go of our stuff when our house burned down.  And slowly, gently, God has been showing me other areas that I need to let go of.  Ultimately, it’s my whole life He wants – my everything.  To let go of everything, so that He might be everything I need.

Some things are easy to let go of, like cable.  Some things are harder, like our friends and a comfortable home.  The some things are nearly impossible to pry my grip off of, like my husband.  I trust the Lord with my life, I know He is working good in me no matter what might happen, but I just can’t imagine the pain of losing Jeff.  How would I stand up in the morning?  I’m sure this is a similar feeling for parents, the thought of losing a child.  But even then I think, while losing a child would cause excruciating pain, I would have my husband with me to help us get through it.  But if I lost him, who would be there to help me?

The answer should be, and will always be, God.  God will be there to help me.  I just don’t know how to lean on Him like that yet.  And maybe I won’t know how until I actually have to.  And while I pray I never have to experience something like that, knowing God’s goodness and grace, I want what He wants for me more than comfort and freedom from pain.  I fear pain too much and try too hard to keep it out of my life.  I’ve realized I experience fear more than I experience joy.  That’s not the best that He has for me.

Earlier this week, Ann Voskamp wrote these words:  “When you realize that what you have, you will lose —  you win real eyes. You win grateful joy.”  She says that the way to love life is to imagine losing it.   And Jesus said that he who loses his life will find it.  So that leads me to believe everything comes down to perspective.  When I think of losing things, I imagine remembering all the joy that particular thing brought me and no longer having that joy will make me sad.  But I should try to see beyond the temporary joy that something on this earth has brought me and keep my eyes set on the eternal joy He promises me.