Another Funeral

The first 10 days of January started with 4 funerals here in our church family. Those 10 days rocked me to my core. We haven’t even been in this community for long, so I can only imagine how hard it was on those who are even closer to the situation. My husband and I spent a long time processing this the other day.

Things have just felt heavy lately.

It might sound silly that I thought this, but I guess I had this idea in my mind that stepping into a new year was going to make things feel…well…I guess, NEW. It didn’t. When we started January with 4 funerals, I had this knot of dread in my stomach that seemed to confirm that nothing would ever be the same again. A verse kept coming to mind. A verse in the Bible that I really don’t like. I believe in the words in my Bible and I hope God gives me the strength to live by them, but if I’m being honest there are definitely some verses that are hard for me to handle. Ecclesiastes 7:2 Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies…

The living should take this to heart.

One of these early days in January I pulled into the church parking lot to find a hearse sitting outside the front door. It was the 3rd one I’d seen in just a handful of days. I sat there staring at the vehicle and thinking how many things in my day wouldn’t matter anymore if that was sitting there waiting for me or one of my family members. A thought just shot through my mind. What is it about a life that matters when you take that last ride to the graveyard? It’s a tough question.

I think we have to ask it.

For many years, I just haven’t allowed myself to think too deeply about things like this. It’s easier to avoid the funeral moments and look forward to the next party moments. I can be whoever I want you to think I am at a party. I can put my best foot forward and hide behind a smile. I can laugh and make a joke out of conversation if it starts to hit a little too close to home. Funerals are different. Funerals bring me face to face with myself in a way I haven’t always been ready for. This heavy month has pushed me to find value in the type of examination that David talks about in Psalms 26:2: Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. That is a scary thing to ask the Lord of the universe if I really believe in Him. He just might answer.

I just might have to do something about it.

The thing about spending time in the funeral mindset as opposed to the party mindset is that we’re going to eventually come face to face with the question. “What really matters in my life”? I’ve spent a LOT of time asking this in the last couple years. It hasn’t just been 2020, and now the exponential amount of funerals we’ve had. I had a life altering diagnosis about a year and a half ago. It was like watching a movie of the life I thought I was going to have. It was as if the best parts of it were getting dubbed over by this horrible plot that was actually going to be my new reality. Those first months held some really dark days, but I suddenly had a very clear view of the things that really mattered to me.

I had to come face down to the throne of God and ask Him if I still believed He was good, and if He still had a plan for me.

He is, and He does, but I only found those answers in the dark of my funeral moments. I would have missed them in the noise of my party. We can smile, hide our mess, and work hard to make sure we have a really good time in this life. We can say we owe it to ourselves, and that we deserve to be happy…and probably not really feel all that happy. Or, we can do what this verse suggests, and invest time in those funeral moments of life asking God to show us what matters. Two years ago, I would have had a list of things I thought I should tell you to do that matter, but I don’t have that list anymore.

I don’t think that’s how it works.

I think it comes down to those moments when you’re squinting in the darkness, staring at a grave, or realizing that tomorrow isn’t going to look like you thought it would. The things that matter seem to be shown to us when we come to the end of ourselves and become ready to ask the one who created us what he actually created us for. Are you there, friend? I’m there. It’s heavy, and it’s dark some days, but there is also this new excitement starting to rise in me that he has something better than I could have planned for myself. He has it for you, too. Hang in there, friend.

While we breathe, we hope!

Shoot me a message and let’s talk about it!

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