Wednesday, May 20, 2015

34 years old

Dave Ramsey, the Financial Peace University guy, has a radio talk show Mon-Thurs evenings that I listen to from time to time.  The debt-free cheers of couples who've worked hard, sacrificed, and lived quite frugally so they can be more empowered in their lives, more independent, and better help and lift others really inspires me.  During the program, Dave has all types of people call in on the show with questions seeking advice for their family finances, etc. 

Just now, I was in my car, about to head back into work, but stayed to listen for a few minutes as a father of two little girls (4 and 8yrs old) shared a bit of his financial mess after the passing of his wife.  She died 8 months ago at age 34 from cancer.  The man didn't have to say a ton for listeners to know how hard this was for him.  Dave was able to send him his course and to a "Smart Conference" later this year.  As this man moves forward picking up the pieces, encouragement was given to all of us to get our lives in order.  What a needed message and so true.  But I was struck even more by something else.  She was 34 yrs old and I couldn't stop the lump building in my throat as I thought about my 34th birthday, laying in a hospital bed after life-saving surgery essentially gave me every chance at living as normal a life as anyone else.  What was she thinking as she lay in her hospital bed?  How was that for her, for her husband, for those little girls?  It hit me hard and emotion seemed to come out of nowhere.  How did I get this chance at life when she had a husband and two little ones??  I just work. 

There is so much I don't have answers for...we move forward with faith, right?  Yes.  My mother would say we also go forward with gratitude.  But how do I get to be the one going forward?  Well...forward in this life?  Fairness is a concept I must let go of - it is so different for everyone.  While I may feel spoiled by my life, I have responsibility to give and do much with what I've been given.  And the Lord's ways truly are higher than mine.  That is the only way I know how to make sense of life.  Since March 2013, a few of my friends have passed in their battle with some sort of cancer, and four family members due to complications with age.  Maybe they love it on the other side, I believe they must.  It is us who are left to grieve, to miss them, to make sense of loss and pain.  To move forward, I must celebrate them and celebrate the life God has given me.