Life Sucks, and Then You Get To Die
Life sucks. Ok, no, life doesn’t suck. I can’t write something so un-encouraging and depressing. But sometimes life is hard and things happen you weren’t prepared for or expecting. Sometimes you get no sleep and still have to face the day. Sometimes the car breaks down and you don’t have the money to fix it, or you get in a fight with your husband and you’re not sure what you did. Sometimes life can be worse too, like a loved one passing away unexpectedly, rejection for a job, losing a job, never getting a job. Illness in your family, or in your own body. Maybe a child has rebelled against the family and you no longer talk, or the marriage you wanted isn’t turning out the way you thought.
So yeah, life sucks. And then you get to die.
Dying is such a strange concept to grasp. All of the sudden you’re just not here anymore. I can’t even wrap my mind around it. We live this life, that sucks a lot of the time, and then we die?
Last year my family lost two grandparents within a month of each other. My grandfather (my dad’s dad) who we called Granddad Bill and my grandmother (my mom’s mom) who we called Nanny. Both were sick and we knew it was going to happen, but that didn’t make losing them any easier. Then, last November a dear friend of mine lost her husband in an accident. No one saw that coming. With so much loss I started to feel helpless. I realized we really aren’t in control of this life and we aren’t promised tomorrow.
After they passed away I couldn’t help but think what life was going to be like when I lost my own parents. When you’re a child you never think about your parents not being there. They’re just there, like a rock in a creek bed, only growing smoother and stronger by the force of the water rushing over it. You never think the force of life will slip them away, but the older I get and the more days that pass, I’m realizing, someday, it will. And that just makes me mad. Or lately I’ve wondered what life would be like and what I would do if I lost my husband or one of my children. Just thinking about it would bring me to tears. Why do we have to die anyway?
Now with my own children, I’m realizing just how fast time passes. Much like that water in the creek, it doesn’t stop for anyone, and the older I get the faster that water seems to rush by, until one day it’s just over.
I wrestled with this for weeks, asking bitter questions in my mind. What’s the point, if we’re all going to die? Why are we even here, if everything eventually ends?
Oh I knew the answer to those questions. “We’re here to bring glory to God.” “Our life has purpose and meaning when we live for Him while we’re on this earth.” But the biggest truth I had to realize was something I’ve always heard, something everyone has always said, but it wasn’t until this season of life that I fully grasped the truth of it.
We’re not meant, nor were we ever meant, for this life. We were meant for eternity. We were created to live forever. That’s why death is so painful, feels so wrong, because we weren’t meant to die. That’s why life sucks, because eternity has been written on our hearts and we know deep down, we were made for more than this. We were made for perfection, utopia, paradise.
During this season where the Holy Spirit was revealing this to me, I read a book that brought so much clarity to my muddied mind. Havah by Tosca Lee, an incredibly written fiction book about the character Eve, that God used to give me something I had asked for before, but never really understood. An eternal mindset.
I thought I knew what it meant to be eternally minded. I used to tell my students all the time “Leaders are eternally minded” while never really understanding what it meant myself. Maybe it meant you had to always think of heaven. It sounded good. I knew it was true, and right, but honestly my idea of heaven wasn’t that exciting and always thinking of heaven was a chore. How can you always think of heaven when you’re down here living this sucky life?
But that’s just it. That’s what it means to be eternally minded. Knowing that when life sucks I can rejoice because it’s just a reminder that it’s not this life I’m living for, it’s the one to come. When things don’t go the way I want, or someone I care for is no longer here, it can be a glimmer of hope if we let it. Like when the sun catches the reflection of glass in the sand, a glimmer of heaven. A whisper to the heart that says “Yes, there is more. So much more.” There has to be more. It’s where purpose and fulfillment live. The place our hearts and souls can rest and let out a sigh, “Ahhh, all is well, I’m home now.” The place where we’re reunited, forever, with the lover of our souls. There are days I understand, and days I don’t. The heart is fleeting and the mind is worse when it comes to understanding life and God and eternity. But I imagine that is all part of His plan as well. To keep us coming to Him. To be reminded that we will never figure it out on this side of heaven.
So yes, life sucks, and then we get to die. I’m glad life sucks, and I’m glad we die. Because therein lies the answer. I think.
I don’t pretend to have the answers. Actually I know nothing at all and I’m ok with that, most of the time. I just know I have one life to live and though there are many things in this life I do not understand or even agree with, I do know one thing: God knows and He loves me. That is enough. For now. 🙂