December 21, 2012

to die is gain...

no one is ever ready for that phone call... the one that stops us in our tracks, the one that shakes us to the core, the one that gives us that shocking, tragic news of death. we all know we'll die someday and everyone we know will die someday, it happens every day, every moment around the world, and yet we find ourselves in disbelief when it happens to someone we know, someone we love.
no. this can't be happening. i can't believe it. it can't be true. it must've been a nightmare, right? that text couldn't have been real last night...... and then you check your phone, reading the tragic news over and over again trying to come to terms with it, making sure you read it right... hoping, wishing, praying it weren't true.

you replay every memory you have with that person, especially the most recent... remembering your interaction, remembering the words you said, remembering the sound of their voice and the tight hugs they loved to give. you keep replaying it, making sure the memory is burned into your mind.

a little over three years ago, my husband lost his dad to pancreatic cancer, a roller coaster battle that lasted about two years. even though we were "prepared for it" there was absolutely nothing that could prepare us for that moment, when he actually breathed his last. even when you've watched the decline, you still can't believe they're gone, that death has come... that they've stepped into eternity.

[photo taken from levi lusko's blog]

last night, a sweet little girl named lenya lusko [one of pastor levi's daughters] stepped out of this world and into heaven. it was the most shocking, tragic news. my husband and i prayed and cried for most of the night. i kept replaying her cute laugh, the gleam in her eye when we'd play games, her tight "monkey" hugs when i'd say good bye, and her pure love for Jesus. the last conversation i had with her, i asked her what they talked about in class, and she replied with the biggest smile: "the birth of Jesus! the best story ever!!"
little did we know she would see Him face to face in paradise that following week.

do you know where you would go if you died tomorrow? or what if it happened tonight? the next hour isn't even promised to us... would God welcome you as a friend and faithful servant? or say that you were someone that He never knew?
the latter is scary if you don't know Jesus.... but you have a choice... accept Jesus as your Lord and you'll be saved. it's so easy! He loves you and died for you so that you could be with Him for eternity. all you have to do is open your heart to Him.

i love you guys, + this is all that really matters. i want you guys to experience freedom and grace in life, and His beautiful glory when you die. i like what paul said in one of his letters:

"for me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
[phil. 1:21]

we know that we will see lenya again someday, walking on those golden streets, with that beautiful contagious grin on her face. miss you already little len.

sincere love to you all,

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