It’s my birthday today. Another birthday that almost wasn’t. After a sudden death event a year and a half ago, each birthday, holiday, and special occasion is that much more meaningful and notable. Just a week ago on New Years, my husband and I stood on the balcony of our hotel room ringing in the New Year and saw across the waterway harbor a scenic view of the very hospital where I was granted all these extra days of life. The significance was not lost on either of us.
I often wrestle with the question, “Why me?” Why did God choose to breathe life back into me when there are so many others He calls home to Him? I don’t understand, and maybe I never will. But I also can’t decide whether myself or those who have stepped into eternity have got the better end of the deal. I am filled with gratitude to have all these extra days and months and years with my family. I live with purpose, and even when I experience seasons and circumstances of pain, I am so happy to be living this life. But some days I get a little bit homesick for my real home that is waiting for me…
An excerpt from my personal journal:
…when I step away for a moment from this frantically busy, stressful, artificial plastic, temporal, Lego land of mortality and quiet myself before the paper-thin yet impenetrable veil separating this reality from the spiritual reality… I can feel His life-giving breath as it rustles the veil and passes through and whispers to my spirit and reminds me of what is more real and abiding than anything my dim human eyes can see. I can almost see beyond… almost. I know it’s there waiting for me… Unmatched beauty, vibrant life beyond imagination, perfection, justice and mercy completely fulfilled, order, mysteries revealed, questions answered, every hope realized, understanding at last, and all brokenness undone and made right. But best of all, He is there.
I would give anything in those moments to be able to step through and see with new eyes all His beauty. I can feel it, sense it, and thrive in its warmth… But what I wouldn’t give just to SEE the One whose love I can only feel and sense in my current state. The tears stream down my face as I long so deeply for home… So close to the separating veil… But with so many miles yet to go. This isn’t home. This isn’t where I belong. It’s only a test, a training ground, a pilgrimage, and a forging fire we all must travel through to reach perfection. We weep for those who are gone, but they are not weeping. They have stepped beyond the veil and are enveloped by the unimaginable glorious reality beyond. They are the ones truly alive, and I am the one who still shuts her eyes every day and reaches out in earnest for the God whose presence fills both worlds and holds all things together. I am the one who still waits. Those who have gone before me wait no longer. How lucky they were that day when a mighty hand pierced through veil and reached out to them, and a familiar loving voice flooded every part of their being and whispered, “Return to me.” How lucky they were to step through and find themselves… Finally… Home.
There is a chasm of difference between imagination and faith. A.W. Tozer said “Imagination projects unreal images out of the mind and seeks to attach reality to them. Faith creates nothing; it simply reckons upon that which is already there.” God and the spiritual world are more real than anything in this world, and I have wrapped my life and all my faith around this truth. You might say I live in a fantasy… or a weak man’s faith. I say I am peacefully confident that my faith is grounded in reality, and when we both reach the end of our lives, we will see which one of us was right
I really don’t know why God chose me in particular to bring back, but I will live life with as much purpose and gratitude and zeal as I am able to. And while I’m here and for as many birthdays as I have left, I will not be silenced from continuing to write about how wonderful He is and how He creates beauty and redemption from even the most broken things. You may not have met Him yet… if you haven’t, you are missing out on the most breathtaking and fulfilling relationship you could possibly enter into. He is more real and more amazing than anything you can conjure up in your deepest imaginations. The moments I spend in His presence are the very best of moments of my life.