If you are following our travel blog, you may have read our recent “Reflections on December 2016.” We had so much happen to us in December (I didn’t mention the freezing weather which will deserve a separate post on how to survive), it has made us reflect on LIFE in general. I mentioned in that post, we know several families who knowingly were spending their last Christmas with a loved one. Sadly, that helped put our situation into perspective. This post is to make several points as we ponder this question, Why do we wait until it’s too late….?” Too late for what? To keep our marriages vibrant, to enjoy life, to appreciate family, to work on our bucket list, to keep our health in check, to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior? The list is actually endless.
Let’s start with the most important recent event that has consumed our thoughts and prayers:
- We want to honor an amazing young man, Rich, and his family. While we only met him one time, his wife’s family is very near and dear to our hearts. We knew he had to be a very special young man to capture the heart of his wife – she was one of my favorite students years ago when I taught Sunday School. I KNEW she was saving her heart for the man God had picked out for her. His brother-in-law made a YouTube video of his medical journey testimony, from when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2014, until his passing into the arms of Jesus on December 31, 2016. What was most poignant to me was his statement, “How do you process that you only have three to 11 months to live?” If you know anyone who has also been diagnosed with this cancer, you understand how serious this is. While it was a tough diagnosis and he shares how depressing was and how much anxiety he went through, he shares how his Lord and Savior carried him and his young family through it. Through the generosity of many friends, his church and family members, he and his wife were able to take their family on many “bucket” list travel excursions. So our question became, why do we wait until we know we don’t have much time to live to really live? Rich knew how to live life to the fullest but that wasn’t all, he also knew how to die living life to the fullest as well. He was blessed to have the opportunity to check off some items off of his bucket list. But how many of us wait until it is too late to do so?
- We are sensitive to marital discord, as we have shared several times. We divorced and then remarried. Probably my favorite post about the beginning of our reconciliation can be read here. After we remarried, Bill actually thought about becoming a marriage and family counselor. Sadly, we moved after he earned one degree and it just didn’t work for him to continue his education in our new location. But we committed to the Lord, we would be HIS counselors, whenever He brought someone into our path, we would share our story and/or do what we could to help the couple. On News Years Day, 1/1/2017, we stepped out of our RV, heading to church. We then saw a domestic situation erupting. We didn’t know these people, they were not neighbors, but for some reason, they were fighting right beside our car, outside our door. Bill actually saw part of it and made me aware of the “situation.” As soon as we opened the door, the pushing stopped, but the words kept on flowing. For some reason, we decided to not intervene, but we began to regret it as soon as we arrived at church. Bill knew exactly what to say, but my law enforcement background kicked in. Domestic fights can turn lethal very easily. I just got into the car. But I was praying, but still we could have intervened a little bit….We’ve since dissected the scene numerous times. We thought back to our own problems. In the end, we think had anyone tried to point us in the right direction, we would have rebuffed them. But we’ve added it to our question, why do couples wait until it is too late to try to fix their marriage? One of my favorite male bloggers about his regrets that he learned his lesson too late. This was the first post I read that made me respect this man, Matt: “She Divorced Me Because I left Dishes by the Sink.” So sad he learned too late….
- My husband had his day of reckoning with a doctor. So now we are consumed with thoughts of why didn’t we take better care of our health? We thought we did. We are actually very healthy and live a very active life. But there is a secret and silent killer, heart disease – it usually isn’t discovered until it is too late. We are so GRATEFUL to a lab technician who recommended Bill request another test after one sort of looked OK. Turned out she probably saved his life or at a minimum, extended his life. We can now look back at signs that tried to show us a better way, but we were blinded, thinking we were doing OK because we actually felt good. I mean we could hike mountains for hours, we could take five-mile long beach walks every day for weeks. We don’t really like to eat out. Bill is the chef and he likes to make what we thought were healthy meals. What could be wrong? Plenty. But now we are on the road to good health!
Does anyone else have any thoughts as to why we wait until it’s too late? It’s just so sad for us to see so many missing out God’s best plans for us. I do know that Rich had the keys to how to survive devastating news. I know that Matt has discovered, “Our lives MUST be lived for things greater than ourselves.”
And now, Bill and I are learning a new way of living as it relates to cooking and eating. We will have many challenges in front of us as we try to figure out how to socialize around other’s dinner tables or how to eat out at restaurants with family and friends. But we know we appreciate life and plan to live it to the fullest.
In the mean time, our hearts ache when we see other people living a deceived lifestyle – just as we did. We let our marriage fall apart. Thankfully, we called out to God for forgiveness and to help us rebuild our family. And now with our health challenge, we are praising God it wasn’t too late and his condition can be reversed. But he can’t fall off the wagon and we have to continue with this lifestyle for the rest of our lives. We know how HARD it is to do the right thing. But we know for certain this:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4