It was a really rough week leading up to Christmas 2015.
For a long list of reasons, a super sick kid was the beginning of my undoing that week. There was so much brimming just below the surface, that all it took was one last thing throwing a wrench into pre-holiday and travel plans for me to feel THISCLOSE to losing it.
And just like that, all that brimmed beneath went boiling over.
We were scheduled to fly out of the country in just a few days and I wasn’t feeling the least bit ready for that trip or Christmas coming so fast. But when life is lived at such a frenetic pace that one thing can trip you up, you tend to fall faster and harder than if you were just moseying along taking it all in, am I right?
And that’s exactly the way life was going prior to our Christmas week – we were all hustle with not enough small, happy moments to remind you of just why we do all that we do … you feel me? It was another season without balance.
I felt the fog of anxiety and depression rolling in – I may be better now, but even as short-lived as it was, it was enough to really throw me for a loop. I was weary and worn to the bone, ready to sleep for weeks. I was crashing – hard and fast like a car coming to a screeching halt because it simply runs out of gas.
No way could I go on with holiday and travels plans as they were. No way could I face life like this a moment longer – suddenly I was desperate to stay home from a ridiculously wonderful extended family vacation to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Crazy, right?
I really could not imagine making it …. that is, until a friend poured some truth into my head and unconditional love and hope into my soul. The same friend who shared these wise words with me not so long ago! Sometimes you just need to be reminded of those things you know are true all along, but you can barely remember the words for awhile.
It wasn’t until I was sitting in front of this view, all by myself for a few blessed minutes, that I realized what I was supposed to learn from all of this – a lesson I need to remember for the rest of my life.
As my eyes continued to gaze in awe of this amazing scenery, it suddenly hit me. My surroundings were so incredibly beautiful that I knew I was getting a tiny glimpse of heaven.
Somehow they reminded me so distinctly of the heaven I’ve yet to see that all the crazy started making sense to me … the way I was so desperate to grab hold of home that much tighter and never let go, despite being fully aware how beautiful and wonderful the destination awaiting me would be.
If I’m capable of such behavior here on earth at the mere thought of journeying from one location to another – from one that dims in comparison to the staggering beauty of another – how much more so could I fear heaven, my final destination, if I don’t hold this life with an open hand? Point taken, thanks God.
I’ve thought alot about heaven since around the time I turned 30 – when life was hard and our lifestyle chaotic and transient enough, that it made me long for a home far greater than this temporary life here on Earth. Ever since, my days have been marked by the unforgettable realization that life as I know it could change in an instant. So though I have a long way to go, I often think about how to live the life story I want to be remembered for too. I just want to make the most of the time I am given!
While I’m still a work in progress and I definitely don’t have all the answers, I’m so glad I know the one who does – and He’s always there when I need Him. Oh how thankful I am for the love of the Savior that never fails, even when everyone else does. We fall short, while He is ever steadfast and sure!
We soaked up our time in the sun and sand and wished we could stay just as much as I’d dreaded going (oh the irony)! We were even able to ring in the new year in St. Croix and marvel at how fast 2015 sped by. All is well and we are back to reality here in our home for now. But oh how I hope to carry with me the lesson learned as I gained a glimpse of heaven amidst my longing for home.
What moments have marked your story so deeply life has never been the same again? Do you ever find yourself longing for heaven or are you more pulled toward your home in the here and now?
And can you even believe we’ve reached 2016? Let’s talk about it!