from an article originally posted October 14, 2014…
I struggled to find sleep last night. I was quietly in my bed praying heavy hearted prayers. Yesterday two mama friends who unexpectedly lost their husbands emailed with me. They honestly shared their burdens. I heard heartbroken text from Marion, NC, of a beloved young man who died in a car crash. These friends braved their broken with me. And we wondered a little over Heaven together. The land of no more tears. The land our finite minds struggle to grasp the infinite—but one day, one day soon we will know it.
This morning I woke to a new video of Brittany and her family. My heart broke for them. I hate cancer. I hurt so for their struggle. Her mama, oh her mama, loves as mamas love. I simply cried as she spoke with a willing heart to love, love, love her treasured daughter—love her however she can love her. Then Brittany broke over the place her life has not been what she expected. She cried hot tears for the children she will not have. She cried for the place her story is not the story she expected. Oh, the pain of the life dreamed compared to the life that is. I cried with her.
Then I rejoiced. People have been over and over saying November 1, November 1. And I rejoiced that she said that day may come and go and she may still be with us. Certainly, her mind is unchanged, and she speaks in the video to being the mouthpiece of a larger campaign. At the end of the video, it was shared that over 50 % of people don’t take the drug. My prayer remains the same: that she would not hasten her death.
Brittany, you are so beautiful, articulate, stunning. Your people love you with a huge love. I regret a sentence I wrote where I said choosing your death would rob those you love of caring for you to that last moment. In those words, I was harsh and not gentle. Will you please forgive me? You are rich in love, it is evident. I always say tears are the evidence of love in our lives. Seeing the tears of your mama, there is so much love for you today.
I woke today in new pain, with new treatment coming Thursday. Big life-altering hard. I will walk into that room thinking of you, Brittany. I will walk out of it thinking of you. I will chop vegetables for my family thinking and praying for you. I will speak to media outlets today thinking and praying for you. You matter. There are countless people praying for you Brittany. Countless. You are heavy on our hearts. I pray you have great good moments in days that are still hard. I pray you can enjoy the simple amazing moments in the small corners of our life. The hand held, the girlfriend giggle, the tears shared. I pray in the frenzy of all that surrounds you, that you would enjoy great beauty and love today.
I woke this morning and felt I needed to read and reread Psalm 139. A psalm that says we were beautifully made. I needed it, because I forget. When I feel awful, meet pain, struggle with discouragement, I need to know I’m seen. I need to hear I’m not hidden from God, but known and loved. And I need my heart to be searched. I need to ask for forgiveness where I have not loved, have not been gentle.
Yesterday, my son painted green paint on my carpet. Permanent green paint. He was making his Halloween costume. I fussed, and sent him to sit on his bed. Then it hit me all at once: who cares about my stained on, messy carpet? I walked to my son’s room and bent down beside his bed and asked him two questions: What is more important? You and I loving each other or my ugly carpet? He said, Our love, Mama. Then I bent my head low and in a quiet voice asked if he would forgive me. He said yes. Then he so humbly apologized for getting paint on the carpet. And all at once new love grew in us. Love that says. You are important, I see you. But this living, this embracing grace, and walking near to Jesus is hard. And when we blow it, there is sweet repentance and endless kisses from my treasured son. So read these words and know you are seen today. Ask God to search you, and be ready to see where you need to ask forgiveness... Then run to it. Embrace broken, humble, low. And be restored, forgiven, redeemed.
I am learning so much in this journey. I know so many of you have mixed feelings over this new conversation about end of life issues. This is an important conversation. But as I was sitting with a girlfriend, I told her what I have learned. Anger accomplishes very little, and being reactionary is painful and often ugly. Our social media world allows us to scream and think our rants aren’t hurting or painful. I have started to privately message those I have felt called to enter this conversation with on my blog. It’s become a beautiful conversation. Life, if anything, is personal. So let’s get personal, friends; let’s not only share our social media selves, but our real selves. There’s a difference you know. Come from behind the screen and meet someone for coffee. Yesterday, my friend was tearful that someone called me creepy. I asked her to privately message that woman and tell her it hurt her heart. And to begin to speak in gentle tones to one another. It matters. It’s an important conversation. Why does this breath I have matter? Why does your breath matter? Let’s talk about it. But please, let’s do it in love.
I read this most beautiful Psalm today. How does it meet you today? How does being intimately known cause you to rejoice today? How are you hiding from that intimate knowing?
I need your prayers today, friends. Please, please pray for me as I enter several interviews. Pray love would be spoken, truth spoken in love, and over all of it—gentleness that comes from Jesus. Pray for my energy. I’m hurting. But I’m here, this breath—it matters.