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January 14, 2011

:: A Moment of Reflection

You want to know how a huge God-thing is happening? It's when a woman of God meets with tragedy and the blogosphere lights up with prayer and well-wishes in the span of a day.  It's when friends, near and far, rally around and sing her praises as a friend, a mother, a sister, a wife.  It's when she has friends who care deeply for her and lift her up in prayer when she needs it most.  That, my friends, is the work of God's love...being lived out here on this earth.

No, that woman is not me.  I praise God that I have not met with tragedy.

That woman is Joanne from the blog the Simple Wife.  She is also an author of several books, some of them co-authored with her husband.  Being the blogoholic that I am, I stumbled across her blog awhile ago following various threads that blogs often have.  She is an amazing woman of God, someone I would be privileged to have as a friend.  On Tuesday she was running on her treadmill and suffered a stroke.  Her 12 yo daughter found her lying next to the treadmill, unconscious.  Fortunately medical responders were there in less than 15 minutes and she was taken to the Hospital.  I had no idea Joanne lives here in Colorado, but found out when I read that she is currently at Littleton Adventist Hospital...the very same hospital where I gave birth to my daughter 2.5 years ago.  That made my heart ache for her more, knowing that she lives so close to me. There are recent posts on her condition on her blog, that have been written by her husband to keep her bloggy friends updated on her status.  But please remember to pray for her too, even if you do not "know" her.  I can't imagine what her family is going through, especially her two beautiful girls.

That said, I have been reflecting on many things...knowing that I can be here now, posting on my blog, but be gone tomorrow.  That's life.  There are no guarantees.  I am content in knowing where I will go should the unthinkable happen, though.  As a Christian, I know that my belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior guarantees that my next breath, after my last one on this earth, will be in Heaven.  I can't express the peace this affords me.  But what about the time I am here on this earth?  Am I doing enough?

One thing that has hit me like a ton of bricks is the fact that Joanne has a legacy.  Should she leave this earth now (and I pray she doesn't), she would leave so much inspiration behind.  She would leave so many amazing friends who are reminiscing daily about their interactions with her.  She would leave behind a devoted and loving husband who has no trouble seeing her as Christ sees the Church.  She would leave behind two girls who adore her and who have benefited from her attentiveness and ability to home-school.  She would leave behind books about how to become more of a Godly woman.

All I can do is reflect on how short of much of that I fall.

As I sit here typing away I realize that I would be blessed to have half as many people rally around me if I suffered the same fate.  I would be blessed to know that so many people around the world are praying for me.  But what have I done to earn that blessing?  As of yet, I struggle to think of a one.  Do I hold myself accountable to Godly people?  Do I spend time in God's Word?  Do I pray regularly?  Do I grieve with those who are grieving?  Do I give of myself unconditionally and without prejudice?  Am I demonstrating Christ's love through my actions and attitude?  Um, truthfully I can't say a resounding yes to any of those questions...and I'm sick about it.

So where does that leave me?  What do I do now?  I need to the one and only true redeemer, God.  Changes need to occur.  Joanne's life, and current struggle, has brought me perspective.  There are some things that I am resolved to change.  I'm done being the mediocre Christian who "just gets by" on the grace of God.  I have no illusions of grandeur, but I do want to leave a legacy.  A legacy of being Christ-like.  A legacy that my children will be proud of (and hopefully emulate).  A legacy where, at my funeral, Christ's love is evident to the ones who are there.

And, most importantly, I want God to say, "well done, good and faithful servant".

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