At 3:30am, I awoke finding myself wedged between the cushy softness of our bed and the warm back of my sweet husband, Jerry. For months, now, I’ve been asking God what he wants of me. Since the age of 29, I’ve either been in the throws of dying parents, the heartbreak of a rebellious child, and now, the 12 year long agonizing death of a young beautiful husband. I said, “Lord, I’m tired. What do you want from me?” As I pondered, I kept hearing the thoughts, “ I don’t want anything FROM you. I want YOU.” I thought, “Lord. I want my life to be a gift to you. I don’t want to look like some kind of martyr or hero. I don’t want attention brought to me that I’m some wonderful, sacrificial wife. I want whatever happens to show others who YOU are. I am ready to give up my home. I am ready to give up all that I have.”
My eyes were open and they were not going to close. I snuck out of the bed, put on a robe, and went downstairs to read. I thought of how much I have grown to love this place and it had been the first time in my life that I had truly been in love with where I was in my life. But, with the changes coming regarding Jerry’s care, it’s silly to try to hang on to material things. Why am I doing that anyway?
I picked up David Platt’s book, Radical and began reading about how Jesus required abandonment of our own lives to follow him. Nothing is to be of more importance. Maybe it’s taken Jerry’s illness to get me to this point. I always thought I had felt that way, but I suppose now is where the rubber meets the road.
It seems our lives have been focused on building our “American Dream”. We began in our little $200 a month apartment with a card table for a kitchen table and milk crates and boards for our bookshelves. We’ve climbed the coorporate ladder, moved from home to bigger homes, educated and raised 3 successful children and are now watching them build their "American Dream”. I suppose that’s what we’re engrained with in this society. To succeed. To accomplish. To acquire. The possibility of losing all that we’ve accomplished is probably why Jerry was so in need of edification the other night about doing a good job caring for his family. It was his self worth. He desperately needed to know. Now, he is about to lose everything. Not just a physical illness to death, but he is going to lose his life as he’s known it and his mind.
As I am watching and waiting, I can’t help but be even more convicted that there is more. And that the “more” requires giving up life as we’ve known it. That is what Jesus was saying. Jesus gave it all and so must I. Jesus, however, DOES want what’s best for us but how can we know what it is, if we’ve not trusted him. He promises eternal treasures that will never fade away. What could be better than that!
So, Lord. I’m ready. It’s all yours.