Purple folder days….
I live in a small town. I drive by the funeral home almost every day. I cannot count how many times over the last 3 years that I have watched someone walk out of the funeral home with their “purple folder”. Every time I see it I pray for that person. My heart hurts for them, because I know what is in that folder. A receipt for a coffin. A receipt for cemetery plot. A receipt for a tombstone. A rough draft for a funeral service….and the obituary that will be printed the following day.
Today marks 3 years since Chris died. These last three years literally seem like the whole of my life. Memories before that seem far, far in the past….so thankful for new memories being made.
Death is so final, for now… “1 Thessalonians 4:13-18….But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
How I wish that I could comfort each person that leaves that funeral home with these words. That’s always my prayer..that they already know them, or will hear them.
As I contemplate this new year ahead of me, what comes to mind is “new beginnings”. I no longer wake up with the pit in my stomach as reality rushes in. I have learned that I have a faithful God. I’ve learned it’s okay to ask for help. I’ve learned that grief does not kill you. I’ve seen the selflessness and love that my friends and family have for me. I’m learning daily how to be a single parent, I’ve learned that it’s okay to cry..whenever, wherever. I’ve learned that I can actually problem solve quite a few things on my own (except for installing ceiling fans :-)) I’ve learned that there’s a whole lot I do not know. I’ve learned that I’m no longer in survival mode but living purposefully each day. I’ve learned that I still have a future and I’m looking forward to it!
So while death is final it is also a part of life. Fearing it, for the believer, is not living in Hope, and to put it bluntly, is just not living in reality. Accepting death helps you perceive life properly. Accepting death helps you put in perspective small misfortunes and self importance. Accepting death helps you respect life. Ironically, accepting death makes you more alive.
Jesus came and died the ultimate death, so that He could promise eternal LIFE.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
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