Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's Not About You

We've decided to move to Oregon. After reading Brittany Marnard's story, we immediately thought of Alexis. Our sweet baby girl is terminally ill. Why put her through the pain and suffering of CF? Why even fight it when we know we won't win? So when she's old enough to make her own decisions, we'll already be in a state that allows one of those decisions to be death on her own terms. Death with Dignity.

Does that sound crazy to you? 

Good. It should. 

Several weeks ago, Brittany's story touched some sensitive nerves in our nation. We've decided that suicide is somehow dignified when you're going to die anyway. 

A very dear friend, who was battling cancer at the time, asked me what the hardest part of CF was for me. I told her the idea that we won't win. We can't beat it. The 'delaying of the inevitable' that will forever ring in this Mama's heart. 

I understand the heartache of being terminally ill. When Alexis was first diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, doctor's told us that there was no stopping it. There were treatments we could perform to 'give her as normal a life as possible' but that, ultimately, CF would take her life. 

Death is such an impossible thing to predict. For several years in college, Micah worked at a funeral home. Many times after pickups he would come home and announce, "When it's your time to go, it's your time to go. There's nothing you can do about it." I think we both realized in those moments that our lives are not our own. That when or even how we die is not our decision. 

I mean couldn't we all say, as human beings, that we are terminally ill? After all, nobody is promised tomorrow. Anybody can ultimately say that they want to take their own life because they're going to die anyway. Anybody can say they want to die with "dignity." That doesn't make suicide the right choice. That doesn't make abortion or euthanasia the right choice. Sticking the word "dignity" on the end doesn't make it okay; it just makes it fancy. 

I'm not discounting Brittany's diagnosis here. Having doctor's put a timeline on your life is drastic. What really hurt my heart was seeing the emptiness in her eyes. She had no hope. 

Here's the good part: 

As Christians, we have hope. We have confidence that there is more than just this life, but we have courage to live this life because Jesus already paid the price. Jesus beat death so that we can live! 

Living life is a choice. Sometimes it's not an easy choice to make. I tell people the cards God gave me and I think a lot of them would expect me to just stop living. To give up. "I don't know how you do it" is, by far, the most common phrase I hear. Truth is, though, I don't do it. The courage, the peace, the joy, the reason to keep going is only found in Jesus. My life has nothing to do with me. When we realize that our ultimate goal is to make Jesus famous, life becomes full of purpose regardless of the cards you've got in your hand. We've overcomplicated the gospel so much that Christians are mocked and ridiculed not because what we're saying isn't true, but because we eat our own kind. Who would want to be a part of God's family when the family can't agree? I get it. 

If you are not a part of God's family yet, hear this and only this: 

Jesus died for you. He rose again and He lives so you can. He loves you. He wants to be a part of your life. It's simple. Just talk to Him. He'll prove it. 

Ultimately, our job is not to roll over and wait to die. Our job is to teach others that it's okay to live

Spread love. Radiate joy. Pray hard. Make Jesus famous. 

Because, in the end, it's not about you anyway. 

Happy Veteran's Day. Thank you to those in and out of uniform who fight for our freedom. You are loved today and everyday. 

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