Bittersweet. That's the best way to describe today. I spent the day preparing to say a final good-bye to a friend who I KNOW I'LL SEE AGAIN, but whose absence is felt keenly by many in our community.
I lost a friend on Sunday. Not lost as in "she took a left in Wal-Mart when I took a right and I spent 40 minutes trying to find her.", but lost as in she is no longer living here on this earth. As I went to her visitation last night and then her funeral today, I thought of how many lives she had touched in her 43 years here on earth. I imagine she would have been amazed at the difference she made.
As I sat there today, my mind wandered to what kind of life I've been living. I know that I have touched many lives, but I often wonder if my touch has been that of Christ. I found myself thinking, "Do the people I know and love know that I love Christ? Have I been the arms of Christ when comforting people? Have I let His light shine in my life when things have been at their worst?"
It stung my heart to know that, no, I haven't always done those things. I've let bitterness start to set into my life, and have even told God that I wasn't going to talk to Him until He started making my life better. (Yeah, that one worked real well) I get discouraged when others get rewarded for sin and I get knocked down. I rage against the unfairness in this world where some women kill their children while others like me do all the right stuff and never get to hold our own child. I cry when good people have bad things happen to them. I think that God certainly has more patience than I do, because if I was in charge, I would have ended things long ago and started over.
And after I cry, and cry, and cry some more, I get up, take hold of the Hand of the One who never let go, and start my journey again. He knows my pain, He sees my tears, He understands my frustrations, my anger, my desolation, and my despair--because He has felt all of those things Himself. He knows what it's like to lose a child--and my pain pales in comparison. My unborn child is in His arms, and I remind Him every night to hug her and kiss her and tell her that her mommy loves her with all her heart. I know He does, because every night when I go to bed, He hugs me, and kisses me, and surrounds me with His love.
This was a bittersweet day...but I know my friend is with Jesus, and I know that He is with me until I go to Him. I need to live my life in such a way that when others meet me, they meet Jesus. How do I influence those in my circle? How do I show them my friend, my Savior, my Lord?
This unexpected journey takes paths I never imagined. God only lets me see the ground beneath my feet, never the view well in front of me, so that I learn to trust in Him, and Him alone. I am on this earth a short while; I need to make my time count, and if I am not to be a mother, then I need to be a friend, a confidant, and a mentor to everyone I see so that Christ is glorified through my life. I want to live with no regrets--I want Him to be proud of me.