I spent the bulk of yesterday afternoon considering my own death.
Let me clarify. I am doing OK, and this is not a cry for help. After a fair amount of prodding from my father-in-law, my wife and I finally gave in and made an appointment with an attorney to get our wills in place. Let me start by saying that now that it is all said and done, I feel like a super responsible adult, and I am glad to have gone through the process. There is great peace of mind in knowing that your family will be taken care of in the best way possible, insofar as you can control it, should something catastrophic occur.
That said, let me emphasize that I am glad to have gone through the process, and I am ecstatic that with the exception of probably having to make a few tweaks as we get older, this kick in the rear is behind us (no pun intended).
Here are some of the highlights of our meeting yesterday:
- Considering what would happen if I died and left my family behind
- Reflecting on life without my wife, and the possibility of having to finish raising two young ladies on my own
- Being forced to wrestle with what life might look like for our girls if Carey and I were both taken out
- Watching my wife struggle through thinking about having to possibly make difficult, life/death medical decisions for my in-laws, who currently live with us
- Discussions about diminished mental capacity, which stirred up thoughts about my grandmother and my wife’s grandmother, both of whom spent their final years struggling through dementia/Alzheimer’s
And all of this for the super low price of $800! What a bargain!!!
To say that I learned a few things about myself through this process would certainly be an understatement.
On the bright side, I feel like I have come to terms with the fact that I am not going to live forever. The thought of dying doesn’t really scare me. I fully trust that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for me (John 14:3) and that His blood is more than powerful enough to ensure that I get there.
Beyond that, pretty much everything else we discussed yesterday afternoon terrifies me if I dwell on it for too long. While I am not afraid of dying, I can’t bear the thought of leaving my wife and young children behind to wrestle with the loss of a husband and father. And I am 100 percent certain that if Carey goes first, I am ill prepared (that is a nice way of saying “completely screwed”) to face life without her, especially when it comes to being a single father. But I think the worst thing is considering life for our young daughters with mom AND dad out of the picture. We have amazing family and friends, and I know our girls would be taken care of, but… ugh.
Well, I would love to shift gears a bit here and drop some biblical truths about life, death, overcoming fear, trusting Jesus, etc. I mean, I know the Scriptures that would be appropriate. But today you get the raw me who chose to write his first blog post in several years while in the middle of a major faith struggle instead of waiting until I come out the other side. If you were hoping for some great insight, sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully I can come back soon with part two and wrap it up all nice and neat with a pretty bow on top. But if you are here needing to know that other Christ followers struggle too, and that you aren’t alone when your faith is tested and you are fairly certain that you are failing that test, then I’m your huckleberry.
Here’s what I know. Jesus told us that we should not be afraid. Scratch that. He actually commanded us not to be afraid (Matthew 6, Mark 4, Luke 12, John 14, et al). At the same time, Scripture tells us that we have a high priest who is able to empathize with us in our weakness (Hebrews 4:15) and that Jesus is gentle with us and will “not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame” (Isaiah 42:3).
In the midst of my weakness and struggle, I’m leaning on the gentle Savior and trusting Him for the strength necessary to keep His commandment. But in reality, that’s pretty much always the case, to one degree or another. And I’m becoming more and more convinced that this is a good place to be.