Every other Thursday night I meet a young friend for coffee. She’s getting married in June, and we sit and talk about life and marriage. Right now we’re reading through What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp together. I highly recommend it.
This past Thursday we were finishing up our “date” – it was about 10:30 p.m. – and I looked down to check my phone. My brother-in-law had called and left a text message. “There’s been a family emergency,” he wrote. I immediately knew what had happened.
I sped through my good-byes because if you know me you know a good-bye usually takes about ten minutes – I think that’s a southern thing – and as I ran to my car I called John. Through sobs he said, “My mom died.”
I’m familiar with death, unfortunately. I vividly remember the first person I ever knew to die. My mom called her my “first friend.” She lived down the street from us when I was preschool-age. She had a disease with a really long name that I can’t remember now, but I do remember there was a large hump on her back. I loved her so much.
When she died I was about seven years old, and I remember being in my room crying hysterically. I can even start crying now thinking about it which is unusual since it was so long ago and I was so young. Her mom gave me many of her things which I still have.
Then there was my uncle who was ran over a car when he was a teenager, my grandmother, my aunt, my other grandmother, another uncle, my own mom, and now John’s mom. Not to mention the oppression of threatened death that encompassed our lives for months during John’s heart transplant.
I don’t know why but death has never scared me. Maybe because I’ve had to deal with it so often. I was ready to see Jesus whenever He was ready while I was single. Not because I don’t love life because I do, but because I knew being with Jesus was better.
That changed after having my girls. Now I ask God to please spare my life so that I can raise my girls. The thought of leaving them here without me and the pain they would go through sends chills down my spine.
After listening to my mother-in-law’s eulogy I wondered what would be said about me at my funeral. I spend a good deal of time goal setting and making plans, but there’s no better goal setting exercise than writing your own eulogy.
I thought about what I hope people remember about me when I die. Who will they say I was? What will they remember me doing? Where will they say I spent my time and money? Who will they remember me impacting? Will my relationships with my girls be strong? Will I have been an example of a loving wife? Will I be known as someone who loved Jesus more than anything in the world? How will they say I lived this one-and-only life I’ve been given?
Over the next few weeks I’m going to write my eulogy because there’s no better place to start when goal setting and making plans than with the end in mind.
When my girls are teenagers headed into college and beyond, I’m going to encourage them to write their eulogies, too. Only God knows the time He wants us with Him. Going into those crucial years of life-changing decision-making with a clear idea of who you want to be known as is wise to keep the bigger picture in the forefront of your mind.
At 40-years-old I realize now more than ever that time is going by fast. Soon it will be gone. I know that sounds depressing, and I don’t mean it to, but it’s best to have a realistic view of how valuable time is. Time is our biggest commodity. As Rick Warren says, “Time is your most precious gift, because you only have a set amount of it.”
Have you ever written your eulogy? Will you now?