There was a cold burn in my lungs, as if I went for a run in the middle of winter. At first, it lasted for a few moments, but soon started lasting longer and longer. At one point, I felt this pain for four days straight and it was then that I was convinced that I was dying. I imagined all of the cancer cells in patches all over my lungs, and thought of it with every wheezy breath.
I watched my children playing and thought about what life would be like for them after I was gone, and what their stepmother might be like and how terribly sad I was that I wouldn’t get to watch them grow, that some unknown woman might step into my role. Tears welled in my eyes as I watched my children and thought these things. I even cried myself to sleep a couple of nights.
I braced myself for the results of the blood tests and ECG. Nothing. No signs of anything except low vitamin D. I asked a my doctor couple of times about white blood cell and platelet counts, just to be sure. Not cancer. Not dying. Probably just adult on-set asthma due to the hormone changes from my last pregnancy. A breathing test in November will confirm.
It’s cliche, but when I thought I was dying, I considered all of the things I do in my life and which were important to me and which weren’t. I wanted to just spend as much time as I could playing with and enjoying my kids and my husband and I wanted to write a memoir, so my children and anyone else who was interested could know about my life and my experiences with God. Suddenly, the piles of laundry, the stacks of dishes, the photos waiting to be edited, all of that stuff didn’t really matter anymore. I didn’t think about what we would do next summer or next month, nothing mattered to me beyond right now and my appointment for my test results.
But the truth is, I am dying. You are too. I don’t know when I will die, but I know it will happen, so why do I let the little things that don’t matter become bigger than they need to be? Why do I grumble at my children, forgetting to serve them as if they were Jesus himself? The truth is, I need to die every day, these little deaths. Sacrifices. Because to live is Christ and to die is gain.
The thought that I was dying woke me up to the fact that I am dying and that I want to live my life steeped in God, loving Him and loving others. I want to die to myself more and more, so that whenever this body of mine stops and my spirit moves on to what we call heaven, it’s all for God’s glory.
My husband sent me a link to this video today, and I really think you should check it out too.
This post is a part of a 31 day series in which I write about the extraordinary in my ordinary moments. To see a list of all the other posts, click here.