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The definition of precious, according to the Meriam-Webster dictionary has three possible meanings: 1) rare and worth a lot of money 2) very valuable or important, too valuable or important to be wasted or used carelessly or 3) greatly loved, valued, or important. The definition of life also has three possible meanings: 1) the ability to grow, change, etc., that separates plants and animals from things like water or rocks 2) the period of time when a person is alive or 3) the experience of being alive. For the sake of this post we are going to use this definition, “greatly loved, valued, or important period of time when a person is alive.” So here is what we know…life is precious and it is limited. We only have a short time here on this Earth to make a difference and each person’s story is unique to their calling. Sometimes I think we take for granted just how quickly things can change, but Wednesday night I was reminded of how precious life truly is.

One minute we were enjoying our marriage small group with four other amazing couples seeking to do marriage God’s way and the next minute Asher was choking on a 3-4 inch, half-mooned shape piece of ice. I believe it was lodged in his throat without any air movement for no less than 2 minutes, but I think it was realistically more like 4, however long it was truly felt like an eternity. He began turning colors and going limp. I couldn’t watch any longer. The pit began forming in my stomach. Luckily, one of the women in our group immediately jumped up and said, “I’m a nurse!” Praise God! I’m not a bodily fluids person, so I gratefully handed that over. I tried not to freak out, but in the moment I didn’t know what else to do! I panicked! Fear, worry, and anxiety all heavily set in. One of the men in our group immediately called 911 and his wife grabbed me and pulled me aside, praying constantly. Thud! Thud! Thud! The sound of the back thrusts trying to dislodge the ice. Nothing…no sound. Each second that I didn’t hear anything, I felt as if I was one second closer to losing my son. My baby boy. One of the heartbeats outside my body. I felt completely helpless.

Then, a miracle happened…the most incredible cry escaped his lips. The sound of his beautiful voice broke the silence. The sound of life. The sound of hope. The sound of Jesus’ love. Each moment that I find myself staring into this precious boy’s eyes, I see the broken capillaries that show the signs of his struggle and I’m grateful. Grateful for another chance to hold my babies. Grateful for another opportunity to rock them to sleep. Grateful for another chance to see their endless smiles and to hear their contagious laughs. Grateful for another opportunity to be a better mom and wife. Grateful for the people God has strategically placed in our lives. Grateful for this precious life.

Sometimes we seem to be so caught up in the daily grind, the what ifs of life. We tend to focus on the mud and muck instead of the beauty in all things. Lately I have been dealing with feelings of anxiety and just plain blah! I feel that many expectations are placed on my shoulders and the weight is becoming incredibly heavy. Some are self-imposed. Some are from friends. I was getting so wrapped up in not meeting these expectations for one reason or another that I was forgetting what truly matters. Precious life. My family. My friends. People.

Today I encourage you to focus on what truly matters in life. Love your spouse a little harder. Hug those babies a little tighter. Spend time with those who mean the world to you a little longer. Don’t take for granted today! You have this moment to live this precious life and to cherish each breath God has given you.

Father God,
Thank you for life, for another day, another chance, another breath, another opportunity. Thank you for being who you say you are and doing what you say you will do. Thank you for placing your hand right smack dab in the middle of our circumstances and working it out for our good. Thank you for being a God of miracles. Thank you for your unending love, grace, and mercy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Lord, I pray that you help me to keep my eyes fixated on you. Help me to stay focused on what truly matters and not of the ways of this world. Help me to be reminded of who I am in You and not of who the world says I am. Help me, Oh Lord, live…truly live the life you have called for me.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen