Jhn 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
I have always been a very sentimental girl. I own many things that are strictly sentimental value and do not really serve any other purpose than that. I have always been a documenter - writing, taking photos, scrapbooking, etc. Ever since I was a kid I have tried to make the most out of everything I did because I enjoyed life and wanted to embrace it. When I turned 13 I reveled in the fact that I was a teenager. I didn't follow in the footsteps of many teens but I did do things sometimes I think simply because I was a teen - hung posters on my walls, listened to music all day, dressed in "cool" clothing (while still modest), and went to concert after concert after concert. I remember thinking as a teenager that I wanted to stay that way forever. Young, healthy, with very few responsibilities. I was a little Peter Pan if you will ;) Never wanted to grow up. I took it all in, I didn't want to waste any moment of my teen years.
Ever since I watched my Mom take her last breath my appreciation for life has increased even more. So much that I think it has actually begun to have a negative effect on me. I've come to cherish moments so much that I never want to let them go. I want to stop time. I fear getting older (I dreaded turning 22, then 23, and now 24), I fear getting sick, and I fear dying at a relatively young age just as my Mom did. As with most people, it is my desire to grow old and watch my grandchildren grow up. I know that this is not my decision to make though - it is entirely up to God when I will go be with him. Most people my age simply don't think this way, young people expect to live until they are old, so they don't spend too much time thinking about their futures other than what job they will have or the number of children they want. Many people take it for granted that they will one day have grandchildren and even great-grandchildren, but we really don't know that for sure. With my Mom dying at a young age, it has nearly convinced me that I am going to die young also (which is an irrational thing to expect, I know, but nevertheless that is how I think.)
God has blessed me tremendously in my life so far and there are very few things that I would have ever hoped to be different. My life so far has been incredible, to say the least, and I want nothing more than to spend every waking moment of the day glorifying the Lord with all that I do. I cannot do this if I am constantly in fear of the future. Fear is a complete lack of faith.
My desire should first and foremost be a desire to be with Jesus Christ. Yes, family is a wonderful blessing, but I cannot allow myself to love them more than I love God. In reality, they do not even begin to compare to God. I need to look forward to the day that I die and not dread it, because what is in store for me as a believer in Jesus Christ is far greater than anything, even family.
The last week or so I have been realizing that in a short time, my baby girl is no longer going to be a baby. She will never be a baby every again. Now when I hold her I start to feel sadness, knowing that this beautiful stage of life will soon be over and will never return. I look forward to her toddler years but I am also sad that my little baby that I can cradle in my arms is growing so quickly. I wish she could stay a baby for just a while longer.
Even when I was a teenager my Mom called me her baby girl, I have a feeling I will do the same with Zoe. My Mom told me she loved me every single day of my life and she dedicated her life to caring for me and my siblings. My memories from growing up are so precious. I want to create a home filled with beautiful memories for Zoe, just as my Mom did for me.
I cherish every memory I have of my Mom, of my parents when they were together, of my sister dancing around and singing in the living room, of my brother and his obsession with the Muppets and chicken nuggets, all the fun Christmas' we spent together, the places we traveled to... These memories have such a profound effect on the way I live today. I loved my childhood and I really miss it, but being the sentimental person that I am (and was) I don't feel like my childhood wasn't long enough because I embraced it and enjoyed it to the best of my ability. I am in a new stage of life now though and if I don't "live life to its fullest" right now it'll pass me by and I'll wonder what happened to the time.
In the verse above, Jesus is telling his disciples not to fear because as believers in Him, they have nothing to fear. They were afraid of what was to come, but Jesus gave them the peace that they needed. My prayer on this day is that God would grant me the peace that I need to not fear what is to come. I pray that I will be able to cherish the wonderful moments of life and not worry about a time when those moments will be gone. I pray that I can keep an eternal perspective always - the more we realize how short our lives are the more we focus on our purpose - and that is to glorify the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Loving life is a wonderful thing and changes can be extremely hard on a person, but life is FULL of changes and each new change is a new adventure and each new adventure is a way to learn and grow in the Lord and it is a way to create new memories.
I know that I cannot get rid of this fear on my own. If my fear ever goes away it will be entirely God's doing.