Recently my mother handed me 4 letters that I had written 10 years ago to my husband, sons, and parents “In Case” something ever happened to me. I took the time 10 years ago, not because I was facing a crisis, but because I was in a healthy place, physically and mentally, and I wanted to express my thoughts towards them from a hope-filled place. My mother returned them to me wondering if I might want to re-write them and add a few more people ~ my precious daughter-in – laws and beloved granddaughters. She was right…..I will pen them all very soon.
Reading through these letters was so interesting, so many hopes I expressed to my sons have come to pass, the heartfelt appreciation I had expressed towards my parents has only increased, and my hopes and heart for my husband remain sound. It was quite a journey to revisit my thoughts.
These letters have caused me to ponder this question: “what would I do/say/complete/change if I knew I only had 30 days to live?”
Pastors Kerry and Chris Shook, in their Book: “One Month To Live: 30 Days to a No Regrets Life” say that they watched many people make real change WHEN they realized that their time was short.
“People would do the things they always wanted to do, and say things they had always wanted to say,” Shook said. “They’d ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness more freely. They took more risks. It seemed like they had this whole new clarity on their priorities, and we just began to ask ourselves, ‘Why wait? Why can’t we live this way all the time?’”
I think this is a profound and sobering question, don’t you?
As I read over my letters to my precious family members my only concern was their continued faith in Christ, their relational decisions for their wives, choosing a life with a legacy, and challenging them all to continue to love others until we would meet again. Those are still the key priorities in my heart.
The question of how much time I have to live could be hypothetical; and yet only God knows the time and the hour that He will call us home….so we never know for sure! That being said, to know what is most important to us is key to having a ” no regrets” life!
So, I ask the question again: If you only had one month left to live, where would you put your energy?
1. What people would you re-engage with, love on, forgive, be bold in sharing your faith with, or re-express your love and appreciation for their impact on your life?
2. What activities would you put aside in order to put your best energy toward key priorities? A favorite hike, best cup of coffee, writing your thoughts, spending time surrounded by incredible worship music to fill your soul, or being brave enough to try something you’ve always wanted to try?
3. In relation to your faith~ would you tuck under God’s protective wings anew? would you choose to spend quiet time praying and letting Him speak to you? Would your need to know Him heighten in light of knowing you have a month to live?
Most of us will never get forwarned that our last days are upon us so why do we wait to make the choices that really matter?
At a recent memorial for a wonderful man; his daughter read an email she had sent to her father months before he passed (he died suddenly for an unexpected disease), she had simply felt prompted to express to her parents how much she appreciated them. She listed every trip, funny memory, acts of love, and things that meant the world to her. As she shared her most private thoughts with hundreds of attendees I could tell that she was glad she was sharing with us what she HAD shared with him rather than sharing with us what she had WISHED she had shared with him! We never know, do we?