Joan: The idea for this week’s U Love post formed in my mind as I was reading an article recently in People Magazine about a family from Spain who survived the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. The article is a gut wrenching account of their ordeal and is worth reading. It made me count my blessings (especially all the ones I neglect to count).
What got me thinking about the blog when I read the story of the Belon family, was the quote from Maria Belon (the mom) which read, “The only thing that matters is love. When you are touching death, you forget about everything else.” That statement really got to me…. down into my very soul….because I knew it to be true. After her family was swept away by the tsunami, nothing in life mattered to Maria Belon except the survival of her husband and children, which was driven by her intense love for them.
There were two instances in my life that personally verified the truth of Maria Belon’s statement about love. The first was when I got pregnant with Rebecca. I had been unable to have a child for many years, and after fifteen years of infertility treatment, I had given up. And then, unexpectedly, God gave me the miracle of a pregnancy. (I actually fainted when I found out I was pregnant. It’s a great story, but for another time.) I will say, though, that it felt like a glorious dream come true. I was finally going to have a child!!
In the fourth month of the pregnancy, I started bleeding. At the hospital, I was told that the baby had died and that the pregnancy was terminating. Words could never express my anguish at that moment. I can tell you that I felt as though I had gone from the thrill of being on the mountaintop, deep down into the depths of despair.
It was twenty four hours before I found out otherwise. You can only imagine what those twenty four hours were like for me. I had grown to deeply love the child I was carrying. The thought of losing my baby was unbearable to me. My sister tells me that during those hours before I knew the baby was alive all I did was wail. I don’t recall anything except the intense grief and loss that I felt. Nothing mattered in life to me except wanting my baby to be alive. Maria Belon was right……so right.
The second time I knew Maria Belon to be correct was more recently when my mother passed away. Like many women, I was extremely close to my mom (even though we had our moments of conflict). In the last ten years of her life, I acted as her caretaker. This drew us even closer. My life centered around securing, as best I could, my mom’s well being. When she passed away somewhat unexpectedly, it felt as if part of my life was gone. And, for awhile, nothing else in life mattered except for wishing I could see my mom again. Right again, Maria Belon.
My point is that I can recall too many times when I did not love others unconditionally, especially my family. I regret that. And, I know I did not love them well because I was too caught up in things that would not matter in the face of death. I’ve come to understand that all that matters in the face of death is love….unconditional.
Rebecca’s comments: I so agree with what my mom said (I know, shocking, huh, lol)….but I just wanted to add that there have been times that I, too, have let silly, little things come in between me and others, to steal my love and joy. Because of petty things, how many countless moments were lost to offense as I focused on menial things?? So, with everything my mom just said, I really want to encourage you, and myself included, to truly show U Love first in all situations so that we don’t waste any more precious time in this temporary life not loving and appreciating those dearest to us. Let’s focus on the things in life which really count overall.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that before facing death it is imperative to have your relationship right with God. We say relationship because that is what God wants with us. He’s not interested in religion, only a relationship…..with us. Why is that important? It is because God is holy and we are not. No matter how good a person we are, we can never be good enough to be in the presence of the Holy God. We have a choice whether or not we will spend eternity with God or be eternally separated from Him.
God loves us so unconditionally that He provided a solution to the separation problem. He sent His son, Yeshua, (Jesus’s real name in Hebrew) to atone for our sins. By accepting Yeshua’s atonement, our sins are wiped away and we can spend eternity in the kingdom of God. It’s that simple. You can pray to God to repent of sin and to accept Yeshua’s atonement. Done!!! Your name is written in the Book of Life. Now that’s really something to think about!!
See ya next time!