When Life Begins to Take

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Who will separate us from the love of God?  

Will tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

Just as it is written, "For your sake we are being put to death all day long.  We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  But in all these things, we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, not things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Romans 8: 35-39

One of my biggest struggles has always been with wanting to be "special."

I remember back when I was young - second grade or so - watching a fellow student do a tap dance routine for a school event.  

I wanted to dance like she did.  I wanted a sparkly dress and curly hair and be able to move so gracefully to music.

I also loved presents - surprises (good ones!) that would make me feel special. I loved getting things.

I always tried to make birthdays 'special' for my kids.  I wanted them to have some of what I craved.  I tried to tell each one of them they were special.  That God had created them for a special purpose and that He needed each one of them in the world.

I have to admit that I don't feel all that special anymore.  

I was hoping that today, I'd have a little bit of that "special."

You see, today is my birthday. And it's business as usual in our household.  We really can't afford otherwise as much as I secretly hoped there would be surprises.

And I, selfishly, feel let down. 

My husband and I sat with our lawyer a few nights ago, discussing how we can handle some future events that could happen.

Our lawyer is a wise man who lost his mother to Lou Gehrig's disease two years ago.

He leaned across the table toward us and said quietly,

"At some point, life stops giving and starts taking.

When you are young, life gives you so much.  You see so much ahead of you.  Then, one day - the giving seems to stop.  The taking begins.  You have to accept that."

I had to nod along as he talked. 

I could so readily see that.  My lose of mobility.  The partial loss of my vision.  My daughter.  Now - my husband's health.  And worst of all - his memory decline.

None of it is easy to accept.

I didn't expect things to be taken away.

Which is why I am so very, very grateful God made His way into my life.  Without Him, I'd have nothing.

Nothing at all.

Nothing worthwhile.

All those things I wanted?  Those things that I thought would have made me special?

They'd be gone by now.  If life had given them to me - they'd have been taken away as well.

The only thing that lasts - the only thing that 'life' can't take away is God.

And that truly is the only thing we need when it comes down to it.

At some point, even our lives will be taken.  They, too, will be gone.  At least from this earth.

But God?  And our life with Him?

That, my much beloved reader, will last forever.

And forever, we will be - and are - special to Him.

Father God, There is so much in this life of which we can be envious.  We can crave specialness that the world will never provide.  And as life begins to "take" from us - help us accept that taking with grace, as the one thing life can never take from us is You.  Amen and amen.

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