You’re going to be shocked when I tell you this:
I’ve had my funeral planned since I was 13.
I don’t think I’m usually so opinionated about parties that I *ahem* won’t be attending, but my gracious, I was very opinionated about my funeral. I wrote it up on a sheet of double-lined paper, with large letters saying: “NO carnations or daisies, I hate them.”.
Before you think I was a morbid child, you have to realize that at the innocent age of 13, I lost my Sunday School teacher the day after 9/11, and my beloved grandparents the next year (within 10 months of each other). The hymns that carried me through those days would solidify the hymns I wanted people to remember singing at my funeral. The hymns that sang of being carried, of resting beside still waters, of all Jesus was to us, and dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.
For all my days.
“Make it to 30”, used to be my mantra. Still is, since I’m bordering on 29. A lot of days I wasn’t sure I’d make it to 30, like the time a garbage truck crushed my car and sliced metal ribbons through the hood and stopped within inches of my windshield. Or the time I hit a deer in the dark night on a county road, miles from a fire station. Or one of the many times I could have sworn my heart would never beat right again, for it was so broken in sorrow. But the Sustainer of life would breathe into me, and my heart would go on beating.
So it seems logical that when I traveled to China in March of 2016, I updated my living will, and re-wrote my funeral plans. I cried for a week, writing goodbye letters. I would be up late at 2am, bawling my eyes out and writing words you give in eulogies, the best of the best that you save for special occasions. My friends all thought I was crazy. It wasn’t that I expected anything to happen (I mean, it’s halfway around the world. Anything could happen, haha), or thought we’d fall out of the sky, but I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving without saying what my heart has known for so long.
My days don’t end here.
We were made for more. I didn’t want my parents thinking this dream trip had ended a beautiful life. I wanted them to know that I had merely slipped from one realm of Earth to our better and true Home in Heaven, and I was doing what I’d waited and dreamed of and prayed over since I was 12: visiting orphans. It was so important to me that they knew I wouldn’t be disappointed at all if in the midst of one calling, He called to me in another way. I wrote amid streaming tears that I would be more alive than I’d ever known. The “more” wouldn’t end, it would forever go on and on….with Jesus.
Because life is more than this world.
Life.…isn’t air. It isn’t health. It isn’t family. It isn’t planet Earth. It isn’t blessings. It isn’t dreams come true. It isn’t how many people you meet or how many countries you visit.
Life, the very core of Life, the very BEING of Life, the Giver of Life, the Creator of Life…
LIFE is Jesus.
And it’s nothing without Him.
Albeit a little paraphrased, it’s what I wrote in my funeral plans and in my will. It’s what I want sung at my funeral. It’s what I want people to remember in my lifetime span in this world: Jesus was my everything.
Worth more than all my dreams or business plans of success or glory. Worth more than traveling to England and China one more time, worth more than seeing Scotland in person, worth more than walking down the aisle, worth more than having children, worth more than adopting, worth more than anything I could dream up.
So fill your days with Jesus.
If your days may not be long, let them be spent for Christ.
Don’t live restlessly in a world you fill up with things that cannot go Home with you. Trust your future to a known God. Spend every day making the relationship with your Savior deeper and closer. Don’t rest on your pillow at night sorrowful of all the dreams you haven’t yet accomplished, but instead rejoice in all He has prepared for you.
Live for the glory of Christ and His kingdom. Live in the expectant joy of the span of endless days in the light of His brilliant splendor, finally dressed in holiness and radiant with wonder at the sight of Him. Live for Jesus. Let all else go.
And sing at my funeral one day if you get the chance ….
“The sure provisions of my God, attend me all my days.
Oh may Thy house be my abode, and all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest, while others go and come,
No more a stranger, or a guest, but like a child at Home.”