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  • Rebecca

I'm Still Here

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

I’m going to be really vulnerable and tell you something weird about myself. I love pens and paper. Let me restate this. I am OBSESSED with all things pen and paper. I have been this way since I was a little girl. Stationary, markers, notepads, pens, pencils…. if you can write with it or on it, I cannot pass it by in a store. When I was little, I overheard my aunt tell my mom I was so easy to buy for because all you had to do was buy me paper and I thought I’d won the lottery. The year she got me personalized stationery for Christmas was one I will never forget. I was all of 8 years old and to me, I felt like a queen seeing my name on the top of that paper with the matching monogrammed envelopes.

As a result of my love for all things paper, I also love journaling. Every morning at 5:00 am I get up and have my “Jesus time” as my 8-year-old calls it. Right now, I am working through the Journible Series, which is basically writing out Scripture and studying as you go along. This morning I was writing in the book of Numbers and the story was about the twelve spies that Moses sent to the Promised Land at God’s instruction. God had promised this land to Abraham and his descendants and the Israelites were sent to scope it out, see what the people were like, the soil fertility, etc. for when they would go in and take the land over as promised… the key word here being “when.” The spies returned and only one said “let’s go in and take the land, “to which the rest replied, “no way; there are giants there and we’ll never succeed!” They exchanged the word “when” God gave them the land, to “if." They let their fear roar louder than their faith and they ignored what God had promised.

Those Israelites! I mean, if God verbally talked face to face with my pastor, like He did Moses; if He parted the Red Sea for me; if He miraculously delivered me from slavery; if He kept me safe and taken care of every single day in the wilderness, I would NEVER question His faithfulness to keep His promises.

Or would I?

For the longest time I felt guilty for being alive. My counselor called it “survivor guilt.” I would have these debilitating thoughts of “why am I the only one left? Am I next? How can I go on without my family? What if something happens to my kids next? Why, why, why….”. I became full of fear and uncertainty, wondering what was lurking around the next corner, because in my world it usually meant death. Every little worry became worst case scenario and I was riddled with fear. I would lay down my head at night, filled with anxiety. I was in the wilderness. I let my fear roar louder than my faith and ignored what God had promised me.

And then I would wake up. The next day, I would lay down my anxious head, and the following morning, I would wake up. I woke up the next day and the next day and the next. And slowly, with each passing morning, God began to wake my heart up. My first thought when I would open my eyes is, “I’m still here.” I began to thank God for that day, even if it’s all I had. God began to fill my heart with the knowledge that, although I was filled with gut-wrenching sorrow, I was still breathing. I was still alive. And He was still here.

The Israelites KNEW they would be given the land promised to them by God Himself. They KNEW the end of their story. They KNEW they wouldn’t die when they went in to take the land. What would I do if I knew I wouldn’t die? Would I let my fear overtake what I knew to be true? Or would I do all the things I’d been scared of? Would I run a marathon? Heck, I’d run an ULTRA marathon. I would ride the biggest roller coasters and the tallest Ferris wheels with my kids (because we know those are just death waiting to happen.) I would stand on that glass floor at the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago….

Ok maybe not the Sears Tower. I might not die, but I could definitely throw up. And I don’t think that’s a sight anyone wants to see from underneath.

Here’s what I do know without a doubt: my family would tell me to LIVE. They know the end of my story because they are living it! They’ve seen Jesus! They know the joy that’s coming; they know I love Jesus and they know because of that, I will never really die, just as He promised.

What would you do if you knew you would not die? Would you run that marathon? Would you go back to school? Would you start that business? Would you propose to that person? Would you have a baby? The thing is, we AREN’T going to die if we know Jesus because He has promised us eternal life with Him. We know the end of our story! So run that race, ride that Ferris wheel, ask that person out, grab that mic and sing your karaoke heart out. Live your best life, because every day you wake up, you have been given a great gift and you have a purpose for being here. Choose faith over fear. Trust the One who promises you life more abundantly. Honor those you’ve lost by choosing to LIVE. In the words of Shelby Eatenton (yet again), “Miss Clairee, there are still good times to be had.”

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

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