Friday, May 16, 2008

The Truth About Significance

Inside my head floats many unanswerable questions. I’ve even blogged about such questions a few weeks ago. But amid the river of bobbing unknowns lie unsinkable truths. Here is one. Every human life, whether that life has flourished for 90 years or 90 seconds bears significance. At a minimum, every human being has an impacting influence on at least one other. It matters not if that person has a commanding voice or is mute; runs a four-minute mile, or relies on a wheel chair; gives a high percentage of his income to those less fortunate, or stands in line to receive a free meal. Each individual, whether he feels the wind's breath on his face or is slumbering in his mother’s womb, substantially matters.

One life on my heart, as my trembling fingertips tap the plastic lettered buttons on my keyboard, is the life of my precious grandfather. My PapPap. Last May, a seemingly healthy PapPap woke up at 4 in the morning experiencing stroke-like symptoms. Alert and agitated he called my mother. A few hours later he lay comatose in an ICU hospital bed. He experienced a massive brain bleed. The same man who once hoisted me atop his broad shoulders remained in a coma for six weeks. His chances of survival were rated at less than five percent.

After accepting that my beloved PapPap was going home with Jesus, the Lord sprang forth another plan. PapPap woke up. He was paralyzed on his right side and his speech was impaired, but he was back. He recognized his family and friends, and could nod appropriately when asked several current events questions. The Lord still had work for PapPap to do on earth. And He still does.

A few hours ago, my mom informed me that PapPap was being rushed to the hospital and his attending nurse was nearly 100 percent positive that a stroke was the cause. A few minutes ago, I found out that it was not a stroke and within a few days, these frightening symptoms should make their exit. Praise God!

It is hard for my muddled brain to comprehend the esoteric mind of my all-knowing, all-powerful, love-breathing Creator, and His will for my beloved grandfather during this trying season. I do comprehend the incontestable, immeasurably positive impact that PapPap has had on my life and on the lives of my family members, but until I walk beside Jesus, I won’t know to which degree of magnitude PapPap’s life has had, and continues to bring to the planet. The possibilities are vast, perhaps infinite. And as I grasp just a few of those possibilities, air catches in my chest. Words are tumbling in my head faster than towels vibrate in a washing machine’s spin cycle. Honestly, I feel faint. It is too much to think about right now. At this moment, I need only to breathe, to take in the beauty of my children, to smile, to melt in the loving embrace of my husband, and to whisper intense gratitude to the Giver and Sustainer of Life.

Perhaps someday I will complete this story and turn a simple blog post into something profound instead of scattered ramblings. But for now, I’m going to close. I’m posting this to thank all of you who have been praying and to ask that your prayers continue. And perhaps this seems contrived or trite …but I will also ask that you take to heart one message from this post.

No matter your inhibitions, your limitations, your sorrows, or your sins, remember that the One who powers the sun is the power behind your existence. You are loved. You are significant. Please let that truth sink to the marrow of your bones and to the center of your soul. And when it does, impart that joy with others.

Thank you for allowing me to share my heart.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

And the Message version below is also poignant.

I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)





37 comments:

blue-eyedchick said...

I feel like every time I read your post, that God is speaking directly to me. Thank you for being opend and sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate it!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

That so so well written. I am lifting prayers for you all. You are right, every life is so important and the sustainer of life has all the reasons for it.
Much love,
Angela

Beth said...

What a wonderful post! I'm glad your PapPap is doing better....

Alana said...

Wow, that was a really great post. You are really good at this writing thing ;-)

Thanks for putting me on your blogroll. I will do the same soon!

Andrea said...

I totally agree with you - no matter how short or long-lived, every single life matters. And God's plans for us are so much more than we can ever imagine.

Rachel said...

You are so right. Life is precious. I was privileged to hold Wendi's baby JD in the final day of his short life. Holding that sweet baby who weighed less than two pounds has forever changed me. His life was so precious! Each life is precious!

I am praising God with you that your Pap-Pap has a more time.

TerriRainer said...

It's so hard sometimes to try and understand God's plan for us and those we love, but one day we will understand.

I will say a prayer for your PapPap, and for your family.

:) Terri

Amy said...

That was so touching....I had not heard the Message version of Jeremiah 29:11 before either....I'm going to write that one down.....If it's okay with you, I would like to add you to my blog roll...Just let me know.

I will keep your PapPap in my prayers.

Thanks for sharing your heart.
God Bless,
Amy:)

sara said...

wow, we have very similar and yet different stories to post today......one very important similarity...we serve an awesome God who loves each one of us intimately!!

My cup runneth over... said...

What an incredibly beautiful post. I will definitely pray for your Pap Pap. How precious the Lord has granted him more time.

Thank you for that beautiful affirmation...it's one I need to print and post.

You bless me immeasurably.
Tracy

Jenny said...

Wow. You have a way with words, and I can hear your love for your PapPap.

To me, this simple post is profound.

Kelsey Smith said...

Wonderful post!

a frog in my soup said...

Thank you for sharing this! What a powerful and wonderful message!

Hugs,
Shera

Montay said...

Great post and thanks for the inspiration Each life IS precious in the sight of God..

Joyfulsister said...

((( Hugz My Sister))) I am so glad to hear you pappap is doing well, isn't God awesome!!! and so are you.
Thanks for keeping me updated on the 31 day prayer I was so happy to see you share. keeping writing and sharing and blessing all who come to visit you here, I know they will not walk away the same as when they entered. Hugz Lorie

Wendi said...

This reminded me of my grandpa, who has been with the Lord for 4 years now. His life touched many. He was a very simple man, but one of the best I have ever had the privlege of knowing.
I stand firm on my belief of the sanctity of life. From the wee ones in utero, to the elderly in nursing homes...SO precious and infinitely loved by God!
Wonderful!

Xandra said...

Beautifully written. There is such comfort in knowing that God intends all things, and that He is in control.

Xandra

Steve n Vickie said...

Its so difficult so see ones we love go through such things. Our magnificent creator has a plan. A dear friend of our Just returned from California where his visit for Christmas turned into a six months stay. He and his wife were there visiting their sons. while they were there one of their sons had a stroke. Their son is on the mend now, a miracle. He's not a hundred percent, but we are continuing to pray as he progresses. Our friend wrote weekly up dates of the whole thing. Should you care to read them I could forward them to you.
Vickie

Amy said...

Two years ago this August, my 83 year old grandfather never woke up. He was always doing something and always helping out other people. It's still hard to walk into his house to this day as you just expect to hear his laugh around the corner.

I'm glad he made an impact in my life and am equally glad he gave me that example to leave such an impact in other's.

I'm going to pray a prayer of thanks for your grandfather's impact on you and God's grace in your family's life.

Cheri said...

What a beautiful post.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Praise the Lord! Keep us up to date, we'll keep praying...

CC said...

WOW! What a testament as to how we can not control our lives at all. God is in control and knows the plans for our lives.

Ingram Gang said...

Oh my goodness, what a hard post for you to write. I will be praying for your sweet family during this time.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you will come back :)
I love your heart and love for the Lord.
Blessings on you!

heresthediehl said...

Just saw your comment, so I clicked over here...i really needed to read this right now, and I said a prayer for your grandfather. ALso, clicked over to your family blog...what beautiful children :)
Thanks! Nicole

TAMI said...

The Lord and I had a wonderful - the kind of deep wonderful that ONLY He can impart - time together this morning on my run. I've been checking "my" blogs while eating breakfast, and now He has just added another layer of wonderful through you! Blessings of joy to you! Thanks.

Jacqueline said...

reading this post after my last post was very encouraging!

Laura said...

My heart is with you during this time. I am so thankful for you that your PaPap is doing better, but I know the worry that comes with fearing for a loved one's health. You are so blessed to have a grandfather so dear to you...
You are in my prayers, Angela.

Elizabeth...mommy...etc said...

i just used that same verse in jeremiah on my blog...one of my mainstays! *elizabeth

Amy said...

God bless you for this post. We all go through times that try the soul. I will be praying for you PapPap. I went through a similar situtation with my mother 18 years ago. I understand the stirrings of your heart and will be praying for you too. We do need to be thankful for the time we have been given on the earth, and use that time to impact the world for Christ. Blessings to you today.

Denise said...

what a delightful blog you have!

yes we do each have significance. it is easy for me to see the significance of others, but to forget my own. "the one who powers the sun is the power behind your existence,"
i need that truth, to hold fast to that power.

May God continue to work in His way in your life and your PapPap's life. Be mercy, truth, life, sustainer,peace,mighty!

Susanne said...

Not scattered at all. A beautiful, touching and truthful post. Thank you for reminding us that we are significant no matter where we are at in life.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

As I was reading your post, this writing came to hand, so I copy it below as I think it may have been meant for you...

I say for certain that before He ever made us God loved us and that His love has never slackened nor ever shall.

In this love all His works have been done and in this love He has made everything to serve us.

And in this love our life is everlasting.

Our beginning was when we were made, but the love in which He made us has no beginning.


(Dame) Julian of Norwich 1342-1412

runningtherace said...

I am praying for your grandfather.

i'm kelly said...

your scattered thoughts are beautiful. you and your family will be in our prayers.

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Your post just spoke to my heart, it is a glorious reminder of God's purpose and plan,even when it doesn't make sense to us!
My mom suffered a massive brain aneursym 2 years ago, she survived with no longer term damage.....I have know idea what God was doing with that....but I do trust in his plans.
Praying for your Pap-pap

Ruthie said...

My prayers are with your Grampa - I know the Lord will be with him through all his struggles with health issues.

Amanda said...

That's one of my very favorite verses. I know that your PapPap is in God's good hands, and I pray that He will give you peace in this time of uncertainty. My grandmother went to be with the Lord last May 18. I hope you can postpone that difficult goodbye.

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