Elizabeth's feet touched the chilling wood floor. She ran her fingers through her network of jumbled hair. Sleep was still in her eyes. Another morning waking in the same pajamas. Silence surrounded her. The sun wasn't casting a glow upon the kitchen just yet. Maybe it was. But now everything seemed dark. Would today be any different than yesterday?
How did she get to this place of nothingness? No longer did coffee perk her senses. She was consumed. She was living and breathing, but there was was just a shell of the woman she was before. She never knew such anger, such devastation, such agony.
All those cliches she's ever said to anyone comes pounding through her heart each morning. She now understanding how unnerving it was for others to hear such words. She now knows. She will never again use cliches, but she will wrap her arms around the one in need and hold on tightly. With tears streaming down her face she will always say, "I love you. I'm here for you." Those words mean more to her now than any others.
She's alone. There isn't anymore mud caked at the front door from dirty boots. No loud music to shout down the hall, "Hey, turn that crazy stuff down!" She now wishes she would have left the mud. No, she now wishes she would have put her muck boots on too and danced in the mud. She wishes she would have turned the music up a little louder and enjoyed the sound of life around her.
That coffee cup that sat next to hers for years is now missing. Oh, the days she wished she could just have time alone. Would he ever learn to pick up his socks and just clean up his sink after shaving. She guessed not. Not now anyway. Now she knows those things didn't matter at all. She misses filling his cup and him asking for more. She'd give anything to buy another pack of socks and underwear for Christmas.
What's the point of life if we aren't going to allow ourselves to live it? She would never want anyone to feel her pain, but everyone ought to know that living isn't to be taken for granted. To go back and relive the moments she let slip. It seems she was even too busy for herself. How does life get away from us? We never think the impossible will happen to us.
Her hand fit perfectly in his. Her children fit perfectly in her lap. God gives us those precious gifts and too often we just excuse them and run off to live a busy life not taking time to feel, smell, hear, and taste it all. Why do we wait until there isn't time left?
Her bruises are almost healed. But it's her heart that needs healing the most. She would rather live with the bruises and have her family back. All it took was a moment. A red light and a car that was in a hurry to keep going. They never even seen him coming. He wasn't paying attention because he was on his phone. He was checking his email to see when his package would be on it's way. Senseless. Life changed in that moment. There was no turning back.
She could hear sirens. She could see the lights of red and blue spinning along with her head. A man was at her side now. "It's all going to be okay, ma'am. We're going to get you out of here. Just hold on." Those were the last words she remembered.
Her husband and two children wouldn't be coming home with her. They were now gone from this earth. In the blink of one choice she wouldn't see them again this side of heaven. How will she live? Does she even wish to live?
Nothing will ever be the same. Every single aspect of her life has changed. Her family was everything to her. Now silence seems like it is drowning her. Choking the breath from her lungs. It burns like fire. "Lord, please quench this pain. Release me from this agony." This is her prayer, but that hole inside of her doesn't want to forget. If she loves how can she choose to forget? If she doesn't forget how will she ever live again?
Friends, there are people all across our world today facing loss, agony, and facing changing circumstances they never knew possible. Pass a hospital and see the parking lot filled with cars. Each room there is a person who wants to be home. Has loved ones who want them home.
Each day there are funerals. People wishing they would have had more time. Loved more. Said more. Did more. Wondering just how they will live again. Life is precious. We know this, but why do we wait to give a rose until after the one we love can no longer accept it and admire it with love? Give roses to the living and embrace life with a passion.
We need to live with intention. Say what needs to be said. Forgive what once hurt, but no longer matters. Now it's just bitterness in a bottle. Take the cap off and release it. Pour out the deep.
We let division take so much from us. Our hearts fill with such angst and we live hurried lives. We make excuses and pretend we have next week for plans. But too often next week never comes. We wait for the other person to pick up the phone. We wait for a better time. More convenient for us. But somehow time always gets put off and other things get in our way. Stuff. We fill our lives with stuff that will one day only take up space. Space that we will wish could refill with time spent wisely.
One day Elizabeth will learn to live again and embrace new love into her life. For now she lives moment by moment. Never knowing when the tears will spill over as she falls to her knees. She's no longer outside looking in. She's the one living the nightmare. She's a woman of faith. She knows her Jesus. She calls upon Him now as she never knew she would. No one ever realizes how much we need Jesus until He is all we have.
Kiss your babies more. Love on your husband more. Do a lot less complaining about what doesn't matter and experience life to the fullest by learning that today, right now, this very moment, is truly all we have. Don't wait to live.
Connect with those around you. Make an impact. Don't allow work to just be a job. Find the purpose. Live the passion. Open your heart and don't be afraid to live, to forgive, to embrace life. Be silly. Laugh more. Dream big. Live! We are on borrowed time. Our lives are not our own. They belong to the One who paid for us in full.
You may be Elizabeth today and barely have the strength the pray. The pain is deep and you are surrounded by darkness. Maybe you lived the life of Elizabeth and you know of God's power and gentleness. Share with another how He healed you and brought you through the torment of your pain and loss. If you don't know Elizabeth than live!! Live like you have never lived before. Look around and see your blessings for what they truly are. Give more hugs. Give more time. Give more of yourself. Embrace every moment as if it is your first time experiencing it so that every breath leaves an imprint of lasting love. Don't fill the emptiness with busyness. Fill it with life well lived.