It's been an emotional week in our home. Not long ago I wrote a post Talking To Your Children About Death And Suffering. Little did I realize, this week would be the week I'd have to have more of those conversations with my daughter. And come to grips with my own questions too.
Monday during lunch at my daughters elementary school, an eight year old girl laughed with her friends, until she took a bite of her hotdog and began to choke on it. Literally. The school faculty quickly cleared all the children out of the lunchroom while they awaited the arrival of paramedics and desperately tried to save this little girl.
She would soon be life flighted to the closest Children's hospital, induced into a coma, and lie in critical care for a day or two before her little body, having suffered too much brain and heart damage, would finally give up. She passed away Thursday evening.
Such an awful tragedy.
As a mother of two young daughters, my heart aches for this girls parents. I can't even begin to imagine the pain, the loss,… the utter shock they are no doubt feeling.
Worse, I can't help wondering, what if it were my child?
What if I had sent my child off to school that day only to have the kiss on the cheek and "have a good day at school" encounter be my last with her?
It's every parents' nightmare, isn't it?
I've been surprisingly emotional over this event and I didn't even know this beautiful little girl. I had never met her, however, after seeing her picture I know I've seen her at the school before. Perhaps during the after school pickup when the kids are walked outside in an orderly fashion by their teachers. Or maybe she was in a local Girl Scout troop. I'm not sure. I just know I've seen her before. Which makes it real to me. Not just a story in the news, but a real human life taken much too early.
It doesn't seem fair. I can't comprehend how or why God would take a child in such a horrific way.
How then do I answer my daughter's similar questions?
I haven't been able to pull myself away from giving her tons of hugs all week long. She's been a real trooper, despite the sadness. It helps that she didn't personally know the girl either. But it's obviously a big topic of discussion at the school. I'm glad the students only had half a day yesterday and are now enjoying a long four day weekend.
I guess the way I've been able to cope with it, is to remind myself somehow, someway, God will bring good from this tragedy. I may never know what that good is, but I need to trust that He knows what He's doing.
The reality is, life is short. Sooner or later, everyone dies. We each have a God-given purpose during our stay in this world. When we've accomplished that purpose, He calls us home. And when we choose wisely, home, is a beautiful, jaw-dropping, joy-filled, life that lasts forever in His kingdom.
So what's my lesson in all of this?
My eyes have been opened that perhaps I'm not spending the gift of each day with my time prioritized appropriately. It's time to create a plan and discover the healthy balance that is glorifying to God. In this season of life, I'm not just a writer.
I'm a mother. I'm a wife.
I'm a friend. I'm a daughter. I'm a sister.
I'm God's child.
I'm not just serving God through my writing. I'm serving Him in the way I relate with my family and friends. Am I too busy for them? Have I lost sight of the value of quality time spent together with real people in my life?
God is speaking loud and clear to my heart. He's setting me on a new course. I can see His mighty plan beginning to take root in my mind. All for His glory.
As a result, I have a new project formulating!
What's your greatest challenge when it comes to prioritizing your time?