I had a pretty good life growing up. I grew up in a home with two parents, siblings, food on my plate and a roof over my head. That all changed at the age of 12. My life itself didn't change, but the innocence in my life was gone. For the first time in my life, I lost somebody I loved. In June of 2010, my great-grandma passed away. I remember that the idea of never seeing her again seemed foreign to me. It didn't seem real, that she had really left us and gone to be with the Lord.
Since then, I have lost 12 loved ones. It seemed as though they were all falling like dominos. I'd like to say with each one it got easier, but it didn't. It just hurt differently every time. They were all hard in their own way, but the one that shook me the most spiritually was my great-aunt in January of 2015.
She was only 53 years old, and I just wasn't ready. I know the truth is that you're never ready, but with this one I can genuinely say that I was not ready physically, emotionally or spiritually. Physically I was exhausted; the newness of college as well as everything that came along with that wore me out. Emotionally, I was trying to find myself. I had just figured out what I wanted to do in life, and I was trying to understand what that meant for me. I was making a bunch of new friends and wondering about the impact that they would all make on my life. Spiritually, I was doubting the God more than I had ever before in my life.
I knew I couldn't survive like this. I was lost and I knew what I had to do in order to be found. I knew I needed the Lord now more than ever, but I didn't now where exactly to find him. On January 24, 2015 I rededicated my life to him. I was scrolling through Twitter and I saw a link to Pastor Brian Houston's message at the Hillsong Church that Sunday in Australia. I had the urge to sit and watch the live stream, and at the end he made an announcement that those who were lost and didn't know how to be found had the answer was right in front of them. I said the prayer and suddenly realized that I wasn't alone. I knew the days ahead weren't going to be easy, but I knew I wasn't alone.
Fast forward a year and some months, and here we are. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally I felt as though I was as strong as ever. Last year in September, I picked up a copy of Levi Lusko's "Through the Eyes of a Lion" after hearing his story at a large evangelical event called the Harvest Crusade in Anaheim, California. The school year came and went and I didn't have a chance to read it. Last Sunday, as I was unpacking the things from my dorm I picked up the book and began reading.
As I read, I realized that I had never thought about death again. I took the out of sight, out of mind route. In the book, Lusko shares about his experience of losing his daughter and the way in which that changed his view on eternity. Eternity is something that exists and as believers we know we will be there someday, but we are never really striving for it. Life on earth is only a snippet of the time that we will be in heaven.
Through his story and the tale of his fearless, loving, compassionate daughter, I found the way to excite in death here on earth. What a beauty it is that there is hope beyond this broken world, and that God loved all of us enough to send his Son to give us the hope of Sunday!
I have committed to living the life of a fearless lion, anchored in God. Knowing that anything that I go through, my God has already overcome.
If you're feeling lost, just know you're not alone. If you have just lost a loved one, know that the days do get easier. And if you're feeling restless, know that a beautiful Sunday is on its way.