Sometimes I wonder how I would feel about my life, when faced with the end of it. I suppose I have this intentional desire to do my best every day, in order to be able to look back and consider this life well lived. I find myself in those moments of reflection, anticipation and evaluation fairly often. My biggest dream and desperate desire is to come to the end of my life and be able to feel peace and a sense of fulfillment about how I lived it.
I want to be able to reflect on my timeline and see in it, what I believe to be the most valuable parts of living. I can only hope and pray when that fateful day comes, I can feel full assurance I truly gave my all. That I stretched and reached and twisted and turned my comfortable safe place of easy- to take bold steps to love others as I have been called to do- by the God of love himself.
I often tell my kids that I am proud of them no matter the outcome, as long as they give it their all.
I suppose I feel that way about myself too.
Have I given this life my all?
That is the question I ask myself at the end of every day.
I think there are some days I fall short.
Days I fail to show up, give more, or stretch my heart toward love instead of judgment. Days I allow pride to take hold instead of finding grace to let go. Days I coil my emotions into a knot of selfish seclusion or angry outbursts. Days I don’t discover gratitude and grace in the grueling grind of the day.
Those are failures I battle in shame as I wrestle for redemption to restore my discouragement, my disappointment, my defeat…
But there are also days I do give it my all.
I trust that there are more of those days, where I truly accomplish a life well lived.
I continue to calculate the cost of living a life of purpose, while understanding more and more, that sacrifice and giving are the true variables I cherish most in the outcome.
The older I get, the more I realize that success and pursuing dreams take a back seat to the more profound life moments of rising to meet the needs of people you love. To stop the motor of my engine long enough to truly listen to those who need my attention, instead of revving it louder and taking off down the road I pave for myself. To selflessly turn toward someone who is reaching out their hand and take it, despite the long list of things I’d rather do. I am often confronted with the reality that what is most challenging than any goal in life, is digging deep within to tap into a well of grace to pour onto those who have hurt you. To allow broken pieces to somehow be placed back together, not by claiming who’s wrong- but by understanding that it is simply pain that needs healing.
Life is well lived, not by milestones and moments that are defined by things, comfort, or success…
A life well lived is measured by those moments when you give of yourself, more than you think you can give.
They may not be shiny moments of glory to the world…
But they are celebrated within.
One sacrificial, gracious step at a time.
Those are the moments in my life I am most proud of and I believe God is too.
Those are the days when I feel the greatest fulfillment and incredible resolve…
That I gave beyond what I thought I could give, no matter the outcome. I can only take responsibility for myself- I must relinquish control of the result.
I go back to that scene I play out in my head, over and over again…
When I come to the end of my life, what would bring me peace and fulfillment?
To know I have given my everything. To allow grace to take over and healing set in. To listen, to reach, to love, no matter the cost. To respond, show up, and leave my comfortable corner to get messy in the mess of life when another life is in ruins. To rectify wrongdoings I have made and pour grace to saturate the fire. To give my everything, even when I feel I have nothing left to give.
Every day I have new opportunities to live a life well lived. I will continue my intention to choose well, with each miraculous moment I am offered the chance.
How about you?