Very often I wonder that if I were my younger self and could flash forward into time, what would I think about certain situations I have been through this past couple years? For example, as I was getting my tattoo done the other day, I wondered what my younger self would’ve thought the MK and OB stood for. I also wondered if I would question why the MK was between a cross and the OB between an arrow. What does that mean? I would obviously know these letters had to be in reference to someone I truly care enough about to get a tattoo for, because I always swore I would never have one for fear of it being permanent. Would I realize that the MK is between a cross because this person went to be with Jesus? And that the OB was between an arrow because this person was fighting a huge battle?
That then led me to think about the day that Mabry Kate passed away. What would my younger self have thought about that day? I kind of envision it going something like a scene from the “Christmas Carol” when the Ghost of Christmas Past escorts Ebenezer Scrooge through the past, only I always picture the future. What would I think? What would I say? Would I do anything different with the knowledge of what my future held?
Like I said, these thoughts run through my mind often with various situations. When I say “younger self,” I’m speaking of myself anywhere between the ages of 12 up until Mabry Kate came along when I was 28. My younger self had a huge fear of death. I’ve always feared losing my parents, my sister, my husband, my best friend and the list goes on. So when I picture my younger self catching a glimpse of the future, that I have since lived out, I picture her terrified of the future and speechless on what to say about it. Which leads me to three things I would tell my younger self.
#1 You may not think so, but you can get through this, but only with God’s help.
Just like any mother, I would cringe at the thought of losing my child, even before I had one. It’s nothing that anyone wants to enter their mind. We dismiss it, thinking, “That would never happen to me.” Or sometimes we feel like it’s sure to happen to us if we even give it a thought. Regardless, I would have never thought I could deal with such a loss, and I couldn’t have without God. I’m not sure how or if anyone gets through tough trials without faith in God. I’m definitely not perfect in my relationship with God, but I trust Him, and I trust Him to continue to get me through this life and everything it throws my way.
#2 Let go of your worries and fears and hand them over to God.
As I’ve said earlier, I’ve always been fearful and worrisome about all kinds of things, but especially death. Don’t get me wrong, I still worry about things, just not like I used to. I would tell myself to stop worrying. Worry is of the devil, and does nothing but cause added stress and anxiety about things that haven’t happened and may never happen. Why waste energy on something you don’t even know is going to take place? I would tell myself to just live one day at a time and cherish every moment without the burden of fear or worry. Just give it all to God.
#3 No matter how much you want to be, you are not in control. God is.
I’m guilty of feeling as if I can control every intricate detail of my life at times. Often, with Mabry Kate, I felt as though I was in control of her care and that I could keep her comfortable and provide every need she had. While I could intervene and do things like suction, up her oxygen, monitor her pulse and O2 levels, give meds as needed and the list goes on, I was never in control. God was, and still is. I know I have always thought this in my head, but I don’t think I ever truly believed it or realized it until she passed away. I remember waking up the morning after and feeling helpless. I felt like I was suffocating or drowning in my own tears. I could barely breath. Up until that point, I was able to care for her, and was deceived by the thought that I could “keep control” of her breathing and overall health. Now she was physically gone and there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t touch her, kiss her, hold her, suction her, give her meds, up her oxygen, nothing. I was not ever and will never be in control of any situation, no matter how bad I wanted to be. God is and will always be in control.
The most important thing I would tell my younger self is that God’s plan doesn’t always make sense to us, but it is perfect. One day we will see all of His amazing works and how they come together for the good of those who love Him. We live in a broken world, but in time, we will be restored, this earth will be restored, this universe will be restored and the glory of God will shine upon us. It will be then that everything will make sense.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18.