Checked Out For a New Life

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”— John 11:25-26

I have had a tumultuous month.

On August 23 my son “checked out” of his childhood home and moved to college in Chicago to begin a new life and six days later on August 29, my father “checked out” of this life on earth to begin his new life in heaven.

The upheaval of these two events on our family in so short a time has been fraught with many emotions on many levels that will take a long time to process. My father had been going downhill at home the last number of weeks and was in hospice care the thirteen days before he died. My mom and I and other family cared for him with visits from angelic hospice staff, which included a nurse, bath lady, chaplain, music therapist, and social worker.

My son was surrounded with support by a new roommate and friends near and far and our family was cared for by a cadre of neighbors and friends who stopped by with support and food. I once thought there was only the “Freshman 15”–the weight gain by new freshman on campus. My family jokingly says there is the “Funeral 15”— all the amazing dinners and desserts we received during the last week of August, and the huge funeral lunch my mom’s friends prepared, with plenty of leftovers for the freezer.

I sit, a week after my father died, and five days after he was lowered into the ground, and reflect. My son’s bedroom sits empty (and orderly). It still all seems so surreal, as if this life is not my own. My emotions are just under the surface and I could not possibly write what I am feeling. I can’t even find the words.

But this much I do know— through the loss and the grieving, there is a new life to be lived. Both my son and my father are living new lives, and it’s time I stepped into mine. Jesus promises us a new life every day. Jesus is the RESURRECTION and Jesus is THE LIFE. Not just one, but both. For here on earth, and in heaven. Every day that I have breath.

As I cling to this promise, I encourage you to as well. When we “check out” of one life, we step into another. Let’s step with confidence and grace, knowing our Savior lives and we can face tomorrow.

Prayer—“God of life, you know my heart. You know my pain. Walk with me and show me how to step into a new life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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