I had floated through my week on a wave of excitement and happiness. I- and the rest of the world- can tell when I’m really excited about something because more music than usual just bubbles out of my person. I have trouble staying still (read: I break into an irregular amount of spontaneous dancing) and my life further resembles a children’s television show in that my brain starts churning out these little songs having to do with whatever the exciting matter is.
I was so excited- one of my best friends, who I hadn’t seen in months, was going to come visit me at school. He had a randomly-timed break and was going to come on over for some serious catch-up and bonding time. I’d set aside a full day of my insane schedule- if I didn’t see him that day, I wasn’t going to see him again for a long time- an unfortunately long time to go without seeing a best friend.
When I woke up that morning- I had a text. He had gotten sick. He had gotten sick. And he wasn’t coming.
I can’t remember the last time I’d been so disappointed. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to go to an Owl City concert when I had tickets and wound up having to give them away. This happened twice. But I just thought (and still think)- “Ehhh- he’ll come back!” I was disappointed when I got a B instead of an A in my economics class. My GPA is doing okay now, so it’s fine.
But this time was different- it mattered a lot more to me. I was deeply sad, and didn’t much feel like skipping all about anymore.
I’ve never gone through a break-up, and certainly not one coming after years of dating, but I can’t imagine how much disappointment and hurt must be there. You may have spent those months or years expecting to marry that person, and then the plans change.
It got me thinking- what if we go through our entire lives thinking one thing, and then we get to the day of our deaths and we’re disappointed (to say the very least). What if we get to the end and we realize we lived our lives for the wrong thing?
It makes me want to be one hundred percent sure I’m on the right path. If I get upset over the outcome of one week being different than anticipated… the consequences of poor preparation over an entire lifetime would be devastating, particularly in the case that there’s something after this life and I don’t just end once my heartbeat does.
I confidently believe that I’m headed in the right direction. I sway off the path constantly, but what determines what happens to me after this life is dependent on one perfect person- Jesus. I believe that there is a life after this one, and that it goes on forever. I believe that there is a heaven and a hell. I believe that the only way of acceptance into heaven is not by your own merit- an accounting of all of the good vs. bad things that you’ve done- but by the merit of Jesus Christ, the only one who could stand before a perfect God, being God Himself, and take the blame for all of the things that we did wrong that we can’t make okay because we’re not perfect. I believe that without faith in Jesus’ taking our place before a holy God, you will not get into heaven, leaving only hell as an option for what happens after death. I don’t know about levels of hell or what it actually looks like- I only know it to be permanent separation from God, who just may have been playing a larger role in your life than originally supposed.
I believe that the aforementioned faith in Jesus Christ leads to a love unlike others- a love for Someone who loved you when you didn’t care for their very existence, much less their painful and huge sacrifice. I believe that this love leads to the “good” acts that matter, though these acts alone can’t do much for you in terms of salvation.
My belief about what’s coming next eliminates my fear, rather than generating it.
But how do I know?
I’ve experienced the love of God. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. I’ve observed it in those around me. I’ve studied the brain and wondered how such a magnificent, complex thing could arise from nothing or spontaneity. I’ve read the Bible- the word of the God I love, and I’ve applied it to my life. My faith figures into my life in an incredibly important way.
I am sure of what I hope for, and in that, I am extremely blessed.