Spirituality, religion, faith, belief, and the like have been swirling in my mind lately. I have kept up with my daily Bible reading as planned for the year and it has given me new insight even though I have read it quite a few times before.
Some time ago, M and I were talking about life. Perhaps I even wrote about it, but I cannot find a post…. In any case, it was one of our more serious and deeper discussions about our thoughts on life and living.
For me, I have never truly been in love with living.
At 14, I wanted to commit suicide. I collected all the pill bottles in our house and dumped them out in piles wondering how many it would take to do the job and if it would work in the time that my parents were gone. There were no tears nor hysteria at the time, but simple calculations. In the end, I considered how my parents would react coming home and finding me dead or perhaps not quite dead and then the potential drama that would ensue. It was only then that the tears flooded out as I slowly put all the pills back into their bottles and returned to their original locations.
Over the years I contemplated again and again running away to die like cats do when they know it is their time to go. Always I returned to the thought of how others would react and feel. My sense of responsibility to them prevented me from taking action.
Somewhere in my early 20’s I was convinced that I would only live to the age of 28. I was married at 22, miserable by 24 and contemplating the rest of my life at 25. In a way, the person that I was did die at 28. I neared the end of my patience with my marriage, began to blossom into who I truly am and started the process towards independence, confidence and life. While I continued aging, the person that I was back then no longer exists.
Now, I rarely consider ending my life. Do not get me wrong, I still welcome my death whenever it should happen and do on occasion ponder those moments. At times, I morbidly begin to write my good-bye letters. However, I have come to accept that I am going to live until I have fulfilled my purpose in life – whatever that may be.
I live for my husband. I live for my family. I live for my friends. I do live.
As I read Romans 12 the other day, this passage stood out to me:
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with yourfaith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
So, when those moments do arise when I wonder why I am still breathing, I try to remember that it is not for me to decide whether or not I should live, but rather I need to consider if I am living according to my gifts. While I may not feel as if I am doing much, this passage reminds me that we are all part of one body and each small member helps to keep the body functioning. Until I am no longer needed for it, then I go on…(cue Celine Dion!). 😛