Perspective is something that can be gained in so many different ways, but none so more refreshing nor more humble than the perspective one gains from death and dying.
We will all die. That is no hidden secret nor recent development.
However God uses death as a way of making us look at our own lives, look at how we are using our life, look at those around us, look at the choices we make in life, look at the faith that is within our soul....all of this to help us gain perspective.
Isn't it funny how when you are sitting in a room full of beloved family members all gathered around a courageous, faithful daughter of God who is lying on her deathbed, nothing else matters. Most of what people obsess over seems petty. Not that it didn't before all of this. But really the magnitude of how dumb some things in life really are gets magnified under the weight and microscope that is the death of a loved one.
Yesterday Britton and I raced up to Morrison to be with the Hummell's as Diana lays dying. We surely thought that yesterday was the day...however Diana is still fighting. But the entire length of the afternoon and evening was spent with the family gathered at Cam's.
This is where I admit that I feel like an intruder....as I do not feel like a total part of the family. Yes I am Britton's girlfriend who loves him whole-heartedly. But I didn't really know Diana that well, only a few brief times of meeting her, hearing about her from Britton and his family, and her blog. However, I can say that it felt remarkable for them to welcome me into the home at such an intense time. I only hope that I'm able to offer at least a morsel of comfort and support and love during such a hard time, and that me being there is not useless.
Driving up to Morrison I found my heart again facing my own demons. These demons coming in the form of insecurities that have been built up from years of tumultuous family history and years of being put down by people in my life. Before Britton and I walked out the door, I came across something that left my heart heavy. I then found myself silently crying in the truck....for Diana, for Britton, for Cam & the boys, for his family, for me, for failing to be good enough for my family and for being such a huge problem in their life, for the insecurities in my heart and head, for the longings that have been left unattended to in my heart, for Satan attacking me so hard....so so SO many things.
And then I started praying with something Drue (Diana's mom) laid on my heart just a few night's previous....to ward off Satan's attacks by facing them with prayer. Britton and I prayed in the truck on the way up there. And when we got to the house, I took a quick little walk, prayed to God to cast away ALL of my problems, all of my heart's grievances, to cast away all the thoughts in my head, to simply help me to put it all aside so that I could be there for the Hummell's. I prayed fervently for strength, for emotional stability, to work in my heart and use this as a time to help others and not myself.
There was a verse that Diana shared back in April, that alongside the bible study I just started called "Breaking Free" that was resonating in my heart while I prayed and I reminded God of His scriptures that He had given me and to hold true to these promises. She shared Isaiah 43: 2-3 which I realize she had her own set of trials she was going through in which she was brought to this. But it's a promise God makes to us that WHEN we face trials, not if, that God will guide us through them.
It says "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
And then He brought me to these verses in my bible study: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
In these verses they prophesy the suffering of Christ. They talk about Jesus boring our sin, our transgressions, being rejected and ridiculed, being beaten and scourged. And we are reminded....Jesus suffered as we suffer. There is no suffering and pain that our God, our Savior in the flesh, did not know and experience before we ourselves did. He KNOWS the pain and the suffering we go through....whether it be mental, emotional, physical, spiritual....because OUR GOD has felt that same suffering.
It's easy for me to forget that we have a God who can relate to our pain and trials. He is perfect, and most times I pray to Him as someone who is Almighty and Perfect and Holy. But most times I forget that my perfect God is also a God who, in the flesh on this earth, went through the same transgressions we did. I forget this, and I feel ashamed and ugly and unworthy. When I forget this, I often forget to go to Him with everything as I don't remember that my God is relatable and he can relate to what I'm feeling. He isn't just perfect, He's personable and relates to us, He understands and He knows.
Isaiah 9:1 "Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress."
Isaiah 6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
What I have to remember is that our loving Father is perfect, is Holy, but he understands our pain and suffering as He himself once went through it. He is our Father forever, He is Mighty and He is a Wonder of Counselor. I can take everything to Him, everything, and He will guide me through it.
I held true to these promises yesterday in praying to God and wouldn't you know, my Wonderful Counselor gave me all the strength and all the peace I needed for Him to use me as whatever instrument He needed me for yesterday at the Hummell's. My Mighty God temporarily calmed and strengthened my heart and mind. He held true to His promises, guiding me through the trials that He promised we would all go through. Not if, when. And He's there.
It was an intense and hard afternoon/evening that is carrying over to today.
I have prayed and continue to pray for comfort for the entire Hummell family. This is not an easy thing to go through, and all of them need to be kept under Jesus' loving arms and held firmly there in a spiritual hug that only God himself can give. I have prayed that God would call His angel home, and ease her suffering in that tiny little body that has fought such a ridiculously intense and strong battle. I have prayed that God will help them all to find solace in grieving with each other and strength in knowing that they are not alone. I pray that God will continue to give me strength and a calm in my heart to be there for those who need it right now. I have prayed that through this all that God's glory will shine through it all and resonate with those lives who Diana has touched, including mine.
Once again, God has shown me the power of my favorite verse in the bible and it will ever reign true.
"Be still and know that I am God." Proverbs 46:10
With all of that being said, this week has been a time to weep, a time to mourn, and a time to celebrate. To celebrate God. But also to celebrate Diana's life and the impact she has made, the light she has been to the world for God, the glory she has given God, and the amazing ways she has touched so many people.
Even the small ways she has touched this less-than-ordinary woman's heart of mine.
I only hope that maybe one day I can do that too, in my own way that God has planned.