Our Numbered Days

By now you've probably heard the sad story of Brittany Maynard.  She's dying.  A horrible diagnosis of brain cancer came knocking on her door at the very young age of 29.  It's a nightmare to even think about let alone walk through it when your life is just beginning.  Her death sentence from cancer isn't why her story is so well-known though, it's her planned suicide.

She moved her family to the state of Oregon specifically so she could choose the day and time to end her life.  The date?  November 1st.

When I first heard her story my heart sank.  A deep ache filled my stomach at the thought of such desperation.  How?  Why?  Nooooooo!  After all, isn't life more valuable than that?  Even if it's spent ill?  Or suffering?

I'm not walking in her shoes.  I've not been given the sad news that my body is eaten up with a deadly cancer.  I cannot judge her.  I can pray for her to see another way out.  God knows every little detail about each of us and He chooses our days, not us.  The day my mother called me to tell me she had cancer was a jolt to my senses.  In my heart, I knew.  I knew that her time was limited and that I wanted to love her and care for her as best as I could with the time that we had left together.  Had she told me that instead of trying to lick the cancer that she wanted to just pick a date to die…..I would've fought her tooth and nail otherwise.  Perhaps it was her faith that kept her in the fight because she didn't take cancer sitting down.  She went after it and continued living….even when the discomforts of her illness ravaged her body.

I received a very special gift because of her dying process.

For me, I was able to care for her and be with her when sickness buried her under a cloud of chemo and radiation.  She was needy of me (mom's are usually the ones being needed).  I was able to spend time with her that we both knew was precious and fleeting.  We had conversations that many don't get to have with the ones they love before they die.  We used that time to heal wounds, make arrangements, process important tasks.  Not a day was wasted, even in her dying.

I'm so grateful that God allowed me to walk alongside her as she departed her earthly life.  I consider it a gift to me. 

At the same time I learned of Brittany's story, I heard about Kara's.  Kara responded with a letter to Brittany.  Her plea was to reconsider the decision to take the suicide pill.  She wrote with words of love and kindness as she urged her NOT TO DO IT.  She understands the brokenhearted pain that Brittany is living with because she too has cancer.  Kara is a young mother of 4.  She and her husband are church planters in Colorado Springs.  They were living the good life and along came cancer.

But that's not Kara's attitude.  She's still living the good life because every day and every moment is special.  Kara is a life giver.  She speaks words of love and kindness into almost every situation.  As I've read through her blog (and cried….cried….cried) I see the evidence of a woman who DOES NOT FEAR DYING!  She is fiercely passionate about loving others and sharing GOD with them in everything she says or does every single day.  While she understands what her future holds she does not dwell there feeling undeserved (maybe she does somedays in her secret spot).  To me, she lives purposefully.  She pours into those she cares for, as if …..

Kara inspires me to make haste.  Do what is most important, right now!  Don't get so caught up trying to be the best mom or wife.  Just love the ones God has entrusted and live.  Our days, all of our days….are numbered and it isn't up to us to pick the date to die.  That's God's decision.

I've just finished Kara's book.

the hardest peace

On sale right now at Amazon.  I wanted to call her and tell her I loved her after I finished reading it.  She is brave and full of love.  Her words…..will speak on because she was willing to say them when most of us would've crawled in a hole and given up.  Thank you, Kara.  And yes, I do love you!  You are a precious inspiration and I pray for you as you battle on, sister.

Kara's blog


I pray for Brittany and I beg you to fill her with trust for You.  Open her eyes to your truth and allow her to see, you are the life giver and taker.  I also pray for Kara.  Thank you for her willingness to love outside of herself in a way that truly changes our world.


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