by Brandy Webb
One truth I have learned over the years is that life is constantly changing. Things never stay the same, so make sure you enjoy the small moments and don’t take life for granted. Another truth is, don’t waste time worrying about little things because, truth be told, if it isn’t going to be important tomorrow, next week, a month from now, or even a year or more from now, then it isn’t worth stressing over.
The reality is, we (or at least, I) sometimes get stuck putting importance on non-important things. I stress over minor situations that for a few moments do seem overwhelming, but it never becomes as large as my worry thoughts make it out to be in my head. I believe that this is one major reason that Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). We never know what tomorrow will bring, and sometimes what it does bring makes our perspective about what is or is not important shift.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a perspective shift. Those of you who follow me on Facebook will already know, but my stepdad passed away unexpectedly. The short version is that he had been in remission from acute myelogenous leukemia. The problem, though, is the chemotherapy destroyed his bone marrow, and it never recovered after the initial treatments that were done five years ago. He was able to live a full life, but he always had to keep getting blood work to check his blood levels, especially platelets. This summer his platelets started to drop drastically; therefore, his doctor convinced him to do a stem cell transplant.
So, this December my stepdad went back to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas to start the procedure of stem cell transplant. His sister was a perfect match. My stepdad was nervous but totally confident that everything was going to work out. Unfortunately, we never got a chance to find out if the stem cell transplant was going to work. In order to do the transplant, the doctors have to totally kill the person’s immune system. It is so that the patient’s body doesn’t try to kill the new stem cells. Well, while we were waiting to see if the new stem cells would work, my stepdad got some type of infection. The doctors at first thought it was the normal side effects; however, it wasn’t, and by the time they figured out that he had an infection, it was too late.
None of us ever considered him dying because of an infection. All of us prayed for the treatment to go well, but God had different plans. It is sad. It is hard on my mom, but we aren’t giving up on our faith. We understand that God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). We understand that He knows all things, and He knows what is best, even if we may never understand in this life why what was best was for someone to die.
The truth is, people die all the time. During this whole ordeal, I have known five other families that have suffered a loss just in this month. A couple of the ones that have passed were very young. We may never know why, and we grieve. Yet, we have a hope, and we must hold on to that hope. We must change our perspective. We must focus on God’s Kingdom and hold on to the hope that we will see our loved ones again. One day death will be no more.
I am realizing that the minor stressors of this life are just not worthy of my mental attention. Life is short. I need to start focusing on joyful moments. I need to start thanking God for all things. I need to put my eyes and energy on God’s coming Kingdom, and live my life for Christ. I will also trust what Jesus tells us:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Go to Him with your burdens, and trust in His holy name. May He lighten your burdens, give you comfort, and bring you peace that surpasses all understanding.