During this past year, I’ve come across so many pictures from my life with Dale. Some came with sympathy cards, some came from family, many were here in the house and just rediscovered as I go through Dale’s “space.” Some are just of him, but so many are of the two of us as early as our pre-marriage days.
I can’t help but notice how very young and “in our prime” we look! In many cases they are a stark contrast to the reality of those last few years together as he failed physically and mentally. And honestly, I’m no spring chicken either!
I often joked with friends that, when I see Dale in heaven one day, I want him to look like he did on our wedding day, not on the day he died. And I want to look like I did back then, too.
All of this reminded me of a very real, but sorrowful truth. From the day we are born, we are dying. Aren’t I just a ray of sunshine?! But all we need to do is look around us to acknowledge this reality. Of course, our bodies are falling apart to one degree or another. The seasons remind us that much of nature goes through this death cycle. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the Universe tends toward disorder.
And most powerfully, the death of loved ones reminds us of the mortal nature of this world.
Sometimes I think we take this inevitability so for granted that we forget its source. It happened back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned, and the course of mankind was set forever – until we die or Jesus comes back.
Trust me, this will NOT be a dissertation on sin and its effects, but suffice it to say that everything in the heavens and earth was tainted and headed for decay and death from that point on. We often spend much of our later lives fighting this reality and the cosmetic and Botox industries thank us very much!
But don’t we all long for the days of our prime? Doesn’t it seem to be an innate desire in our souls? Ecclesiastes tells us that God has placed eternity in our hearts, and I believe it only makes sense that we want to be young and vibrant in eternity!
That is speculation on my part, so don’t go looking for scripture to support that word for word. But we do know that God will make all things new one day. We just can’t know exactly what that looks like in this life.
Not only do I look forward to the day when we can be rid of these deteriorating physical bodies, but I also long to be rid of the sin that lurks around all of my thoughts, desires, words and actions. Talk about breaking free from our bonds! What a glorious day for us to anticipate if we are believers.
I think that may be one of the reasons why I don’t spend much energy on memories from my life with Dale that showcase those sins. I don’t want to dwell on the times our pride or stubbornness or insecurities or frailties created difficult memories.
I want to camp out on the very best moments of our very best days. In short, I want to remember those times that, in retrospect, seem near-perfect to me. Naïve? Perhaps.
As I worked through this thought process over the past few months, I came to the conclusion that what I’m longing for physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually is…HEAVEN!
Full disclosure – I am studying Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven,” (for the third time 😊) and that is definitely influencing my thought processes lately. But the promises in God’s Word are true and, as believers, we CAN look forward to a future eternity that is free from physical decay, or any other encumbrance that sin has saddled us with in this life.
Restoration of everything that’s tainted in our earthly lives is an incredible hope we can cling to. I honestly don’t know if it’s wrong to create these rose-colored memories of my time with Dale. But it feels like a comforting way to bridge that gap until I step into eternity.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”