Last night, I was pretty beaten down. The day was packed with unending struggle. It began with writing a $2,000 check to fix our entire pool system and ended with some tears on a couch, processing all of the struggles of just one day … but really, this whole year.
Earlier, as I was trying to exhaust my health insurance and find new glasses, I was interrupted with a phone call from Eddy telling me his tire blew out. Then literally on my way to work, MY TRUCK started jerking and the traction light flashed on. So I drove 20 miles an hour to the office and waited for my poor husband to fix his truck, then come fix mine.
It was insane. I walked into the office frazzled, upset & wondering:
“When is enough, enough?”
When I finally got home, I felt paralyzed with pain, fear, stress, worry … you name it, I felt it. Every single thing that has a stronghold in my life right now, harassed my mind and caused me to sink into the couch – instead of truth.
So, I told Eddy let’s just watch a movie. I needed to get lost in something outside of our hectic lives. He let me choose, like a good husband ;), and I went with “Me Before You.”
I was so intrigued by the story of Will Traynor, a young man who was on top of the world and lost everything in an instant. Hit by a motorcycle while walking across the street, it instantly broke his neck and changed his life.
After this change devastates who he is, a quirky girl comes barreling in and slowly begins to make him smile. But his pain, emotionally and physically, were so palpable to me — that I cried even harder watching him hate himself, the world and everything in it.
As love started to melt his stone cold heart, you then learn his end-game was to go to Switzerland and undergo physician-assisted suicide. His mother fights with him the entire movie, his dad advocated for the decision (because of the pain his son was in) and the girl, well she tried to save his life by loving him.
In the end, he did it anyway.
And just before that decision was made, they took a trip to the beach. Will’s Nurse was trying to explain to the girl why he was making this decision and how nothing will ever make him happy again, and she responded:
“Yes, but that was before me.”
In the end, he did it anyway.
That phrase stuck with me all night and this morning. Love is a powerful thing and God uses it time and time again to carry out his will … but I think when someone is in the depths of despair and desiring to end their life, there’s no human being that could ever stop it.
But God could.
When you wake up in pain, live every minute in pain and look forward to going to sleep, just so you can have a break from the pain … it’s an overwhelming road. That part I loved about the movie, because it did a wonderful job of portraying how hard living with a broken body can be.
In my flesh, I can understand why a person might go to that place. I really can. Some of my greatest heroes in disability were in that place, but realized later on that God had much bigger plans for their lives (Joni Tada and Nick Vujicic) … and chose to thrive in their brokenness, ensuring God will receive all glory for everything that goes right.
If I didn’t know and love the living Savior, I would be absolutely miserable in this existence. I battle misery every day even still and any light that shines from my soul – is only given by my merciful Father.
And I was a wreck, before Him. Jesus is my “you” in that title. But unlike Louiza Clark with Will Traynor … Jesus did save Holly Strother-Frys.
I was thinking about that verse in Ephesians this morning, as I began to write:
I urge you to live.
The easier path would be to choose not to live a life riddled with pain, heartache and suffering. Jesus tells us over and over that this life will bring hurt, but take heart – He has overcome the hurt. And will overcome it in our lives, too.
Sometimes I think we put too much stock in “living” … as if everything should be perfect, all the time, in every way.
We hear things like:
“DREAM BIG! Don’t give up! Reach for the sky! The world is your oyster! Live life to the fullest!!”
But how realistic is that, honestly? How many people can say they are 100% happy with their circumstances? Very few.
And even those who do in fact portray perfection … I assure you, have strongholds. Just like us.
Here is the good news: this life isn’t meant to be perfect. And if your reward is here, than “here” is all you will ever have … and we all know that “here” doesn’t last forever. Everyone ends up fading and all we can hope is to leave some sort of legacy in the ones we loved.
We can also hope to actually find the real meaning in the “here” … hoping it will carry us over to the forever.
A life worthy of the calling.
We’re not only urged to live, but we are called to make that life worthy of the calling. That is where I feel the most hope. And I wish where Hollywood would have taken this “Me Before You” story.
We don’t exist in some realm of happenstance. We aren’t products of accident or magic, and we can all deeply relate to this longing of something more, can’t we?
I think I cried tears of frustration last night, because I know God has a plan for us … but it just hurts going through it. It hurts deeply dealing with struggle over and over again. If it’s not my health, it’s our home. If it’s not our home, it’s our jobs. If it’s not our jobs, it’s our dogs.
It’s always something.
But I believe there is more in that something. I have to. If I didn’t, trust me – my mindset would definitely align with Will Traynor.
But I do. Jesus came so that someone like me might have life, and have it abundantly. And not just me, but you. We all have strongholds that sink us into our couch, but we can’t stay there. We have to believe, to FIGHT FOR, the more in the something.
Jesus did. So let’s believe He’s the more, we’re looking for.
And let us live in that.