“When I saw you laying on your hospital bed, I felt like I was watching your funeral.”
That’s how a good friend of mine described what he saw in the hospital when I was recovering from my brain injury.
Interestingly, it was their words that caused me to imagine the scene in much the same way as they did. Something which then forced me to ask, “Did the people who came to my “funeral” in the hospital truly know who’d they’d come to see?”
While searching for the answer to this very difficult question, I discovered much about my life that was markedly inconsistent with what I claimed to believe.
I’d been extremely prideful and felt I had everything figured out and under control.
I was living very comfortably and tried to stay away from anything that had the potential to make me uncomfortable.
I had “faith in” and "trusted" God but, for the most part, was still trying to do things on my own power.
I hadn’t totally surrendered my life to God but was just picking and choosing the parts I gave to Him instead.
My life was always more about me and mine and not God and others.
The more I learned, the more I painfully realized, “I don’t think my “funeral” visitors really knew who they’d come to pay their respects to.”
Honestly, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the answer I’d come up with. I was greatly convicted that I hadn’t been honest with the people who’d came to my “funeral” in the hospital. But God didn’t start beating me up or shaming me because of it. Instead, I felt as if He was just patiently waiting for me to ask Him for forgiveness, something He freely gave me and which then led to some much-needed repentance on my part. I was also humbled by and thankful for all the friends and family who were so gracious to me when I had this long overdue self-realization.
I am still amazed that God, in a way only He can do, was able to use my brain injury to start teaching me things about Him and myself that I didn’t know yet. He started teaching me many wonderful and beautiful truths about His love and grace that I may have never learned otherwise. I was awakened to the full gospel message and I finally began to see Jesus for who He truly is and to understand who I was not. It was through my journey with a traumatic brain injury that God was somehow able to change my heart and open my eyes to a brand new way of living, one much different than my former way and one much closer to what He has envisioned for all of us.
It’s a way of living where we’re unashamed to be followers of Jesus, where we’re honest with God and with others about our struggles, and where we love and care for people regardless of who they are or what they can offer us.
It’s a way of living where we’re dependent on God for all we do, where we’re not afraid to take risks for Him, and where we constantly work to grow in our faith but are still able to find rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
It’s a way of living where we’re always being called to die to ourselves and live completely for Him, where we have a “funeral” every day!
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.” Mark 8:35