A Life of Meaning and Worth

Dear Liz,

I can’t stop thinking about the story you were telling me yesterday, about your sister-in-law and how successful she is in her career and about how she also has children and seems so well put together.  You seemed to be saying that she sees you as somehow inferior to her because you don’t have a career.  This really struck a chord with me because I have fought this feeling in myself so many times.  I have never had a career and it has really never been convenient for my family for me to have a career.  I’m not unhappy with my life, but I struggle with feelings that nothing I do is very noteworthy.

Strangely enough, yesterday morning I had a unique experience.  Before I tell you about it, I want to tell you that I am all right and in good health.  Yesterday morning I went for a routine mammogram.  The technician took the first set of films, then took a second set and then a third set .  She told me she wasn’t sure about what she saw.  Finally, she asked me to wait about 30 minutes for the radiologist to come and read the films before I went home.  Well, I had 30 minutes alone with my thoughts.  I didn’t panic.  I felt that God was with me and had His hand in whatever happened.  But I was overwhelmed with the idea that if my life were going to be shorter than I thought, then what were the most important things to do with the time I had left.

I decided that first of all, I wanted to know Jesus better.  If He were going to come for me, I wanted to recognize the person I wuld spend forever with, and not be afraid of Him in His glory because He was a stranger to me.  Then, I decided I wanted my family to have a legacy of love, joy and beauty to remember me by.  I wanted them to know they were loved, that they were valuable, that life is forever and God is good, so that they could be courageous in facing whatever their lives brought them.  I wanted them to remember precious things I’d said to them, or small loving things I’d done for them, and that these memories would give them strength.  I wanted to give all the love I could every day to the people in my life.  All of a sudden it seemed important that whatever I did should be done for love.  I decided that when I met Jesus, it wouldn’t matter that I brought a resume of accomplishments, but that I had a heart full of love, because thats what seems to matter most.  It says in the bible that love is the only thing that is eternal, and that our relationships with God and others are all that we can take with us into forever.  Well, in 30 minutes, I seemed to have answered a lot of my own questions about whether my achievements are valuable, and decided it was the quality of my life that mattered–more depth, rather than more “success”.  Then the 30 minutes were up, I was given a clean bill of health and went home.

It was so strange that 2 hours later, the same questions, more or less, came up again when you talked about your sister-in-law.  I didn’t know what to say at the time, but hope to share my after thoughts with you now.  Liz, you are so valuable.  Its so obvious in the very short time I have known you, that you love your family, you are devoted to them, and that they are happy.  You have a wonderful, warm, down to earth personality, too, and people feel very comfortable in your presence.  At the end of your sister-in-law’s life it won’t matter if she was the governor’s right hand woman.  A few years after she is gone, no one will remember that.  All she’ll carry into the other side is love and relationships.

I hope these thoughts make you feel good.  I’m not a very good writer, but I hope you can understand what I mean to say.

Your friend,

xxxx  aka Nonni

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