Please Don’t Die

We had enjoyed a wonderful day together. We hiked, she beat us all to the finish line. We went to a carnival, I especially remember the fun on the water bumper boats. We rode horses on a beautiful trail. We had just finished dinner at Pizza Hut, then decided to play putt-putt before heading back to our hotel.

As we played putt-putt and laughed hysterically, she yelled, “Stop! I’m going to pee in my pants!”

So then, we began to plan her 40th birthday party. My half-sister and I joked that we would have “over-the-hill” signs everywhere!

As she stepped up to the eighteenth hole, something went terribly wrong.

She collapsed.

I caught her head, but she was unresponsive. My dad held her, and we went to get help.

In those moments, life seemed to stop.

I felt sick, like I had been kicked in the stomach.

Even now, remembering the memories, it plays in slow motion. SLOW.

I remember crying in the bathroom and repeating in my head, Please don’t die. I can’t tell your kids they’ve lost their mother.

That was 13 years ago on Father’s Day weekend. She was my step-mom. She had a massive stroke at 39 years old and died within 48 hours. It was a tragic and devastating loss.

There were no words for the numbness and pain.

Two weeks prior to her death, I was sitting in church and realized I needed to forgive both my dad and step-mom. It was in my heart, an urgent prompting like never before. Our relationship was not good, I was young and immature. To be quite honest, I was bitter and jealous.

I finally got up the courage to contact them. I apologized, and they did too. We cried. My gracious step-mom asked if we would like to go away for Father’s Day weekend.

She said, “We will start over as a family and re-build.”

That was the weekend she died. It was supposed to be a weekend of restoration and moving forward. It became even more.

I learned a major life lesson — Do what God asks now. Don’t procrastinate.

I was forever changed… the day she died.

God speaks directly to our hearts. The Bible tells us that He puts the Holy Spirit in our hearts to lead and prompt us, when we accept Jesus as our Lord.

In Acts 2:38, Peter says, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

In Galatians 5:16, we learn to “let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”

Our human nature tends to ignore God. We don’t want the hassle, don’t have the time, we simply don’t want to deal with our issues. It’s not always easy or comfortable to do what God asks.

No matter what, follow God. Listen for His voice. Seek His advice. Do what He asks now, and don’t procrastinate. I know from experience, you may not get another chance.