Mourning a Life that Wasn’t

Sometimes the profoundness of a brief question or statement, one that is perhaps even overlooked by the speaker, can captivate you and steal your complete attention. Recently, the question I’ve been turning over and over in my head is

“Are you mourning the loss of a life….. a life imagined?”

Perhaps it is because I’m nearly 30. At 30, careers are fairly well established; I’ve had two precious babies; I’m happily married. At 30, the days and weeks flow in and out of one another seamlessly and ordinarily through interrupted, minimal sleep. However, if I’m 100% honest with myself (and you), I’m sometimes startled into noticing the times and realizing my life is not everything I imagined it would be at this point.

I believe what I pictured was the edited, photo-shopped version of my reality. I realize that spending more than a brief moment wishing things were different is as if I was saying my world now is too dull and the people in it are not completely perfect. How wrong that is!

Neena: the famous country singer? I won’t even brave karaoke…. flippant dream dead.

Neena: the career-hungry woman? She’s moved on.

Neena: the well-rested, perfectly manicured mother? She never was.

Neena: the wife of a professional athlete? I often forget the not-so-glamorous parts, like instability and loneliness.

These people that I imagined myself being are not who I am. For some of these “women” that I am not, I’ve spent moments in mourning. What a waste of the precious time and actual gifts we have been given.

But those things are very superficial—how about the real pain that is in our lives? I never pictured that. I didn’t dream about how hard it would be to raise children and protect them from the corruption of this world. I didn’t fantasize about disability, disease, or death. I didn’t imagine war or political turmoil or racial tensions being part of my lifetime. Sometimes the reality that this world is broken can become too much to handle when all is seemingly hopeless. And it would be…. but for our Savior (1 Peter 3-6).

There wasn’t a funeral for Christ. There was mourning, but it was short lived (Mark 16:10).

In case you’re new to Jesus, to recap: Jesus was Heaven’s darling, came to Earth as man, lived the perfect life we could not, suffered and died on a cross as the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins, and rose three days later to defy death and return to Heaven. Our love for Christ and our faith in Him saves us all from eternal death and promises everlasting life (John 3:16).

There will certainly be pain and sorrow in this world. No doubt there will be dreams unattained or forgotten (perhaps because there was a better plan for you, but that’s for another post). But there will also always be hope in the name of Jesus, and in that promise I see much joy in this life (John 16:20).

Referenced Verses:

  • Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the deadand into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials. 1 Peter 3-6 HCSB
  • She [Mary Magdalene] went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they were mourning and weeping. Mark 16:10 HCSB
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV
  • Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20 NIV

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