My Last Days
I wanted to write a blog post today, but couldn't think of what to write. Then I stumbled across this beautiful, heartbreaking video.
Meet Zach Sobiech. Zach was diagnosed with a terminal case of osteosarcoma, a rare bone disease. A few weeks ago on May 3, Zach's 18th birthday, this video was posted celebrating his life and he and his family's struggles with his illness.
Zach died today, but that's not why this video is so important. It's not just because I know how it feels to lose a family member, and my heart is aching for the Sobiechs. It's not because watching these goodbyes makes me cry.
It's kind of selfish, actually. It's because, when I was still seriously considering not going on a mission, I tried to think of all of the pros and cons to going.
And I thought about dying. I thought about how close my own death could be, without me even knowing it. I thought about the person I want to be when I leave this world, and how much further I have to go to become that person.
I don't want to live selfishly anymore. I want to leave this world a little brighter than I left it. I want to help others to be happy, just like Zach did. And the most lasting happiness that I can think of is the one that comes from the peace of the Gospel.
I think about families like the Sobiechs, mourning the earthly loss of their son, and I think about how much more it must hurt because they don't know that families can be together forever. They don't know that they have a loving Father in Heaven and a Savior who can help them through their grief. They don't have the support of ward members who will mourn with them and comfort them.
I think about all of the lost and hurting sheep of Christ's flock, and how much I want them to feel whole. How much I want them to be my brother or sister in the Gospel. How much I want them to feel the peace of the Atonement, which washes away their guilt, their sorrow, their shames and heartaches. How much I want them to feel like they truly belong somewhere, and are infinitely loved.
That is why I have answered the call to serve a mission. I want to love deeply and fully, to live uninhibited by my fear, and to share what I have and know with the people that I care about. I want to help. I want to serve. I don't want people to feel the sting of loss without the knowledge of eternal families to soothe it.
That's why I'm going to Carlsbad, California. That's why I will never stop trying to be better, to be more like Christ. He spent His very limited time on Earth surrounded by the weak, the hurting, the sick and the sinners. He spent His time loving them, even the ones who didn't love Him back. He stands by me in my weaknesses and my sins. He loves me when I reject Him, heals me when I hurt others and myself, and never, even for a second, believes that I am not good enough.
I want to be that. So this is my first step into the darkness.
Call it a leap of faith.
Call it daring to live up to my potential.
Call it continuing in Zach Sobiech's footsteps, and Christ's before his.
Whatever you call it, know that fear is not in the vocabulary. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear."
What would you do if these days were your last?
(P.S. Please keep those in Moore, OK and the surrounding area in your prayers. They were hit by an F5 tornado earlier today and many are still missing or trapped in rubble.)