On May 8, 1991 I awoke to be told that my baby sister Kim was dead. She died in her sleep. She died from a seizure. Seizures brought on, or so I’m told, because her boyfriend got angry and shoved her into a wall where she hit her head. The End.
I said THE END!
For a really long time that’s all I had. I struggled to accept the fact that a 20-year-old who had just really begun her life was, in fact, gone. I made up little scenarios in my head that kept her safe. You know, She’s not really dead, she actually had to go into a witness protection program that would keep her safe. I kept replaying scenarios in my head, each with a better outcome. What if her roommate had noticed she wasn’t breathing? Had CPR been administered. Was it performed correctly? What if she had never dated the idiot that shoved her into a wall. Our family didn’t know about the seizures. What if we had known? Could we have prevented this unacceptable outcome? Why didn’t she tell us? Was she on medication? Was she taking the medication? The whys and what ifs accomplished what they always accomplish. A year later I had a stomach ulcer and I was going through a bottle of Mylanta a day. I was pulling inward. I was angry and really, all I wanted to do was snuggle up beside my now 4-year-old daughter, Rachel, and never let her out of my sight. Oh, and I was pregnant.
My mom and I were still battling through a very strained relationship. I was angry with her for leaving my dad. I just couldn’t understand her ideas or ways. On some level I believe I even blamed her for Kim’s death. I mean, when my parents divorced, Kim chose to go with mama. I chose to stay with my daddy. Kim was given complete freedom. I was on lock down. Deep inside I was playing with the idea that had Kim not been given so much freedom she wouldn’t have dated the young man who shoved her into a wall. Ere go she wouldn’t have developed seizures, ere go she wouldn’t have died, alone, without family near, in her sleep. I told you. I was angry.
The phone rang. Fortunately, we had no caller ID or I probably wouldn’t have answered. On the other end my mom started making small talk. After a few minutes she got to the point.
“Would you and Rachel want to go with me to Church on Sunday?” “ Hmmm…HELL NO!?” is what I thought, but what I said was “I’ll think about it”. But even as I said it, even as I thought to myself “you are the last person I’d want to go to church with”, I knew, I would be attending. I needed answers. I needed to know what to tell and to teach my daughter and the baby I now carried. I had to start somewhere.
I really can’t recall any of that first church service. I mean, it was pretty typical. I had grown up going to church on holidays. We were taught to believe in God. We celebrated the birth of Christ on Christmas. We celebrated the resurrection on Easter. I was pretty confident that I was at least a decent person. The Bible was always in the bathroom growing up. So, yeah, I was cool. Until the end of the service. Until with one question my world tilted again. I assure you, if you tell God that you need answers, (even when you probably only half-heartedly believe in Him) He will give you answers.
This pastor got up and posed this question. “If you were to die today, are you 100% sure, without a doubt, sure that you have a home in Heaven?”
To this day, I literally hear brakes screeching to a halt, every time I remember that moment. HOLD ON! Back the truck up!
The implication with his question was that we COULD know 100% guaranteed of our destination when we die. We could know. How could we know? Does everybody else on the planet except me have this information? Is this guy legit? Did Kim know? How do I not know? Can we really be sure?
I’m bright. I’m stubborn. I follow no one blindly. So, no, I did not run down front and get me some Jesus. I was never interested in a crutch or following the crowd. Only truth….
What DID I do? I started taking notes. I listened to what the man had to say. I dug into my Bible verifying every word that came out of his mouth. I called my older relatives. I asked questions. I asked God, (if he truly existed) to show me His truth. I wasn’t interested at all in what that pastor had to say. I didn’t want a man’s opinion. I wanted Gods opinion. I wanted to know what He had to say. I needed answers to my questions.
Can we Know our destination when we die?
If we can Know for sure, then how can we know?
Did Kim know? Did Kim know? I didn’t know, so how would my sister know?
Are there consequences to not knowing? Did Kim know?
I’m going to share with you what my searching led me to discover.
I’m going to share with you the answer to my questions. Can we know? How can we know? Did Kim know?
If any of my story resonates with you…keep reading. It gets better!
This is why I Blog.