Reflections on Death

I wanted to share today some personal thoughts that I can only hope will be a small light to others who are currently engulfed in the darkness of suffering the death of a loved one. Simply put, death is the end of life. There’s a popular saying that “nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Life will inevitably end for every single one of us, and I can attest to the fact that there will still be expenses to pay when it does. It is most important to remember that our God has already overcome death and is absolutely more certain than our government.

One definition of death reads, “A permanent cessation of all vital functions: The end of Life.” What Merriam-Webster forgot to add to this description is “…life as we know it.” Our bodies need working vital functions to exist in this world. But scripture reminds us that we were not made for this world. This world that we know and live in is under the control of “the evil one” (1 John 5:19, John 16:11, John 12:31, 1 John 4:4). Because of sin, we experience trials like cancer, addiction, loneliness, insurmountable debt, etc… in this fallen world that we currently occupy.

Death will come for all of us one day, but it is not anything we need to live in fear of. First of all, the time of our death has already been written (Psalm 139). One of the most comforting pieces I read after Taylor passed was an article on the Christian view of mortality that quoted Stonewall Jackson. When asked by his captain the source of his bravery, Jackson replied, “Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.”

“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 25:8

My late-husband had a similar approach to life as Jackson. He would often remind me of this sentiment when I would nag him not to text while driving or encourage him to eat better. Taylor liked to tease me that the worst case scenario in any situation is that we die and go to heaven and I would have to add on, “But you don’t need to try to get there early.” It seems silly to reflect on this now because I know that God’s ways are higher than ours and He has already fixed the time of our deaths.

We are even reminded not to be anxious about this fixed time in Matthew 6:27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” If God knows every hair on our heads, we can guarantee he knows every thought in our brains, every feeling in our hearts and the exact instance those vital organs will cease to function and sustain our life on earth. We don’t need to worry about what is on the other side of this permanent cessation of vital organs because we know that bodily death is not the end for the Christian. We know that the battle has already been won and that death has been defeated. We know that what awaits us on the other side is a world free of sin; free of mourning, crying and pain. What awaits us is freedom personified, offered to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Love, Molly

Copyright © 2022, M. Marley, LLC.

Phone a Friend

I have just started diving into a study on the book of Job and have been reminded of those early stages of grief. I wanted to re-share a post I wrote in the summer of 2020. Growing up, my parents always warned me to “choose my friends wisely.” I don’t know if they were aware that this advice is all over the Bible, but the older I get, I see just how important it is to surround yourself with good people. I am still completely amazed by the support and grace I have received from everyone around me and the scriptural wisdom is just as true today as it was last summer as well as over 2,000 years ago.

“‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.'”

John 9:3

To this day, I get overwhelming feedback from people who attended Taylor’s memorial service telling me that their biggest takeaway was that they wanted to be a better friend. The legacy Taylor left behind is a display of God’s will for our relationships with each other. I know he would be honored to be remembered this way because he valued his friendships immensely. I hope Taylor’s story and his attitude towards life can serve as a push for all of us to reach out to the ones in our own circles and approach our friendships following the examples given to us in the Bible.

Love, Molly

Copyright © 2022, M. Marley, LLC.

Cancel the Sunday Scaries

As a millennial, there are a lot of things about my generation I am quite fond of. When it comes to the fashion and music I am admittedly very basic in my appreciation of the era. There are, however, some millennial associated things I just can’t get behind. Mainly, the lingo used to label things as if they are original concepts to modern twenty-thirty somethings.

If you’ve scrolled through social media in the past few years, you may have come across the term “adulting.” I find this word particularly annoying. Maybe because the tasks people refer to as “adulting” upon completion are such luxuries compared to the daily tasks of generations before us. So you went to the grocery store and managed to buy some vegetables with your IPAs…do you really want to brag about that on instagram? I guess I just don’t appreciate the irony of people my age broadcasting that they “did a thing” and labeling it as “adulting” as if they are the first person ever to pay their taxes or file for a marriage license. 

The other term I just can’t get behind is “Sunday Scaries.” I think it takes too much of our focus away from the present moment. As long as the world continues to turn, Monday is always going to follow the weekend. There will always be work to do and adult responsibilities waiting for us. Sunday is a precious gift given to us and we shouldn’t waste it by worrying about what Monday may bring. We should focus on soaking in each week what we need on that day of rest.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

I don’t think that God rested on the seventh day because he needed a break. He wanted to set an example to people from the beginning and give us a command to keep the Sabbath day holy so that we can benefit from the pleasure of stillness. For as many times as the bible tells us to not be anxious or worry, we can be certain that God didn’t want us to spend every weekend feeling scared about what the next work day will bring because only God knows what tomorrow will bring. Worry is not from God and only serves to steal our joy.

For many of Taylor’s friends, the last time they saw him was when they got together for the 2020 Super Bowl. I assure you that Taylor, an avid football fan who was overly enthusiastic about any game and get together with friends, was not spending a minute of that Sunday worrying about what the next day would bring. None of us could have ever predicted what the next week would bring, but Taylor knew that work would be there in the morning. Cows would need to be fed and fences would need to be mended, but while he was with his friends, that was a moment to celebrate and not worry about tomorrow. 

Take time today to live in the moment and engage with the people around you. Do not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has not been promised. We have all been given today and we should make the most of each and every moment we have been gifted.

Love, Molly

Copyright © 2022, M. Marley, LLC