I’ll admit, not my wisest decision.
It’s left me looking like I’ve had allergies for the last 100 years -- puffy eyes and an obscene amount of liquid pouring down my face. I’m pretty sure anyone in a five-row radius of me heard me telling myself to breathe, at least five times. Oh and they definitely heard me confess my love for Augustus Waters. Again, multiple times.
But now that the credits have rolled through and the screen has begun playing Maleficent (a movie I have no desire to watch), my head is spinning, and not just from a lack of oxygen. This movie has brought up so many emotions, so many desires, so many fears.
And yet it’s awakened a passion to live, and a desire to tell you to really live too. I hope that’s ok.
If you haven’t seen TFIOS -- yeah, I abbreviated it, Augustus and I are tight like that – the movie is about two teenagers (Augustus and Hazel) who fall in love. But there’s a twist, because a simple love story is so Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.
They both have terminal illnesses. To be more specific, cancer. The C word. That thing we all wince at the mere mention of, feeling the pain deep within our gut when it claims yet another victim.
Let’s be honest, it’s probably one of the scariest words floating around in our universe. Everyone knows what it is and yet no one is guaranteed immunity from it. We still don’t know what causes it, or how to fix it.
Maybe that’s what scares us most -- not knowing the cause or cure of something. Whether a friendship, or heartbreak or cancer. (click to tweet)
My own uncle went home to heaven last year because of cancer. I think about him most days, missing his, “good thanks ma’am and you” whenever I asked if he needed anything -- his words got a little muddled towards the end. I miss seeing his beanie around the house and being able to make him smile and giggle just by bringing out the Tim Tams. Movies like this one sting a little more because of my experience with my Uncle Jim.
I’m angry cancer took my uncle away from us. I find peace that he’s no longer in pain and that he’s hanging out with CS Lewis in Heaven (I’m 99.98% sure of it), but the idea that such an disease can pick someone (seemingly at random) and seek to steal, kill and destroy their life, makes me all sorts of angry. The kinds of angry that I can’t even find words for.
And yet, in the pain and anger I feel towards cancer, this movie struck a different chord with me today. In the midst of circumstances that seem the furthest thing from fair, the two teenagers in this film found a love that gave them a forever in a short amount of time.
They really did find love in a hopeless place. Not in a club (like Rhianna's Cinderella story), but in a cancer support group. Hashtag same same but different. Hashtag close but worlds a part.
Hazel Grace refused to let her sickness stand in the way of her sass. Augustus Waters didn’t allow his problem to disqualify him from pursuing his girl. And as I watched their love story unfold, their beautiful love story, I felt a sharp pain in my heart. A lump formed in my throat and my eyes began to burn because I was acutely aware they were about to be overcome with tears.
A harsh reality hit me.
Too often the fault with me is that I let my lack determine my life, instead of determining that my life will outlive my lack. (click to tweet)
How many times have I allowed my expectation of how life is supposed to be, stop me from creating the life I want to live? How many times have I said no to experiences that would create that life I want, because of my insecurities? How many times do I miss opportunities to be creative, because I choose comfort over a little bit of crazy? How often has my fear stood between me and love?
The honest answer? Many times. Too many times.
But today, triggered by a romantic movie on a trip to Hicksville (kidding) Huntsville, I decided.
I’m done with letting my weakness, my withered hand, stand in the way of a wonderFULL life. I want to live dauntlessly and love deeply. (click to tweet)
And I want to do it even if it means I don’t get a full eight hours of sleep a night.
I want to do it even if it means I don’t quite fit the mold of what others find comfortable to be around. Stuff those people, in the nicest-most-Christian way. Ok, so that wasn’t very nice or Christian. Pray for them, but don’t go to Disneyland with them. Better?
I don’t want to waste my time on people who tolerate me, and neither should you. Find the ones who match your crazy. Find the ones who will dance in the middle of the street with you. Search out those who will join you in singing ‘Santa Claus is Coming To Town’ in the middle of a crowd of people… In mid-September. Find the people who stop you mid sentence while you’re trying to explain your train of thought just to say, “No, I get you.”
Find them. Experience life with your people.
Life is short. It’s too short for you to be constantly apologising for being you. Quit explaining yourself away and start living! Go to Amsterdam! Ok that might not make sense if you haven’t seen the movie…. Translation?
Carpe Diem. Cross out the excuses. Cancel plan B. ConTRIBUTE to life -- if Katniss can, so can we (genius, right?).
The truth is God has not promised us tomorrow. We don’t know when He will call us home. But He has given us today. So what will we do with it? My suggestion? That thing.
Forgive that person. Start that business. Ask that person on a date. Book that appointment. Swim at that beach in the middle of winter. Start writing that book. For goodness sake, buy that puppy!
I want to create memories while I still have a today. And I want to do it with my people.
I would rather find five people that will love me fiercely, than five thousand that double tap my photos. (click to tweet)
I want to be loved deeply, not just widely. I want to live today.
Will it mean I make some mistakes? Yep, hopefully not the same ones twice. Will I maybe get hurt? I’d say definitely. Will people say I trust too easily? Probably.
But at the end of today, I want to be able to thank Jesus for another day and know that I lived it well. And I think you should join me.