Parting Ways, this isn’t my goodbye.

a couple s hands breaking apart

Parting Ways, this isn’t the end, simply a new beginning.

Death. It sounds so final. As if your life will be over once you die. Do you live in fear of dying? What if I told you death is actually the beginning. How would that make you feel? The way we decide to live life while on earth will dictate how you will feel about the impending death of your physical being.

I like to have fun as much as the next woman and feel as if I have a life worth living, but do realize my days are numbered. During the last couple years of recovery from my wayward life I have learned to not be held hostage from my past or a slave to my future. I learned control was my biggest obstacle. After all we have no control over anything, let alone our own demise, so why bother worrying?

The Obituary of a Christian

The face of a Christian woman.
Karen Esbenshade

Born as a child of Christ, April 6, 2021, fifty years and sixty-two days following her first breath.

Karen Esbenshade
Karen Esbenshade's death is predetermined by God on the day she dies. Now, however, is not the time she will enter into eternal rest, but it could be as soon as later today or tomorrow. 

Presently, she is choosing to live life to her fullest, which includes fulfilling her purpose here on earth. Writing. Her message is not to be held captive by your past or a slave to your future. But to break free of the bondage of self.

Born as a child of Christ, April 6, 2021, fifty years and sixty-two days following her first breath. Her earthly parents, who adored her, Christened her at a young age, but then set her off into the broken world so she could crash and burn.

Most of Karen's life is a blur. Not from activity, just a blur due to actively indulging in a favorite past time of alcohol abuse. Once she saw clearly she started to create new memories for others to remember her by and to improve her legacy.

Karen's life is shaped by God's cast of characters. Each and every person in her life play a very important role. For that reason she would like to thank each and every person she has ever met or has crossed paths with.

It was during a time just past her rebirth, when surrounded by a bunch of misfits, Karen started to grow. She learned from these beautiful, flawed humans what it is to embrace your imperfections, offering unconditional love and compassion to others. She is most grateful for these people.

Shortly after turning fifty Karen stopped aging, often mistaken for one of her own daughters, which confused many and further inflated her ego. Her aging knees didn't get the memo so she had to implement a new exercise regimen. She stopped running from her past and started to pace herself into her future. Karen could be spotted doing the downward dog or on a bad day simply doing the mad cat. Finally, she fully surrendered as a warrior.

Karen's family was her life. The wife of Jeffrey, whose reputation precedes him, she did her best to bring her loved ones down with her after she fell. Now she strives to lift up others, offering a hand for those who find themselves in their own pit of despair.

Another failure is forgetting to place Christ front and center. Only a selfish mother would put her children first. She encourages her daughters to have a receptive heart and they too can have the gift of peace.

She spent her time divided, overlooking the well-manicured greens of a golf course in Florida and the calming waters of the Assawoman Bay. But upon her death she will be found in Paradise.

Karen really enjoyed living. Her only regret not knowing she would need to surrender her old self to really start living. She was not courageous enough to make the necessary changes so God decided to do it for her. She wasted many good years. But will not let any lost years go to waste, but rather be used as an example to others on how "we" can decide to move forward after we fall.

Her greatest accomplishment is achieving a Peace that passes all understanding.

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Parting Ways, until we rise again?

When I write of life in eternity and the afterlife many people may question my sanity. This past Tuesday we celebrated my mother-in-laws life, remembering the woman she was and still is as her legacy lives on. The Paster spoke of how our time on earth is temporary but we will spend eternity with our heavenly Father, Christ, and at a time in the future Christ will rise and walk on earth. He further spoke of the dead rising and joining Him.

Prior to my rebirth I too would have been a skeptic of such talk and now I have to admit listening to the Pastor speak on Jesus, His resurrection, and raising the dead, I still have more maturing to do as a Christian. I need to keep a receptive open heart and allow my faith to grow.

Parting Ways, until we meet again.

The test comes when we experience hardship. If diagnosed with cancer or a loved one loses their battle to cancer then faith is challenged. Where will your faith be at that point? My mother-in-law really struggled. She lived a healthy, clean lifestyle. She ate well, never consumed alcohol of any kind, and was an exercise fanatic. Then she was diagnosed with separate cancers ten years apart, with late stage lung cancer five months prior to her death.

I spent the last several months with her and watched a once healthy woman, the strongest woman I had ever known, decline. She would see people who were clearly not the picture of health and question how God is allowing them to live while taking her life too soon. She was angry and went through all of the stages of a woman preparing herself to die. In the end there was a peace which she radiated.

I learned from my mother-in-law how a Christian woman dies (this is where I tear up).

When we see our physical death as just transitioning into our Heavenly home, then we can view it as a gift. Eternal life is a gift for a Christian. This is a type of Peace which passes all understanding.

Orange ribbon gift box photo
The Gift of Peace

To learn more about Peace which passes all understanding…

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7 ESB

Parting Ways, for a better tomorrow.

While on earth and as a child of Christ we get the opportunity to live a Christ-filled life. We can strive to live as Jesus did. Offering compassion to others, Christians and non-Christians as Jesus did. Accepting everyone just as they are, unconditionally. He sets the standard as to how we earthly beings should live our lives.

The beauty of a life in Christ is that it starts at the time of our earthly death. So we have something to look forward to!

To read more about marriage and death…

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