Back in the early years of our marriage, I wasn’t too smart. I thought I was, but events proved otherwise. With Jim having one more year of college before starting seminary, we talked about children. His grocery-checking income was slim, so we decided to wait until his third and last year of seminary before having kids—three years hence.

The joke is, by that time, we’d had two children and a miscarriage!

So much for our skill in family planning.

Shortly after I realized I was with child—a scant 3 months post-wedding—I remember sitting on our bed, thinking deeply. I’m pregnant. Birth-control mistakes were made, but I can’t do anything about that. I HAVE to have this baby. No getting around it.

Once we adjusted to the idea, we got on quite well. I even taught my last horsemanship class for Wheaton College. The birthing was hard—two weeks late and six days of labor, but Eric Jon came forth the night before Mother’s day and has brought much joy into our lives.

The day I was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer was another such moment of truth. A death sentence, and I HAVE to go through it. I had two choices: rapid or less rapid. The less rapid is giving me more time to care for Jim and get my affairs in order, but the End is inevitable.

But what an End! As Eric brought joy, so being in the arms of the Lord will be JOY writ large. Dying does mean leaving a lot of friends and family behind, but think what heaven means—seeing even MORE friends and family—whole and alive in a world far more REAL than the one we currently live in.

Think of it this way: We started out in a dark, murky womb and were pushed—ready or not—into the world as we know it. Our next “birth,” however, will be GLORIOUS! The Best is yet to come.

“So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.”

Permission granted by artist Robert Berran

Each of us has an end date. Are you ready for yours? Please share your story, either below or

Two thirds unplanned!