Her Last Night Was My Last Chance

It has been four months since my little lady left for heaven. I have not gone a single day without thinking about her. Oftentimes my mind replays the details of Peyton’s last day on earth. Just recently God reminded me of her last night on earth.

A minor ear infection had our little lady up in the middle of the night. I remember being awakened from a deep sleep by her pure voice crying through the monitor. Man, what I would give to hear my baby girl cry one more time. I stumbled out of bed and walked towards her room utilizing the “I’m barely awake zig-zig stagger.” Not much my wife and I did helped Peyton fall back to sleep. So, I stood next to her changing table and rocked her back and forth for what seemed to be an eternity. Everything feels longer when you are tired. It couldn’t have taken more than thirty minutes for Peyton to fall back asleep. Unbeknownst to me, this would be the last time I would ever rock my little girl to sleep. Her last night was my last chance.

Looking back, her being up in the middle of the night was more than an inconvenience. It was a blessing in disguise. It was a daddy’s last chance to love his girl. And I am so glad that I got out of bed for her. I am so thankful that sacrificing a little sleep gave me the blessing of holding my little girl tight as she rested peacefully in my arms. Her rhythmic breathing played like music in my ears. I will forever have this memory of this moment. Until we meet again in heaven, memories of her are now all I have.

I am thankful for that last chance

The truth is, you and I will never know when a last chance is upon us. We are rarely forewarned that we are face to face with our last opportunity to love someone selflessly. We take too many of these moments for granted because we assume so much about the future and what it holds. We should trust more in the One who holds the future.

I have no idea what a guarantee is anymore. Losing my daughter so unexpectedly has vividly reshaped how I see life. I know God is faithful and He will fulfill His promises. But even how He does that is a mystery only understood by His mind.

We need to change how we see inconveniences that demand a sacrifice from us. Instead of being put off by rude interruptions, we need to respond like they are blessings in disguise. Sacrifice done selflessly for others is a declaration of their worth. It is an affirmation of your faith in Christ. It is an opportunity afforded to us by the very hand of heaven to be Jesus with skin on. So the next time you are rudely interrupted by the needs of someone you love, pause. This might be the last chance you will ever have to love them.

When we live in the light of eternity, we clearly see what matters most. People matter. Love deserves to be given away liberally. A moment in time is merely a breath inhaled in, then exhaled out. Make the most of your moments. Because you never know what will happen after you exhale.

Thankful for the last night and looking towards the First Day,

~Dan Herod

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3 Comments on “Her Last Night Was My Last Chance”

  1. Nj says:

    What an awesome day that will be.

  2. Susan Hansen says:

    Thank you for sharing and I feel your pain and share your view of life. With Good Friday almost upon us –what we went through helps us understand to some degree what our Heavenly Father felt when He gave up His son to die for us. Just because we couldn’t obey Him and love one another. I am so thankful we will see our loved ones again and have an eternity with them –never to be parted again. Thank you —God.

  3. LMA says:

    Dan, we can only imagine the pain that you & your wife & Parents have all suffered! All the why’s& what if’s you’ve asked, guilt that is unfounded but natural to feel. I pray that God will give you peace in your hearts and your minds. No matter how many times we ask ourselves, ‘why did God let this happen?’, we won’t learn the answer until we face Him on Judgment Day. My prayer for all of you is that God continues to grant you the strength to get up every day & live your lives to the fullest. To be each other’s strength, love one another & be comforted by watching your little boy grow each day.


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