Advance Directives.

One of my favorite Pixar movies is Wall-E. For those of you who have not seen this gem, I will give you my personal, plot summary of the movie, but know you are missing out on a creative story. Wall-E is about two robots that have specific directives: one is to reduce excess old things and the other is to find new life. They meet while attempting to accomplish their robot-goals and end up showing others that life is so much more than for what is often settled.

It is probably one of my favorites because the message is simple and I can identify with the main character, Wall-E. He is a hard worker, accident prone, slightly OCD, enjoys recycling, creative & resourceful, easily entertained, has awkward moments, and struggles putting words together. To top it all off…when I get nervous, sometimes I unintentionally begin doing “the robot”. Did I mention awkward? Anyhow, one of the scenes is when he first meets Eve, the other main character. Initially, she tries to blow him up out of fear but then simmers down and asks him what is his directive – for what was he created. He gathers up a bunch of trash, compacts it into a cube, spits it out, and murmurs “Tadaaaaa.” He then asks her what her directive is and you can tell she wants to share, but says its classified. He spends the rest of the movie desiring to know her and share in life together. Yes, I realize this is a cartoon, but it is a sweet picture of what we were created for – relationships.

Note: To help guide you in the rest of this post, I suggest you read my previous blog: The Binder.

In less than two weeks, I will be having a major surgery that I did not plan on. This sank in today while I was at my perioperative appointment. I got to spend an adequate amount of time reciting my exciting health history and hearing the nurse say a lot of words. I was given an entire swag bag full of things: medical body wash, a deep breathing mechanism, a pen, and a folder full of information.

During this session, there were two things that stuck out:

1. I couldn’t stop smiling.

I couldn’t stop smiling because smiling is my favorite. And because God kept whispering, “I’ve got this.” 

2. She asked me if I had an Advance Directive.

Advance Directive? Living Will Declaration? I haven’t really thought about either of these considering I am young and [relatively] healthy. And I really don’t want to think about these things because everything is going to be okay.

My defense mechanism of humor soon wiggled its way in as I heard Wall-E say, “Directive?” and “Tadaaaa.” I quickly came to rest in the fact that I cannot control what is going to happen, just my response to what is going on. Respond well. Respond wisely. Respond in love.

For me, responding was being authentic: funny moments intertwined with transparency.

Initially, the nurse didn’t find me entertaining, but I wore her down. Not only did my jokes soften things up, but I opened the door of vulnerability. She asked me questions about what I see at work, how I cope with loss, who will take care of me post-surgery, and how I am really doing. After opening up, I believe I went from “young woman who doesn’t want kids and is too nonchalant about this” to “young woman who is trusting in the Lord and is able to laugh because she’s surrendered this”. Although I used quotes, don’t quote me on that.

I may not have a formal Advance Directive, but my directive as a Christian is to love God and love others. My response to God’s love should be to love God and love others w-e-l-l. With all I have. Every day. Unconditionally. If all of us were to love God and others well, wouldn’t we end up showing others that life is so much more than for what is often settled? Love is so much more powerful than hate, hurt, and hopelessness. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand how Love conquers all and that Love transforms. How I respond to people, circumstances, and the unknown portrays how well I am loving (or not loving) God and others. So how well am I loving? How well am I letting people love me?

I am desiring and trying to live a life of freedom, boldness, and surrender through vulnerability. The blessing and reward of opening up about what is going on has taken me by surprise. I thought sharing about this trying season would possibly encourage others, point to the Lord’s faithfulness, and cross off ‘Be vulnerable’ from my to do list. Instead, I am continually amazed and humbled by all the people surrounding me. Not a day goes by without a text, piece of snail mail, email/message, phone call, or gift from a loved one. Like whoaw. I am normally a pretty private person but I have seen the power of openness and vulnerability overtake my fear of being known. From the bottom of my heart – thank you. Thank you for reading, sharing, praying, and taking the time to walk with me.

Let’s be intentional to love others well. To live life well. To be bold. To spur one another on to accomplish our directives.To glorify God in our responses.

God has been and continues to be faithful. He has showered me with encouragement and support. My response is this: Praise Him always + how can I support & pray for you?

Vulnerability > classified.

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