The other day Matt and I stopped by a local hospital. My baby brother, the one who works hard and plays hard, is finally (at 43 years old!) becoming a dad. His little guy is wanting to make an early entrance into this world so Matt and I went to visit. Because of the amazing knowledge of the medical staff—and even greater work of God’s perfect hand in forming this perfect child—baby Jaxon is going to stay put for a bit longer. Though if it were up to me, he would be joining us now and I’d already be teaching him fun things like jumping in mud puddles and eating ice cream for dinner. That day will come soon enough, I have no doubt!!

Later that day, we received a call that a dear, long-time friend was in the hospital. This woman and her husband are like a second set of parents to us. So Matt and I headed to the other side of town to visit and pray for Kathy. We sat with her daughter and hugged. We laughed and cried. We quickly learned that Kathy had a severe stroke and things weren’t looking too great. Once again, God and the medical staff were doing wonders with her.

That night, I lay in bed pondering two vastly different situations in two different hospitals. At one, we were waiting and praying that life wouldn’t enter too soon. At the other, we were waiting and praying that life wouldn’t leave us too soon.

Only God knows the date one enters this world and the date one departs.

What we decide is how we will live between these dates. We decide how we love. We decide how we spend our days. We decide what we’re willing to do to make an impact. To make a difference. A difference on earth and a difference in Heaven. Will we be bold in sharing our faith, drawing others to Him? What kind of legacy will we leave? Will we be faithful to pray for people? To stop right then and pray with one who needs it? Will we put another’s needs before our own?

Will we love like Jesus?

Because when we do, our life becomes about others—not about us.

Pastor Greg spoke about this very thing as he taught through Romans 12 on Sunday. He reminded us of how we are called to love. We mustn’t pretend to love others, we must really love them.  We’re called to be devoted to one another with genuine affection (Romans 12:9-10).

Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples” (John 13:35 NLT).  That means being there for each other, to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).

As I sit in this hospital room tonight with my sweet friend Kathy (so her husband can catch a few hours of sleep) I’m watching her rest. Worship music is playing softly, mixed in with the beeps of ICU. I’m reminded of all the ways that she has shown love. I know the impact she has made on my life and so many others. In the twenty-three plus years I’ve known Kathy, I’ve only known her to love.

And I think about little Jaxon. Soon enough, he will be joining our crazy family and I want to pour love into him. I want him to know his favorite Auntie Sarah as one who loves Jesus first, so of course she loves him too. I want him to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. I want to pour into his life by loving Jesus and loving him. And as soon as he’s old enough, we’ll have little Jesus conversations over ice cream. And we’ll stomp in some mud puddles, oh yes. Because that’s how this aunt loves.