Being Important

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By Jerri Kelley

As I write this, I glance over my computer screen to the hospice bed where my aunt lies. Her breathing is shallow; her lungs, worn out from a decade of fighting COPD. She is in the homestretch. I am here for her graduation.

I know what you are probably thinking. These devotionals are supposed to be uplifting and encouraging. Since when is a hospice vigil encouraging? Since there is no place I would rather be in this moment. Being asked by my family to come and be part of the letting go, is an honor to me. To be invited to step into such a vulnerable moment, to be trusted with all the emotions of grief and love and the beauty and hard of it all is sacred ground. I’ve been asked to step into it, and that is an honor of the most beautiful kind.

And I almost missed it.

Three days ago I lost it with God. You ever have those moments? The moments when the multiple jobs that you are perfect for don’t happen, don’t even call. The moments when the graduate school you totally have in the bag opens its arms with a resounding, “Welcome home!” only to say no to the exact classes you need. The moment when the opportunity to you’ve dreamed of and prayed for falls right into your lap only to vaporize before your very eyes. Have you ever had those moments?

Have you ever had moments when you mentally hit the wall and you think about the “desires of your heart” and wonder why you desire anything because none of it happens? You know. Those moments when you are rejoicing with everyone else’ dreams coming true while wondering why you bother to dream at all.

I had those moments. I had that moment when everyone else’ dreams and plans and hopes seemed so much more important than mine, and it wasn’t just my plans and dreams I felt weren’t important. I didn’t feel important either.

I mean, if I were important, wouldn’t God be opening the door for me to…do something I’m good at? Wouldn’t He be opening the door for me to use my gifts in some way that makes a difference?

I laid all that out before God from my pixel-view-of-life spot, and I heard Him say, “Maybe you are too important for that.”

Being honest? That didn’t help much. My heart still ached from some doors that had slammed shut, and my self-worth still stung from what looked like stamps of rejection.

Then the phone call came late in the night. “If Momma makes it through the night, we are taking her home tomorrow. Can you come?”

So I sit here on hallowed ground. The one invited to sit with my uncle who is losing the love of his life after nearly 50 years of learning each other to the point of seamless love that does for one another without word or thought. The one taking my coffee strong so others can take a much needed rest.

God didn’t give me the stuff that was important to me because He knew it was important for me to be here. Because of that, I get to be in this sacred place with these people I love.

And that is the encouragement I want to offer you.

When you look at the important things that aren’t happening, trust God happens to know how truly important you are.

A week later…

My aunt has passed on. I had the honor of sitting by my her bedside for twenty-four hours while my uncle and cousins had a chance to rest, sleep, and see their families. I could do that because God shut the door on a list of things I thought were important.

I know each of us has things we think are important. A book contract. An interview. A deadline. I know it is maddening when those things suddenly disappear before your very eyes. It is easy to wonder if God thinks you or your gifts are important. May I offer a different perspective? An omniscient, eternal perspective?

Perhaps it isn’t that God doesn’t think you are important. Perhaps He realizes your importance more than you do. Perhaps He knows where your presence, your words, your kindness are most important to other people who are important to Him. Perhaps He knows how and where YOU are most important.

God bless.


We all have goals and plans that are important to us, but when our important things don’t happen, we can trust God knows our real worth. @JerriKelley14 #ACFWBlogs #writetip #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet

Hi! I’m Jerri Kelley. I’m a writer, speaker, encourager, inspirer, and Jesus-lover. If you ever need a reminder of who you are or whose you are, I’m your girl. If you ever need to know you’re strong, you’re needed, you’re valuable, or you’re enough, I’ve got coffee. Let’s talk. 



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