We Regret to Inform You

“We regret to inform you…” Not the line you want to read when you had high hopes. Maybe it was a college admissions office or a publisher or a response from a job interview. A letter beginning with those words is crushing. Those words register immediately. The butterflies fluttering in your stomach as you opened it are quickly replaced with a lead weight, squashing the hope you had held.

 I received one of those letters last week. It wasn’t a publisher, rejecting my latest bestseller, which would never happen. It was a rejection letter from an insurance company, rejecting my application for life insurance. I’m a 54-year-old, female, non-smoker, with a healthy heart. My weight isn’t bad, even if a little more than it should be (It’s really my lack of height that’s the problem). I should sail through the application process and be considered low-risk, resulting in low-cost, high-value life insurance. But that’s not how it went because I have an “undiagnosed, potentially life-threatening medical condition.”

Applying for life insurance was actually recommended by my doctor. To cover all potential outcomes, she also recommended long-term care insurance – and to apply before my test results make it into my records in August. But the red flags in my medical records resembled a Marine Corps parade.

I can’t say the rejection was a surprise. But I had hoped that my stellar heart tests would win the day. It’s that unknown thing. Let’s face it, most of us are a little skittish about the unknown. So, who can blame them? I’m a little concerned about those unknown results, too. I’ve read a lot, probably too much, about what the unknown results could hold. But, unlike the insurance company, I’m not stressing about it. In their defense, if they looked up the potential results, the first thing they found was that this disease speeds aging and death. Hence, no life insurance for me.

That’s OK. We don’t really need it. Considering I don’t contribute financially to our family now, nothing will change should I die. (Maybe I can get that bestseller done before I go.) I’m not being pessimistic. In fact, I don’t think the test results will show what they think. But I like to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I’ve learned many lessons from my illness over the past three years. One is that this illness cannot take my life. Wow, did I just go from Debbie Downer to Pollyanna? Not at all. I can say that because I believe in the sovereignty of God. I cannot die unless it is His time for me to die. Plain and simple.

He may use this illness to bring about my death, but it won’t happen until the day He has predetermined from before I was born. He holds all our days in His hands and has planned exactly how long our lives will be and what things we will accomplish. There is no such thing as an untimely death. There is no lost potential or things left undone. We have a certain amount of time, and when that time is fulfilled, we have accomplished everything planned for us. I can rest in Him, knowing that if I live a long life or if I die tomorrow, His plan is perfect for every day of my life. I also know he will sustain my family in every way: financially, emotionally, and spiritually. No amount of life insurance can offer that kind of peace.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in your book were written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. (Psalm 139:16 NASB)

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