Since Sunday night’s episode of “This is Us” there are a few things I can’t get off my mind. Regardless of whether or not you watch the show or like it, there are some valuable lessons that are presented in the story line. First, Jack is my favorite character, Randall is in second place. So, I expected myself to fall to pieces when Jack died in last week’s episode (which I did), but I also felt my emotions swing in an unexpected way. I began to connect with Rebecca, and to be honest, she’s probably my least favorite character. I don’t dislike her, and there’s no particular reason she’s my least favorite, I just like the others better. However, after Sunday nights dramatic and emotional episode, I had a few takeaways…
Jack – Just like in every other episode, Jack was an amazing father that sacrificed his own happiness and well-being for his family. Unfortunately, this time it cost him his life. He did have a choice and he chose his family. There are multiple times a day that we have to look out for the needs of our children above our own. It’s not always as significant as running through a burning building, but we do lay our life on the line for them because at the end of the day, we feel that their life is more precious than our own.
Just as Jack risked his own life to get his family to safety, every day I begged God to allow me to take Camp’s place when he was sick. I’ve never pleaded with God in such raw and helpless desperation as when we knew he was facing the end. There is nothing in my life that would have caused me to think twice if I had been offered the chance to take the pain and disease away. As a parent, you do whatever it takes. I wish I could have had the choice to sacrifice myself and allow Camp a full life. But in the same breath, I think about the joy I would be robbing him of if I had taken his place in heaven. I’m still living in this dirty sinful world suffering without him and he’s healed worshipping in the presence of Jesus. In the end, I was the one that lost out.
Randall – Out of the three children in the Pearson family, I most connect with Randall. I see so many of my personality traits in how he handles and reacts to stress and just his everyday life. I freak out, go overboard, talk too much, seem awkward and dive in head first to whatever task I’m doing. Many times, I lack self-confidence and I end up getting hurt and try to retract my words or actions, but I can’t. Just like Randall, I’m full of emotion, but when it starts to surface and come out, it can be in the most unusual and unexpected ways. Being strange and a little quirky is something I’m just trying to embrace because it doesn’t look like God is going to change that part of me any time soon.
Rebecca – Through this story line, Rebecca has lost her soul mate and love of her life. She is broken and feels lost…I get that feeling. I also connected with her on how she tried to protect her children and shield them from the same pain she was experiencing. She didn’t want them to have to hurt and grieve like she was…she wanted their life to remain as “normal” as possible. She wanted to surround them, cover them and protect them, but there’s only so much you can do. You want your children to be able to come through such a tragedy with only minor scars and still grow up to lead healthy and productive lives. I want that for Isabelle so badly…my adult mind can hardly wrap around our life, I can only imagine what her little 8 year old heart and mind must be feeling.
The biggest difference between Jack, Randall, Rebecca…any of them…and myself is the presence of and knowledge of Christ as a Savior. All of the heartache and pain caused when you lose someone will change your life regardless, but it’s the hope of Christ that allows us to continue through this life. Your parents, children, any person in your life is just as temporal as you are. We will not be here forever, all of us will be gone someday. So, if I put my hope and faith in someone else to bring me happiness and help to heal my broken heart, I will remain hopeless. The strongest Christian will eventually let you down, not necessarily because they mean to, it’s just our sin nature.
Having faith and trust in Jesus doesn’t shield you from life’s agonizing experiences, but it makes them livable. Rebecca didn’t talk to her children about seeing Jack in heaven one day and it made me sad to think about how many people feel that hopelessness of losing someone and never expecting to see them again. I can’t be everything Isabelle needs to make it through this life, but I can point her to the one that can. I’m thankful that, unlike Rebecca, I don’t have to carry the burden of being the one to shield and protect her from life’s heartache. It will come, but as she grows in her relationship with Jesus, He will lead her through life’s darkest roads, the ones that I will never be able to navigate for her.
*This is Me from the Greatest Showman is one of mine and Izzy’s favorite songs right now! Check it out, its amazing!*
My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one that this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.
I am the door. If anyone enters by ME, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.