A woman was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given three months to live. She asked her Pastor to come to her home to discuss her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at her funeral, and what scriptures she wanted read, and which outfit she wanted to be buried in. Then she said, “One more thing… I want to be buried with a fork in my hand.” The pastor was surprised.
The woman explained, “In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably say to everyone, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite time of the dinner, because I knew something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep dish apple pie – something wonderful. So, I want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and wonder, “What’s with the fork?” Then, I want you to tell them, “Keep your fork, because the best is yet to come.”
The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he bid the woman goodbye. He realized she had a better grasp of heaven than he did, and knew something better was coming. At the funeral, when people asked him why she was holding a fork, the pastor told them of the conversation he had with the woman before she died. He said he could not stop thinking about the fork, and knew they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.
I recently heard this story at church. The timing of this sermon could not have been better placed in my life. Seriously, God knows what he is doing.
Very soon here I will be making some pretty big transitions. Leaving a profession I have been in for nearly a decade, permanently signing on for a roommate (aka my husband who I have been in a long distance relationship on and off for 5 years), starting a new job that although I am really excited about it is way out of my comfort zone, and becoming a full time military base resident. With all that, I have been a little terrified of leaving all that I know here in Iowa. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to be with my husband again, but that is a lot of change to take in for a gal who loves her routines.
I was getting nervous about what the transition was going to look like and sad about having to leave the life I have created here. I have become comfortable with what I know. I still hadn’t fully announced that I had gotten new job and how quickly things were coming to an end. And since I wasn’t really saying it out loud to others meant I could just not admit it to myself too. Yay comfort zone and avoidance. But it’s funny how reality sneaks up on you. All these what-ifs and questions started popping up.
• I got a new job! Ekk I got a new job! oh no I got a new job….um I am not going to be a Hall Director..what?
• How do I start telling people I am leaving sooner than I thought?
• I need to have those change and transition conversations with my staff. How do I get them on board with change is good?
• What if Grace doesn’t do well in our new house?
• My department only has 5 people in it. How am I going to find friends?
• How do I learn about disability law for the new job? So many details! What have I gotten myself into?
• What if I don’t connect with the military wives/lifestyle/etc?
• How are we going to afford groceries?
• Does the area have a volleyball rec league? (major life issue I know…)
• What if, how, when—-mind exploding…nervous eruption…grrr…..
This story and the great sermon that followed really helped me derail my worry and doubt. It gave me a new perspective. I got back to the excitement and was ready to embrace the change again without hesitation.
I realize that these worries may seem trivial, but I feel that this story applies to all circumstances.
Having faith that things will get better doesn’t mean having a pie in the sky idealism. That kind of faith doesn’t pay the bills or deal with cancer. You can’t just wish things to happen and expect them to automatically appear. But having a “keep the fork” kind of faith to me means believing and hoping that the worst thing that you experience isn’t the last thing. We can’t change our circumstances, but I believe we aren’t going to be handed things we can’t handle. This faith says that even though life in the moment is difficult, God will see you through. And in the end something better is always coming.
We worry so much in this day and age. We have so much that we are waiting for to be fixed or are bitter that we can’t have something we feel we deserve. There are a lot of hopeless attitudes. We just need to accept that things may happen and be aware of our demise, but understand that this doesn’t mean that life is over now. We can always be working along our journey to enjoy it even in those dark moments. And dessert is always coming. And who doesn’t love a little cake, or cookie, or cheesecake, or other yummies in the tummies?
I hope that this story helps you to think about an area that you can “keep the fork” for and be presently surprised at how you can switch from hopelessness to hopeful.
“Keep Your Fork.
The best is yet to come.”
And in the eatery spirit, my craft tonight is something for our new kitchen. I have had the luxury of access to a dining hall for the last 3 years. This means, someone else has planned what I eat every day, and I have taken full advantage of that. Thank you ISU dining!
So it will be a big transition to have to cook/prepare meals every day. So in an effort to be more organized and be able to plan our budget along with it, this project was born. A menu board!
You will need a photo frame with enough spots for the days of the week, scrapbook paper, sticker letters, and a dry erase marker.
I was just going to use my Cricut to cut out the letters, but after 2 hours of it ripping cardstock, I went to Hobby Lobby to get the sticker letters. So that is another option for the letters if you can get your Cricut to cooperate. I did get the title done with the Cricut but the letters were larger so I think that is why they didn’t rip.
It also took me awhile to find 8 different pages of scrapbook paper that I felt didn’t clash with each other. I had tons of books to go through! Then you just cut it to size.
So here is what it looks like without the words.
And here is the final product with an idea of what a week would look like.
And here is Grace while I was messing with and despising the Cricut…totally not invested in the process.
I think this board will be good to keep us planning ahead especially with grocery shopping. So we’ll see!
Thanks, I needed this tonight. Hope I didn’t throw you under the bus too much last Wednesday. I’m excited that we will be neighbors ish though!
You were totally fine! I was going to tell them at the end of the meeting anyway, so you just expedited that process. And I am excited that I will know someone relatively close!