Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

If This Is the Last Time

*** Disclaimer: I have done a quick edit on the post below but I am pushing publish now knowing it is probably not perfect but it is hope filled. Today is my 51st birthday and writing this is my way of starting my new year off giving back. Closing out a year that seemed hopeless at times may this post be a reminder that hope is FULL!


This past week my oldest son, Jake, played a song for me, “If This Is the Last Time” by LANY. It is a wonderful work of art and well worth the listen. Make sure you grab some tissue before you push play. You can probably tell from the title the topic of the song. It is not a new theme, many others have sung a similar heart cry, Garth Brooks’, “If Tomorrow Never Comes”, Tim McGraw’s, “Live Like You Were Dying” and Brett Young’s, “In Case You Didn’t Know”, just to name a few. All of these songs remind us to say all the words, to do all the things, to be all we were made to be in this one short life we have been gifted with this side of Heaven. 2020 has been a unique year to reflect upon and it most definitely made me want to live the rest of my life looking for the gold in the past and present and sharing it every chance I get. If tomorrow never comes I do not want to regret withholding love or forgiveness; if I were to live like I were dying I would live and love wide open with no fear of rejection or offense and I would take every opportunity to lavish the world around me with encouragement and words of life just in case they didn’t know!

We document many of the “firsts” in life but we often miss the last; because we don’t know it’s the last until it’s too late. Please don’t quit reading here because you think I am about to go all sad and sappy on you. Although part of me totally could, that is not the spark in my soul that prompted this post. It is actually just the opposite. Today is my 51st birthday, the culmination of 2020 and my jubilee 50th year. Needless to say this year has been quite surprising to say the least. Worldwide pandemic, racial turmoil, political chaos, economic disaster, division, hatred and emotional, physical and spiritual trauma have left marks on us all. The list could go on and on but my wake up call this morning was the whisper, “if this is the last time…” and in light of that, I knew my last words would not recount the bad. My last words would remember and rehearse the best.

I couldn’t get out of bed fast enough to write down all that mattered most. Clearly this post will not contain it “all” but it will echo LANY in asking you to come close, and the apostle John when he closed out Revelation in the divinely inspired words,

“Come,” says the Holy Spirit and the Bride in divine duet. Let everyone who hears this duet join them in saying, “Come.” Let everyone gripped with spiritual thirst say, “Come.” And let everyone who craves the gift of living water come and drink it freely. “Is is my gift to you! Come.” (Revelation 22:17 TPT)

This post is an invitation, a declaration, and a wake up call for us all to mine the gold and look for the light. It is there!

If this is the last time…

I am choosing to speak in a hushed tone with a slow and peaceful pace, hopefully not to go unheard or lose your attention, but to pull you in, draw you close and captivate your heart. If you know me at all, you know my norm is louder and my pace is speedy but not today!

I love you! I just do. Not because of anything you ever did or didn’t do, just because you are you.

I forgive you for all the things and I ask your forgiveness too. I’ve been wrapped anew in grace and I pay it forward just for you.

In this year of isolation Jesus gave me revelation. Pandemic meant to kill and scatter shined the light on what really matters. Faith, family and friends lifted the despair. When we couldn’t come together we found creative ways to care. When division, hoarding and hatred grew, unity, giving and kindness did too.

Netflix, numbing and naysaying were numbers we watched rise. We also watched first-responders, compassion and creative solutions soar before our eyes.

Although wedding day disappointments were washed in many tears, we saw marriages still beginning after all these years.

Graduations and funerals may have drawn a thinner crowd but the celebration of life was still loud and proud.

Social distancing became the norm but babies were still made and born.

The stillness and the silence were deafening at times but the slower pace and quiet provided refuge for our minds.

Although the racial tension tugged and ripped at our hearts, it’s only in the light that true healing can start.

For those of us who lost loved ones this year, may we choose to grieve together and not be overcome by fear. May our memories bring us joy as they mingle with our tears.

Political debates that never seem to end lose their power over us when we don’t let them offend. Butting heads and biting back make us just like all the rest. Let’s take this opportunity to be different, to be our best.

Wearing masks and washing hands are the least that we can do, to help a world in crisis survive and make it through. When all we see are eyes looking mad or sad or scared, may we be the hopeful eyes saying, “I see you and I care.”

The Bride is getting ready, the Church is changing as she should. The gates of hell will not prevail as God’s people rise for good.

When I turned 50 exactly one year ago today, I asked God to do a work in my heart. I asked Him to completely clean it out. I asked Him to shine the light on every part and make it His. Little did I know how precious, painful and priceless it would be. I clung ever so tightly to the promise that Christ is the Author and finisher of my faith and the good work He began in me He would bring to completion. God never shows us things to condemn us or take us out. If He reveals things to us, convicting our hearts with His kindness and leading us to repentance, He is faithful and He will do the work. I am living proof. 50 is the year of jubilee, total freedom. This has definitely been a year of increased freedom. It is amazing how exciting it is to give extravagant grace to others when you get a fresh revelation of how much extravagant grace you yourself have needed and have been given.

I hope this post encourages you to look back over 2020 and sift out the gold. I pray this post prompts you to recognize your own need for grace and spurs you on to lavishly pay it forward. I believe this post will inspire you to consider how you may finish this sentence,

If this is the last time…

and I, for one, am coming close and praying for you as you bravely and boldly hold nothing back and write all the words, do all the things and be all you were made to be in this one short life you have been gifted with this side of Heaven.

Happy New Year 2021! Keep remembering and rehearsing all the best from the past. Be an active participant creating the best in the present and remain hopeful and expectant that, in Christ, the best is yet to come!

About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel Forgiven and Free Living a life that says: COME AND SEE!

9 Replies

  1. Jay Wilson

    Well said! Happy Birthday! Love you, Jay

  2. Katie T

    Katie, this is absolutely beautiful! And that song wrecked me! Your words have blessed my socks off as we wrap up the year and look with hope to the next one. Please keep writing! I love you and wish you a very Happy Birthday!!!

  3. Suzanne

    Katie, I’m determined to mine the gold – and yes, there has been some pure gold in 2020.
    Thanks to you my heart is full, praising God, and acknowledging the things in 2020 that only He could do in me. Thanking Him for the golden threads He has woven between you and me.
    Happy Glorious Birthday Bride!

  4. Kathy Troyanek

    You are one of my favorite Jesus treasures. I love you BIG. Happy Birthday!

  5. Anonymous

    What a beautiful cumulation to fifty full years around the sun. When I think of this tribute to a most difficult year and the birthday of you we celebrate today, my mind pictures deep, trench-filled caves lined with gold and priceless jewels…the deep trenches are extremely hard to reach , but they are there and they are in sight , and that the light, the rooting up and the navigational qualities of Christ has exposed them in this year! THEY ARE THERE, PRAISE GOD!

    It is my wish that you and I have many more years of cave exploring together, dear friend…

    And I sure love you!

    Melissa R.

  6. Anonymous

    Test reply

  7. Joni

    Happy Birthday, Katie! Love this so much!!!

  8. Rosemary Sherrod

    Beautifully written Katie! I’ve been sifting for gold all throughout 2020, and I have found much under my grief and even sadness at times… I’ve found more of Gods beautiful character/personality and His hand upholding me!! My gold is His beauty for my ashes. Love you and happy joyous birthday!!!

  9. GG

    I love you sweet girl! This is a beautiful outpouring of your heart. Thank you. I thank God for you!

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