Brittany Maynard’s Death Taught me a Life Lesson

creationswap the spirit by matt grueber

I am a Christian, and I felt led to write Brittany Maynard a letter before she made the final decision to end her own life. 

I ignored that leading.

I told myself her choice wasn’t my business, and that Brittany would make her own peace with God.  I reasoned that she probably would never have read the letter anyway.  After all, so many had already responded to her, and I believed I would have been just another voice lost in the crowd.

I also argued with myself that I really don’t even know her, and because of that I convinced myself to remain silent. 

But I know God, and because of the blood of Jesus He knows me.  And that is what He wanted me to share with her.  He wanted me to share that He is God–He is faithful to His own.  And that His grace is enough for anything we face in this life.

God wanted me to tell her that, but I can’t because she is gone.  And I am so sorry I wasn’t sensitive to that leading.

As I watched alongside the world as everything unfolded, I learned that we have something in common, Brittany and me. 

Brittany saw the prospects of a bleak future in her illness.  When she weighed the options, she decided that ending her life was the right decision.  She made that choice.

I made a choice too, based on how I thought things would go.  I withheld communicating with her because I played out all the possibilities in my mind.  Possibilities that I had no way of knowing whether or not they would come to fruition, because of one simple fact-I can’t see the future. 

And though Brittany probably thought she knew what was in store for her life, she really didn’t know exactly what her future held, either.

Just because all human thought, logic, and reasoning (and some experiences) pointed to an imminent and painful passing doesn’t mean that is what would have happened to her.  She could have just as easily died in a car accident or at the hand of numerous other causes.  And the prospect that something positive or even amazing could have happened was just as possible.  

That is where God and trusting Him comes in.

We don’t ever know how long we have to live or what is next.  The only security we really have lies right within the hand of God. 

As I look at this world, I know God is a Masterful Creator with a purpose for His creation.  I am thankful for His work in me, because there is no greater purpose for my life but to serve and follow Him.

Jesus secures our position as a redeemed and restored child of God.  When we stand bare before God with eternity on the other side, He is our bridge to God.  Jesus’ perfect life, death and resurrection was living and dying proof of the love that God has for His people.

That was the message that God ultimately wanted me to share with Brittany. 

I wasn’t going to tell her what to do, or what not to do for that matter.

I just wanted to tell her she could trust God to be in control of her life.  And I wanted her to know that He has proved He is trustworthy in my own life over and over.  Even in the hardest times.  Especially in those times.

But it’s too late.

My failure to write a letter to Brittany Maynard taught me to live and die without regret. 

I learned that I need to heed the Lord’s bidding because I may never get another chance to speak truth into the lives of those around me.  I may never get another chance to do something to honor God.  And no matter what logical or reasonable arguments I may pose to Him, I need to be tuned into His leading. 

While it is too little too late for me to write that letter to Brittany, it isn’t too late for you or for me to follow God’s lead right now.

What does God want you to do today?

Just do it.  Don’t hesitate.


A prayer for Brittany’s family and friends-


I pray for those who love Brittany.  I pray that Your strength will overtake her loved ones, and that You would guide them in ALL truth.  I ask that by Your goodness and grace that You would save her family as a people unto Yourself.  I pray that they would feel Your presence in Brittany’s absence.  Amen.

Photo credit:  Creation Swap, The Spirit, Matt Grueber


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