There’s something introspective about participating in a memorial service. Especially when it is for someone who was so young.
Over the weekend, Hubs and I attended the memorial service for our friends’ daughter. We both teared up. We both laughed. And God spoke to my heart.
For only having lived twenty-one years, this young woman impacted many lives.
The pastor brought out some beautiful truths about living . . . and dying.
There’s something about a memorial service that causes us to reflect on our lives, our regrets, our joys.
Where we’re at now.
Where we’ve been.
Where we think we are going.
He talked about how no one would be talking about her bank account and how much was or wasn’t in it. We all know, when someone dies, their bank account isn’t an accurate reflection of the essence of who they are.
Instead, people shared about her character account.
She was joyful.
A lover of people.
And most of all, a lover of Jesus.
This young lady just living life as her impacted people. They were changed by having been in relationship with her.
I looked back on where I was at twenty-one years old. My heart, my mindset. What drove me. My friend’s daughter had traveled internationally on missions trips. She’d had fights with her friends. And learned how to forgive and be forgiven.
She had a bead on who she was when God took her home. She was a deep thinker.
I was insecure, having let life define who I thought I should be. I hadn’t traveled to far-away countries, in part because I only relied on me (rather than bringing God into the mix) to come up with the money. And in part because . . . well, none of my friends were doing this.
As the pastor shared about the impression this young lady left on the lives she touched, it challenged me.
What will people say at my memorial service? What kind of impression will I have left? Will I have reflected Jesus’ love—His joy—to those whose lives intersected with mine? Will they laugh at some goofy thing I did? Will they say that I loved well?
That’s my hope. I have more days to live solidly for Jesus. I do my best, but let’s face it. I’m flawed. I still give in to my insecurities. If we’re honest, I’d bet we all still have moments when we give into those flawed areas in our character that God is still refining.
God has given me moments here on earth to make an impact for Him. I want to love more fiercely. Be “all in the moment” when I talk with people, especially my husband and sons.
I want to be unflinchingly honest about what I believe about Jesus. I want to live with authenticity and not worry about what others will think about my choices. I want to lean harder on the Lord when the difficult seasons come.
And they always come.
I want to leave an imprint of love on people’s lives, so there is no doubt that I loved Jesus, and them.
To do this, I must not fear the trials God allows into my life. I need to wade into the uncomfortable waters of complete honesty without worrying what others will think about me.
And most of all, I need to walk through the difficult seasons with Jesus.
“Sunshine all the time makes a desert.” ~Arab Proverb
God allows the tears into our lives because that’s how we grow deeper. It’s in places of sorrow and mourning where we see Him and His love for us. We learn the deeper things when we mourn. And our lives become an oasis.
When I struggle, I don’t want to be afraid of the tears, but to embrace them. To know that I know that God is working in the deep places in my heart.
He walks with us through the hard seasons. And, when we lean into Him . . .
When we struggle with him about the things we don’t understand . . .
When we cry out to Him when things feel unfair . . .
When we get real with Him, He reveals more of His heart to us.
This is when we begin to have a more powerful, more authentic impact on others.
My friend’s daughter lived all the days planned out for her. Her impact will continue in the lives of those who knew her.
You and I still have moments where we can grow. God’s only given us so many days to walk this earth and to live a life of impact for Him.
At times, I have lived as less than all God created me to be. I’m thankful for the reminders He shared with me at the memorial service.
And I’m thankful for the second-chances (and third chances, and hundreds of chances) He offers us. I intend to take the days and live them out with intention.
What about you? How do you make an impact on the lives around you? When has someone’s life impacted you?
***I will be out of town today (Tuesday) but I will be catching up on commenting and visiting through the rest of the week.***
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I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, and Holley Gerth