Last week was a really tough week…. two friends of mine passed away, both died of a massive heart attack. I found out on Monday evening that our friend Jim, had passed away earlier that day. He was only 50 years old. My husband had just seen him the evening before at church. I was just shocked by the news… blown away really. I was having a hard time thinking that we really wouldn’t be seeing him here on earth anymore. (Though I know we will meet again in heaven one day).
Jim was such a great guy. He was almost always smiling with such a big grin on his face. His personality was big, just like his grin. In our old Sunday school class, I could always count on a “crack” or joke to come out of his mouth. He had a quick sense of humor and it made him endearing to so many people who knew him. He was fun too, and I looked forward to seeing him at the class get-togethers. If you heard people laughing, you can pretty much bet Jim was right there in the midst of it. So many people have posted to his Facebook page on how he had touched their lives, and there were almost 600 people at his funeral.
Two days later, an urgent prayer request came across my Facebook page. My friend and fellow homeschooling mom had a heart incident and was fighting for her life at our local hospital. My hands shook as I read my mobile phone. Disbelief set in, that this could even be happening to her, now, two days after Jim went home to be with the Lord. I picked up the boys from their outside classes and I began praying for her throughout the day. I don’t think I could have checked Facebook or my messages more often than I did. I told my boys so they would know what was distracting their mama so much, and because they knew Christina and her two oldest daughters. The news was grim and the doctors were not optimistic. Christina was bleeding internally and they were not able to stop the bleeding. If she made it through the night the doctors would try to go back in and attempt to stop the flow of blood. Oh how we as a community of friends prayed that the internal bleeding would stop and that she would turn the corner toward healing. But God had other plans for our friend, and he took her to heaven with him that Wednesday evening. She left behind her husband of 17 years and her 5 daughters. I attended her memorial service and it was a tender, beautiful ceremony. It reminded me of her, so accepting and unassuming.
I have no idea why God chose to take these two friends to be with him in heaven. I really don’t. I may never understand this side of heaven. But I do know that God is God, and I am not. I know that he is good and loving, even when His plans are different than our own.
Both of these tragedies prompted me to examine my own life. Jim and Christina impacted so many people who they came into contact with. Each of them left a separate and unique legacy to those left behind. Jim in his great love and joy for life and for people. He loved the Lord and loved people, and it was so obvious to all. Christina loved the Lord and those around her as well, in the most accepting and unassuming way. Her love for her husband and girls was evident to all who knew her and her hearts desire was to raise her girls to be warriors for the Lord. I pray that one day from heaven, she sees that hearts desire fulfilled.
Both friends left a wonderful legacy….
To their family….
To their friends….
To their acquaintances….
Maybe even to strangers…..
What kind of legacy am I leaving for my children? To my friends? To my acquaintances?
What will I be remembered for?
Will it be a love for the Lord?
Will it be a joyful life?
Will it be that I took the time to listen….to care….to pray?
Will those things show that Christ lives in me?
Does His light shine through me?
I so want to leave a legacy that shouts….
This woman loved the Lord, her family, and people with everything she possessed!
Oh Lord, please help me to put aside my own “stuff” ……
…….so that I might leave that kind of legacy.
It’s heavy on my heart….