Good morning all-
Yesterday, I went to a funeral of a 91 year old woman, she was the grandma of one of my co-workers. I have been to many funerals and this one by far touched my heart. No one in my family has lived past their 60's, so it was quite an honor to hear one woman's story of love and devotion through WWI all the way to 2013.
This woman did not have an easy life. She raised two young boys while her husband was at war. She couldn't pay the milkman so she put them in the closet and told them not to make a sound, that is until her oldest told him to go away because his mom couldn't pay him. We all laughed at that comment but what I realized is her funeral was going to be full of love, joy and a sense of what I want my life to end like.
She was a woman devout to Christ and to the men and women he brought to her. She cooked, told stories and was known as someone that would tell you her mind. They labeled her feisty. One of her dearest friends sat next to me and told me story after story of how much this woman meant to her and others. They had lost their husbands just a year apart and Lois's grandson, the man I work with, was born the same year as this precious ladies grandson was. There lives had intertwined so deep that she knew what her yard looked like, who mowed it and how much she loved her family. She was sad but I could tell she was glad her friend suffered no more.
There were many people at the funeral with sadness in their heart but also they had smiles on their faces because they knew that Heaven opened and welcomed in one of the great soldiers. She was a woman who believed that God was present, that He was her rock and that His love was her love. I admired her, even though I didn't know her. That's who I want to be at the end of my life, don't you?
I want to serve people and love them. I want to show my grandchildren and hopefully my great-grandchildren what it's like to be with Jesus. I want them to know what a legacy is and how you fulfill it. I want them to know that the blood of Jesus runs through my veins and theirs. I am a work-in-progress and I guess what comforts me is that she was too. Her heart and soul poured out to strangers, to family and to friends and if I have to live on this earth, that's what I want mine to do too.
I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that God orchestrates this life and we are given time to be perfected. I believe that our days are numbered and although we don't know the date that things will end, I do know that we have a mission to fulfill. Whether it's taking meals to someone that is poor or sick, or filling a money jar for a cause, we must take our passion which is the love of Christ, to His people. We aren't in control of the events that happen all around us but we are in control of loving Him and spreading love, not just at home but all around the world.
I have my faults and so did she but they didn't talk about her faults, they talked about the joy she had baking people cookies, introducing her grandchildren to fudge and her love that showed in the dedication of her boys as they sat by her side for weeks trying to figure out what was wrong. She was in a lot of pain when she died, so much so, that they had to up her pain medicine and force her into a drug induced coma. She had challenges just like we do but she faced them and knew where she would end up, right in Jesus's arms. That's what it's meant to leave a legacy. It's not the treasures we store here or the possessions we can amass; it's the love of one woman that showed on anyone that touched her life.
I hope this story brings gladness to your heart. It did to mine. I will remain thinking about it for days. And just for kicks, I'm taking her grandson peanut butter cups and fudge tomorrow. Why? Because at the end of her life, that's the memory he wrote on a piece of paper, to recant her love and devotion to him.
May today find you well and may God find favor on us as we turn toward Him. Be blessed today and make someone a memory that will last a lifetime! The following passage was read at her funeral and it is precious to me.
1 John 3:1-2 NIV:
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known, but we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
My prayer today:
O, Lord, God in Heaven, how we pray to You to make us woman like Lois. I want to be a woman that hears Your call and moves forward. I want to be a woman that loves her family and anyone that touches my life. I want to be a woman that at the end, You welcome with open arms and say, "Good job my servant." I know that I have my flaws. I flounder in certain circumstances; I worry way to much and I fear the unknown. You continue to work on me, perfecting me to the end and I cherish You for it. I know that my blood is Your blood. I know that I don't deserve You but You love me anyway. I know that at the end of my life there will be things I didn't do right but that's where forgiveness steps in. I love You Lord with all the fiber in my being. When I miss a day with You my spirit feels it. You are my rock and I need to be beside it every day. You ground me when the world could take over. You show me my faults and I repent. You lead me by still waters and provide peace where there isn't any to find and You love me unconditionally. For all that and more, Thank YOU! I pray that the family that lost their loved one this week will have many memories of her faithfulness to You. I pray that they will see her legacy and continue it for all time. I know that one woman's life can change a generation and I hope that this generation will continue her passion for You, her love for her family and the ability to love others as if they were her own. Thank You for a woman like Lois. Her funeral made me think of how I want to be in my last days on earth and it made me smile to know that souls are scattered all around the world just like her. Be with us today and help us see Your will for our lives. Be with us and bring people to us that need love! In Jesus name, AMEN