“ Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live… Then they can urge the younger women….” Titus 2:3-4
I lost my precious mother-in-law yesterday. This last year of caring for her has been the most challenging season I have ever faced. Strangely, when I saw that she had breathed her last, none of that came to mind. Immediately my mind filled with memories of a life well-lived, one that I want to imitate. Kindness, generosity, grace, unconditional love, strength, and hospitality are only a few of the rays of light that emanated from this tiny woman. Having survived the burial of two of her children and a husband, she would tell anyone that her resilience and strength came only from God. The day I married her son, she said she had not gained a daughter-in-law, but a daughter, and she treated me that way till her dying day. If I ever get a daughter-in-law, I hope to pass on that sentiment.
I want to live and leave a legacy like hers. When family and friends gather in a few days to say goodbye, I want all that will be said of her to be said of me when my time comes. I have a lot to live up to, and I know that it will only happen if I rely on the same Power Source that she did. By the world’s standards, her life was not extraordinary. She was neither wealthy nor highly educated, but her generous spirit and uncanny ability to make so many people feel so loved is iconic.
I am struck most by the fact that she did so much with so little. This is the encouragement I want to pass on to you, My Friend. You already have what it takes to shine, to leave a legacy, and to make an impact on those around you. You already possess gifts that you may not think amount to much but mean the world to those around you. Our precious Mimi loved people through her stove. Each Sunday, any and everyone had a standing invitation to come by for a meal and to drink in all the magic that happens when people get together. Her voice rang with chords of kindness so that even when she had to rebuke you, her gentle love took the sting out of it. The fullness of her love makes the loss that much more painful, but we would not change any of it. You and I can have that said of us too. The secret is to let God use us in any way He desires. We often put too much muscle and shine on being a legacy when the real impact comes through the mighty hand of God working through a willing vessel. Let us not try so hard to be what we are not but allow the wind of the Spirit of God to blow us in any direction He pleases. It is the surest way to become a legend; the best guarantee of a life well-lived and to receive the high prize of hearing the Lord say, “Well done!”