2.06.2014

To leave a legacy, you must LIVE a legacy.

I recently enjoyed an afternoon at a park with a dear friend.  We are able to get together about once every three months, so these park dates are precious to us.  The children run and play while we literally sit in our chairs and talk non-stop for two hours straight, barely taking time to breathe.  There is just so much to cover!

I laughed when she pulled out her phone and clicked on her notepad because she did what I often do ... she brought NOTES about what she wanted to talk about!  (When you are apart for so long, it is hard to remember everything you want to discuss/share/ask, so taking notes along the way is a great way to make your time together purposeful and poignant.)  She started with number one, and we made it through her entire list before it was time to say goodbye for the next three months.

Our conversation was incredibly uplifting, encouraging, thought-provoking, and challenging.  But there was one thing she shared that stood out from everything else ... so much so that I came home and immediately wrote it down lest I forget.

We were discussing the way people (believers) respond to the Word of God in different circumstances.  Sadly, the Word is not always received with joy, comfort, appreciation, or even the way intended, by those who are either struggling, hurting, or sinning.  We shared our personal experiences and convictions, and found Scripture to support the sufficiency and efficacy of God's Word ... and it was then that she spoke the words that have been chasing me ever since.

She was describing a frustration she had with a particular author's views on Scripture/womanhood.  Emotion overtook reason for a few moments, and she e-mailed her brother, whom she respects and admires greatly, asking him for insight.  His response was a long, detailed and completely Scripture-supported response that instantly soothed all of her doubts and confusion.  And then she said this:  "Michelle, the thing I love most about my brother is that the Word of God is always on his lips."

Isn't that a beautiful way to describe someone?

Think of the countless other things that can be found on our lips on any given day ...

bitterness
anger
wrath
lies
discontentment
selfishness
pride
arrogance
complaints
jealousy
envy
self-loathing
gossip
slander
greed

These things are not beautiful at all, and the Lord tells us more than once in Scripture that we are to put all of them far away from us so we can be Spirit-filled instead.

I have written many epitaphs for myself over the years as I grow and mature in the Lord.  Every time He takes me through a trial, shows me more of who He is, puts examples of astoundingly godly people before me ... each of those things inspire me to pursue a better character.  A more godly character.  A character that is solid - faithful - and always desiring people to see the Lord instead of me.  Isn't that why we are still reading about people like Amy Carmichael, Charles Spurgeon, and Hudson Taylor 100 years after they lived?  It is not because they accomplished tasks or overcame obstacles in which no one else ever triumphed.  It is WHY they were able to accomplish those things that draws every generation back to their story.  Their unshakable faith.  Their unmovable conviction.  Their resilience to the lures and temptations of the world.  Their unswerving determination to surrender everything for the sake of the Gospel.  

We love and adore people whom we have never met because we know who they are ... we have evidence of God's work in their lives ... we have testimonies from those who knew them declaring that they truly lived what they believed ... and we see a part of God's character that we have never experienced in our own lives.  All because they were faithful to seek God first, delight in Him, and obey every marching order He sent their way.

I have no idea which epitaph from my "collection" my family will choose for me after the Lord calls me home, but what a wonderful testimony it would be to read:

Here lies Michelle Renee Eastman
Beloved Wife and Mother
"The Word of God was always on her lips."

The catch is ... to leave  a legacy, you must LIVE the legacy first.

Oh, Lord, may I fall in love with Your Word more and more every day, so that I can be a woman who is known for speaking Your truth instead of her own opinion.

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