Saturday, June 15, 2013

From the Draft Pile: A Glimpse into a Multi-Generational Legacy

(Many times I stay up much later than my family, typing away on the keys of my laptop.  Words... I am a girl of words and I often have trouble sleeping until they all spill out across the screen.  Some days the words don't come as easily as others.  Some days I have trouble keeping up with my thoughts despite the fact that I type more than 70 wpm.  Not everything is published.  In fact, I'm embarrassed to say how many of my posts stay in draft form.  But I figured I'd start sharing some periodically...) 

Today I attended a funeral. I've unfortunately attended quite a few funerals in my day, but I'd never experienced a funeral like this.

This funeral was a celebration of a woman that left a legacy. As I sat by myself at the very back of the church, I was amazed to listen to others share stories of a woman that was so very special to many. We laughed, we cried, and we smiled as we heard stories of the past.

As I looked at the front of the church, I saw a family tree unfold as my eyes wandered down the pew. Her only son and his beloved wife. Their four children, two biological and two adopted, and their spouses. I thought of their sweet grand-children. And my mind traveled back to November 2009, when I had the immense pleasure of not only meeting but sharing a meal with four generations of this family.

You see, our first Thanksgiving here in Richmond, we did not go home and we had no family come to visit us. My friend, Nikki, heard that we would be alone for the holiday and she welcomed us into her home. Our family joined her family for the day. We were welcomed with open arms (and hugs and kisses!)

That Thanksgiving was amazingly peaceful! We talked, we told stories of God's work in our lives, we watched our children play. I got beat like I stole something in a game of Wii Mario Kart. We prayed together, we shared a meal and we wondered what the Lord had in store for us in the coming year. We chatted about the expected babies.. the baby in my womb and the baby girl they were waiting to be matched with. We talked adoption.

It was unlike any other holiday I'd had in my life. You see, I'm a first generation Christian. I had a troubled childhood and I have a strained relationship with my parents, to put it mildly. Most of my family can barely tolerate each other for a simple meal, much less a full day. In the past, my faith has been ridiculed by my family and mocked. Honestly, holidays usually give me great anxiety and they typically end in disappointment and tears once I retreat to the safety of my own home.

But for a day, I got to see what it would be like to have a generational legacy. I saw the fruit of a lifetime devoted to Christ.

I have to say that while the funeral I attended today was undoubtedly sad, it was very different than any other funeral I have been to. You see, the family's strong faith in Jesus Christ made it incredibly different. Mrs. Tucker devoted her life to the eternal things while she spent her 86 years on earth. She was a Christian in her walk and her talk. She loved Jesus and shared Him with others. She was gentle, kind, patient and joyful.

During the drive home, I silently wondered to myself if I was doing all I can to create a multi-generational legacy for my family. Am I doing everything I can to teach my children the ways of the Lord? Am I doing enough? Do my children hear my talk or do they see my walk? One day, will my family be able to say the same wonderful things about me? Will there be any doubt about my eternal location when I die?

Sometimes being a first generation Christian makes me feel like I'm floundering around. But I know that God will bless my efforts and that He sees my heart. I'm positive that He's put friends like this in my life to help guide me and hold me accountable.

Have you thought about what legacy you are leaving?  


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