Legacies and Epitaphs: Are You Living for the King?

Hey guys! It’s been over two weeks since I last posted… whoops. XD I’d like to say I’ve been extra busy and that so much has happened, but life has been pretty routine recently. I did, however, visit my first college! That was super exciting and I’ve never been so sick of high school, lol. It’s a Bible college about 20 minutes from my house, and I’m pretty sure that’s where I’m going to go, but I guess we’ll see what God says when the time comes (I can apply as soon as August 31). Yeet

Also, I turn 16 in a month, so that’s exciting. I have an appointment at the DMV to take the written permit test right on my birthday, and I spent almost the entire day yesterday reading through my state’s drivers manual and taking practice quizzes online. On one hand, I’m stoked that I’m so close to driving. On the other, I’m terrified of the reality that I will be DRIVING soon. Plus it’s winter and I live in the northern US, so that makes for great road conditions. XD

I’m also starting to think about SATs and how little I remember of algebra (I’m taking geometry this year). I’ve forgotten so much and it’s really sad. My mom and I keep joking that we’ll always remember this as the year that geometry broke me. πŸ˜‚ It’s great.

Anyway, all that to say that the next year or two will be bringing many choices, changes, and challenges.

Side story…it doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m trying to say, but it’s funny so I’m going to tell it anyway. In my journal entry that I wrote on my 15th birthday, I said that the next year was going to be filled with “change, challenges, and cheez-its.” I wanted to keep the alliteration but I couldn’t come up with anything else, and there’s an AFV video with a little girl saying “cheez-its” instead of Jesus, so I decided to just write cheez-its as a joke. Well, I volunteered at an American Red Cross warehouse every week last year, and it was often my job to help pack snack totes to be sent out for blood drives. They allowed volunteers to eat what snacks they wanted, I used to always take Fruit Snacks home with me. But when I got my braces in May, I decided it would be better for me to eat something other than the sticky Fruit Snacks, and I just so happened to start choosing cheez-its. I didn’t even think about it until I was eating a bowl of them while I was on vacation in October and I said something like “the Red Cross got me addicted to cheez-its.” All of a sudden it dawned on me that I had “prophesied” that I would have a year filled with cheez-its. I thought it was the weirdest thing ever. I always say I don’t believe in coincidences, but it was just so strange. πŸ˜† I guess God thought I needed a good laugh… He makes me laugh all the time and I love Him all the more for it. He’s just so good πŸ˜‚

But anyway, back to what I was saying…

I’m growing up and it’s time to start thinking about my career and what I want to do with my life, which I’m very excited about. But just like with driving, I’m also terrified about all the decisions that I’ll have to make–decisions that dictate the rest of my life. I only get one shot–this is not a test. God has given me one life, and it’s up to me how I live it.

My family and I have been watching a show on Netflix (I won’t say what show so I hopefully don’t spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen it). At the end of a season, the main character gets the news that her husband has died. I knew it was coming because I accidentally saw a trailer for the next season, but wow. It crushed me because he was just a great guy (though fictional). He left behind a wife and so many friends. It made me stop and think, who’s going to miss me when I die? Obviously my family, and I’m sure my church family and friends would come to my funeral and whatever. But really…who’s going to miss me? Am I living my life in such a way that people are deeply influenced by my words and actions? I’m not saying that I want to be the glue that holds the world together or that civilization just can’t go on without me. But I do want to be missed and remembered in a good way.

When I think about all that God has for me in my future, I see books written by me. I see myself on a stage, preaching God’s Word (that’s a scary thought…). I see myself going to third world countries on missions trips and maybe even starting my own ministry. I see so many miracles and God moments. And that’s great. I’m excited. But then I look at my life now and see how ridiculous my dreams are. I don’t have the daring, outgoing personality that that kind of work requires. I’m quiet, insecure, and if you’ve listened to my impromptu CoCo’s Clips, then you know that I’m not a very eloquent speaker. But neither was Moses. I have a lot of learning and growing to do, but I have the King of the world as my Guide. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

I’ve been realizing that while God has great and mighty things in store for me, I won’t be able to do any of them if I don’t let Him shape me now. Just like in Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet On High Places, when the Chief Shepherd planted the seed of Love in Much-Afraid’s heart at the beginning of the journey so that it would sprout and be full grown by the time she made it to the High Places, God wants to start a work in me now so that I’m grown enough to do His work when the time comes. It’s a process, and we have to be faithful in the little things before God will give us more. My word for 2020 is priority because I want to make sure I’m focusing on the things that really matter in life. I want to make quiet time a priority. I want to make studying hard a priority. I want to make sure I’m dedicated to God’s Kingdom work and becoming who I’m meant to be day by day.

I don’t want to be remembered as just another best-selling author or just the founder of another ministry. I want to be remembered as a child of God who loved God with her whole heart and who shared that love of God with people. I pray that that’s your heart as well. God has started a good work in me and you, and He is faithful and just to complete it! But don’t get so caught up in the big dreams that you forget to make memories along the way. I want to be remembered for the little things just as much as, if not more than, the big things. If I could choose to be remembered by millions of people for a book I wrote or by one person for a godly, joyful smile, I would choose the latter. Jesus came solely to die on the cross, but He still did small things along the way.

Even though many big decisions and changes are on the horizon, I want to keep my eyes on the Son. I want to constantly remind myself of the Reason that I live. Not to make a name for myself, but to leave a legacy of a life well lived for the King. I want to share part of a journal entry I wrote recently that reflects a heart posture that I pray each and every one of God’s people would have:

“I can’t not think about life and death. Not where I’m going, because there’s no question about that. But what kind of legacy am I leaving? Would I be missed, or would everyone’s life go on as always? Of course, my family would miss me. I know that. But am I living my life in such a way that I’m needed? Am I working to make a difference, or am I living for myself? Could I suddenly disappear and nobody would notice? I sure hope not. I want to be honored at my funeral, not for honor’s sake, but to show that I lived my life well. I want to be remembered as a girl in love with God, a joy with a true servant’s heart, a lion chaser dedicated to her work. I want to be known as loving, determined, faithful, and hard-working. A vessel greatly used by God not because she was great, but because she willingly said yes to a great God. If I’m remembered as quiet, introverted, or awkward in social situations, then maybe that’s okay. We all have our quirks and flaws. But I would be devastated if I got to Heaven only to realize that people saw me as stuck-up, self-absorbed, rude, or lazy. Those are not attributes of God. I want to leave the legacy of a faithful follower of Christ who sang through the rain and knelt when it was too hard to stand. My legacy doesn’t have to be big and grand, but I want it to be something that inspires others and points them to Christ. I want all those who know me to know that I love them. That even in this callous heart of mine, there is still a soft tenderness to the things of God. A “good/beautiful spirit” as D and J said. A girl who “led with confidence” as B prayed. I don’t know what my epitaph is going to say, whether it be “wife” or “mother” or maybe just “friend.” But it had better say something like “Christ-follower” or “died for the One she lived for.” I want to be a good ambassador that others can find inspiration from. It starts one day at a time, sophomore (junior). Be faithful in the little things even when no one is watching. Your actions and accomplishments don’t matter so much as your heart. Let Him change your heart in the Secret Place and you just might change the world.

I share that with you not to make myself look like a great Christian. Believe me, I’m not. But I share that with you because I want you to live your life that way too. And it doesn’t matter if you’re younger or older than me…if you’re still alive and breathing, then God’s not done with you! You still have a purpose. You’re still needed on this earth to do whatever God has for you. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, but we can all choose to live for God right now. Please don’t waste whatever time you have left, but also please don’t buy the lie that your life is wasted.

I could keep talking and preach on and on about that, but I won’t. I’ll sign off, but before I do, I want to leave you with a song by Sidewalk Prophets called “Live Like That.” It’s a great song and I hope you have a few minutes to watch the video.

Thank you so, so much for reading; it means more to me than you know. May God bless y’all and may you live today with courage.

In Christ now and always,