As my readership, you should know that I’m not someone who wears a lot of black. I know I know, black is the new black and it’s in and it’s slimming and classy and elegant. But half of my closet does not consist of black clothing–I probably own a handful of black pieces, if that. In all honesty, I tend to gravitate towards colors and neutrals and navy and pastels and anything that isn’t black. But today, I went to a memorial service… and that meant a lot of black.
I had the urge to sort through some of my thoughts tonight, and since my blog’s general direction is to write about whatever is on my heart, I’m going to do it here. Bear with me, because eloquence is not on my side tonight (in a way where I almost don’t want to blog about this) and so this will literally be an organization of my thoughts.
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say: “It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Today’s memorial service was probably the longest I’ve ever attended, because it was filled with person after person coming up to the microphone to share about how they’ve been impacted by the loved one whose life we were remembering. I cried early on (somehow, I always forget how emotional I am and never bring tissues to funerals or memorials or weddings), kept wiping away my tears throughout the two/nearly three hours, and wondered why I even bothered with the minimal makeup I put on my face because it clearly wasn’t a good pair with the crying, anyway. It was a really good service. Before we walked into church, I told my dad that memorial services are for the living and not the dead: a chance for closure, a chance to reflect, a chance to see the good in everything a person has been.
I’m always struck by the number of people the deceased has affected. It’s always so profound and so heartbreaking, watching those who are usually so composed become overwhelmed by emotion. And I’m always always left thinking that when I die, I hope that that many people have something good to say about me. Though our time together on this earth may be short (sometimes the short is further shortened), we are not afraid of death for the separation is brief and the reunion eternal. There are better things, better treasures, stored up for us in heaven.
So I will sing sing sing to my God, my King; for all else fades away. And I will love love love with this heart You’ve made, for You’ve been good always.
There’s a quote that defines how I try to live out my life, “The good you do may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.” Another one I’m particularly fond of is, “Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.” I’ve mentioned before how I like to surround myself with people who challenge me to be better, because an opportunity to be a better version of myself is one that I will always try to welcome. Over the past four years in high school I’ve learned the (sometimes tough) lesson of learning to love more. I also learned the lesson of fully trusting in His plan, and of patience. I’m still learning to love more, to trust, and to be patient; I don’t think I’ll ever stop needing to perfect these character traits. But I hope with all that is in me that I’m a better person today than I was four years ago. I hope that I’m a better person today than I was yesterday.
Soon and very soon, I will be with the One I love…there my soul will be satisfied, soon and very soon.
The late Maya Angelou once said, “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” If I don’t do anything else with my life, I pray that I will at least leave a legacy of love and kindness. Lord, let me be careful with my actions and edifying in my speech. Help me to be the best version of myself that I can be–someone that will leave an impression on others not because I made them feel horribly about themselves, but because I helped them see the worth in their being. People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, NASB)
Also, if you were wondering, 2 Timothy 4:7 says: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” May this always be said of you, when it’s time for you to go back Home.
image: the worship project; featured image: tumblr