As I sat in sunday school one day, my teacher told us a story of a young woman who left a legacy behind…and asked us a question. What will you leave behind? What will people say at your funeral? What will your legacy be?
A legacy is something we leave behind to the next generation. It can be possessions. It can be principles that we exhibited in our lives that carry on. It can be people who’s lives we’ve affected.
At the time, I was 36. I was a cancer survivor, I was going through a divorce and I was mother to my lovely 2 year old daughter. I took this question internally and pondered. I thought…well…people will say I was a good mother, I was funny, kind, strong, etc. But somehow, sitting there, I felt this overwhelming need to do more. I wanted to leave a legacy. I had been intentional about being a good mother for my daughter and leading her (yes…even at her young age of 2 this was already important) but now I felt the overwhelming urge to impact the world. But what could “I” do for the world? Who was I? What skill did I have? I was just a girl who grew up on a farm, who works in a small business office, a mother, a regular average person. What did I have to offer the world? I have barely travelled off the east coast!
My prayer for “purpose” became strong. VERY strong. I knew the events of my life thus far were not by chance. I knew I had experienced very specific things for a higher purpose. The question that was once “Why” was now “How” and “What”. How am I to use my experiences to help other people. WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?
I took my sights off of helping the “world” to just reaching “one” person at a time. My motto became “If I can help just one person, it is worth it.”
I became very intentional about the way I was living my life. I quit doing activities that had no purpose. I quit hanging out with people who weren’t helping me grow, as a matter of fact, they were hindering my growth. I started to focus on people. Hurting people. My prayer was that God would make me sensitive to the things he wanted me to see and then direct my steps from there.
As a mother to a young child, my heart was already sensitive to the needs of my own child. But something was happening. I started serving in the church nursery and I was spending time with other young children and given the opportunity to really love on them and take care of them. I mean…it didn’t even bother me to change another child’s diaper! I wiped noses, I changed diapers, I got down to play, I wiped tears away, I looked into children’s eyes and gave them words of comfort and encouragement. I absolutely just wanted to comfort these children while they were away from their parents. Then, there came an opportunity to help a family in need. To help provide essentials that they needed for their young children.
What seemed to come out of nowhere, was a calling on my heart to start a charity to help babies in need. WHAT? GOD! I don’t know how to run a charity!!! I don’t know how to start a business! I’m a single mom…I don’t have time, I work full time already, I don’t have resources, I don’t…I don’t…I can’t…I can’t…. I started to cry. For the first time in my life, I felt an overwhelming call to do something and I was fighting it. Something inside of me said to JUMP. So I did out of pure faith that God was going to provide me the guidance along the way.
I started this charity out of nothing. I ran it out of my home. Every need that came in the door was essentially met. There are so many stories I could tell you which would blow your mind as to how God met every need. I poured my heart and soul into this charity and the peace in my heart was overwhelming. Even my young daughter became involved and I just praised God for allowing me to share this with her. Oh and how God provides! As I was helping my community and reaching babies in need, I was also learning a profound life changing lesson. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
The charity lived on for 2 years and during that time, we reached so many young children in need. Though I had to end it, God gave me a firm understanding that one day it would be revived again. I had to come to terms with the understanding that the lesson here was to JUMP when I was being called. I walked in faith and God has blessed my life so much in doing so. Not in a material way, but how it allowed me to learn and grow in my heart and soul because I was able to affect people’s lives simply by caring for and loving them.
Again, this is just one story of how the desire of creating a legacy changed me. I did not impact the “world” with this charity, but I started with the notion of just helping one person and ultimately helped a community of children. It started with the desire to help JUST ONE!
Years later…i’ve lived my life with just that intention. “If I can help just ONE!” Through Fitness Coaching, Motivational Speaking and now further building my dreams through It Works Global!…I am reaching and serving one person at a time. This is my life…this is my dream…this will be my LEGACY!
What legacy will you leave behind? How will you be remembered?
“We should so live and labor in our time that what came to us as seed may go to the next generation as blossom; and what came to us as blossom may go to them as fruit. This is what we mean by progress.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher, social reformer.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. ~John 15:16-17
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ I Peter 4:10
Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ~ Matthew 22:37-39