When my firstborn left my nest for college, I pretty much panicked. Perhaps some of you have experienced similar feelings.
I wasn't worried about her academic preparedness nor her life skills nor even her maturity - her IQ and her wisdom have always exceeded her years and she's been doing her laundry since she was 9. So none of those reasons explained my panic.
Nor was grief over her absence - although I'll readily admit that it was intense. The response of "she's just down the road" was no comfort because it was farther than "just up the stairs" where she had been for 17 years!
No, my panic had less to do with my child and more to do with ME. My job was almost done - had I done it well enough? My role in her life was taking an irreversible turn - had I fulfilled my purpose successfully? What would she remember from all my lectures, uh lessons, and from our time together?
In other words, what would my legacy to her life be?
I pondered that for quite some time and have continued to contemplate what answer I would give. Of course I want my kids to remember making Chambers Christmas Jam every year and sliding down the stairs on sleeping bags and all the geysers from our trip to Yellowstone. And I fervently prayed they would NOT remember my times of impatience or overcorrection or failures. But the question persisted - how had I influenced them, what WOULD they remember from their years under my roof...what would my legacy be?
Legacy...defined by the dictionary as "something transmitted by ancestors or predecessors". So it's something first possessed by one in the present and then carried into the future to be possessed by another. Something my offspring can possess without my being present.
What is that going to be? And how can I affect what it will be?
I don't know that I have ever sufficiently answered that question but I do know that God met me in my panic. His Word gave me encouragement and motivation and over the next few posts, I'll share what He has laid on my heart about leaving a legacy.
My first nugget came in the second letter of the Apostle Peter, chapter 1, vs. 15. As I read this, I felt like Peter was having a panic moment similar to my own. He had already sent one letter out to his fellow Christ-followers and this was the second. In the first letter, he sought to encourage his brothers and sisters to persevere, to keep their faith in the midst of trials. He reminds them (and us) of the glorious riches of grace that are ours in Christ, of the sufficiency of the Gospel to equip us to live in victory, of the privilege to serve Christ by serving others.
Then he writes this second letter. He begins by reminding his readers of the divine power granted to us through Jesus. Power for everything we need for life and godliness through the magnificent promises of Christ.
Then, in a moment of sanctified panic, he writes that he will always be reminding them of this truth. If I didn't know better, I'd declare he was a MOM!! Let's take a look at his words...
12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder,14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things
That is my very heartbeat! Not only as a Mom, but for every life I get the privilege of influencing, I want to remind them - over and over and over again- of the power of the Gospel. Of the sufficiency of His promises to equip us to life victoriously. And of our privilege to live for Him by serving others. In the lives of all "my people", I want to stir up reminders of all these things as long as I am on this earth.
Over the next few posts, I will share some thoughts about some ways we all can "be diligent so that at any time after my departure, you may be able to call these things to mind". Some thoughts for us to consider as we ponder
WHAT WILL MY LEGACY BE?