We were vastly different in personality, she and I.
I am introverted, studious, serious-minded, and a deep thinker. I struggle to be comfortable in what would be considered by many to be “normal” day-to-day life situations. I move slowly and methodically, taking in every detail. No grace here – more like slowly plodding through life.
In contrast, she did not just live life. She did not plod along daily. She fully experienced everything life offered her, and she did it with gusto. She danced. She danced through her life.
She had a tremendous people loving quality about her. She was at her highest level of enjoyment when surrounded by our large family or a group of her friends. She was completely at ease in settings that were a mixture of people she knew and people she would get to know. She had no misgivings or hesitation about smiling and introducing herself to strangers and striking up a conversation. All of this was completely natural for her. She was just herself, and she loved every minute of it.
She also loved having fun. Laughter sprinkled with silliness was a great pleasure. Laughter is an important part of living a quality life. She got that. I see that now.
Most importantly, she truly loved Jesus. She lived it – all the time. I was so blessed to have parents who taught me about Jesus with words, but more importantly, by example. The evidence of her commitment to serve Him included ministry to the sick, the shut ins, and the newcomers to the church. She and a friend went “visiting” every week for many years. She prepared and taught Bible study at church every Sunday. She honored God with her ministry, and I know that she made a significant impact on many lives.
She also was a woman of prayer, daily, continually. She prayed earnestly, and she was quick to let others know that she was praying, and what she was praying, for them.
My greatest regret after her leaving this earth to the arms of Jesus six years ago was that I never chose to uncover who she really was other than my wonderful Mom. I did not celebrate or fully appreciate the person she was until she was no longer living here. Of course I loved her, but because we were so different it was not always easy for us to relate to each other as adults. I never made the effort to get past that.
Fortunately because I have no doubt where she is, I can rest in the assurance God has given me that she is enjoying my progress to more closely resemble who He wants me to be, what He wants me to do, and how He wants me to live. I can learn, and I can grow, and she will know. She knows that I truly love her, not only as Mom, but as all she was in her individuality. She knows that I understand what she meant to so many people.
I look forward to seeing her when I arrive in Heaven. She will be the first person I see, there at the entrance. Because we will all have jobs in Heaven, and because she loves people so much, her job title is Greeter. She takes a newcomer by the hand and gives the grand tour, pointing out this and that, and making introductions along the way…and the grand tour culminates with the unfathomable face to face meeting with Jesus Himself. What a wonderful job for her…a job that fits her perfectly. After I give her the biggest hug ever, she will be my tour guide. What a glorious time we will have!!
She left behind a legacy that lives on in me. Even though we were so different in personality, I do carry a part of her identity. I want that to shine for God, and for her. I believe that is part of who I am becoming through what only can be described as God’s hard work in my life of late. I have a long way to go…and I thank God that He is very patient.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”