“We all die the goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.” (Chuck Palahniuk) We all experience grieving and loss in different ways, but have you stopped to think how people will grieve your loss? What impact are you leaving on the people you surround yourself with? Find your “why” and run with it. Be a game changer in this highly competitive world.
When we think about death, the things that come to our mind are heart-stopping, absent in flesh, gone, sadness, and many more. Webster’s definition of death states, “the action or fact of dying or being killed; the end of the life of a person or organism.” Recently our Facebook newsfeed has been flooded with the unexpected death of American Christian Author and blogger, Rachel Held Evans. Her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood was on the New York Times’ e-book nonfiction best-seller list; also Searching for Sunday made the New York Times’ paperback nonfiction best-seller list. She passed away May 4th at the young age of 37 leaving behind a young family.
Death is Not the End
Everyone deals with death differently. We all experience the five stages of grief at no particular time. There is not a textbook to teach us the correct way to grieve, simply because there is not a correct way. Furthermore, grief does not always sync with a person dying. We can also grieve over things that may not be a part of our lives anymore; possibly things that are absent from our lives but still living. Death is not the end. In John chapter 11:25-26 Jesus says,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”John 11:25-26
This scripture makes me think about Rachel Held Evans. Although, her body died and is absent from this earth, she is still very much alive. Rachel turned heads with her challenging questions and her “why’s”. She challenged people to think outside of the box, to love and accept everyone, to view all people as God sees us. The Reverend Nadia Bolz-Webber gave this benediction at Rachel’s funeral on June 1st:
“Blessed are they who doubt. Blessed are those who have nothing to offer. Blessed are the preschoolers who cut in line at communion. Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
“Blessed are those whom no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at middle-school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers. The closeted. The teens who have to figure out ways to hide the new cuts on their arms. Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
“Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like. Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried. Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else. Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.” Blessed are those who mourn.You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
“I imagine Jesus standing here blessing us because that is our Lord’s nature. This Jesus cried at his friend’s tomb, turned the other cheek, and forgave those who hung him on a cross. He was God’s Beatitude— God’s blessing to the weak in a world that admires only the strong.”
‘Jesus invites us into a story bigger than ourselves and our imaginations, yet we all get to tell that story with the scandalous particularity of this moment and this place. We are storytelling creatures because we are fashioned in the image of a storytelling God. May we never neglect that gift. May we never lose our love for telling the story. Amen.’”
Live Out Loud
Sisters, I don’t know if you have experienced death or absence in your life—if you have, allow death to be the beginning rather than the end. Continue to love ALL God’s children in the same way He loves us.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”John 13:34
Don’t be afraid to live your story out loud. No matter what your journey looks like, you have a story to tell, and I pray that you continue to live it. God’s grace is enough, and you are enough. Go and be the game changers, live your life so that when your presence on this earth is over your legacy will remain.
Read also: Will I ever be enough