Friday, September 18, 2009

Lessons in Life and Death

Last night I attended one of the most impacting funeral services of my entire life. Over 1,000 people were in attendance for the funeral of a beautiful woman, Lori Dykstra. At 40 years of age, her battle with cancer was finally over with and the victory was hers as she is now with her Lord and Savior. She left behind a husband and four children, whose faith seems to be only stronger with her passing. Her life has truly made a difference!

This funeral service was more than just one of those times when you think to yourself, “What would others say about me at my funeral service?” It went beyond that. Instead of thinking about what others would say at your death, it prompted you to think about what others would say of your life. What are you doing now? What difference, what impact are you making in the lives of those around you and those you may not even know?

I guarantee you there were people in attendance last night who never personally knew her, but her impact was so far reaching. I am so thankful to have been one who did know her. We met many years ago in our Tuesday morning mom groups at church, Heart to Heart and Moms in Touch. What I most remember about her is in Moms in Touch, which is a group that meets to pray for their children and families. I remember her prayers, how she was especially praying for a particular family member. Her prayers were sweet and I can still hear her soft-spoken voice uttering them.

As I was journaling this morning, I asked God that what He stirred up within me last night would cause the woman of God that He has called me to be to begin to rise to the very surface…that my life could be so impacting. I can only imagine the hundreds of others who feel the same. It was just one of those experiences in life that you couldn’t possibly be the same afterwards.

Of course, I realize that there are many reading this blog who may not have ever heard of Lori, who weren’t able to attend her funeral…but let me reassure you, there is much that can be learned without having that firsthand knowledge of her and the incredibly beautiful life that she led.

Think for a moment about what you are doing with your life. What kind of a wife are you? Could your husband stand before others, as her husband did, and share how she truly lived as the Proverbs 31 wife? Would your son or daughter be able to declare to the world that you truly are the greatest mother they could ever wish for?

There were moments in the service last night that I felt almost like I was being disciplined. There are areas in my life that God was showing me needed some work. For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines… (Hebrews 12:6). He loves me enough to point out those areas. What areas in your life has God been trying to get your attention with?

A song came into my head this morning as I was typing this blog. The lyrics are a testament to the life of Lori but should also be a testament to each and every one of our lives. It’s called The Blessing by John Waller:

Verse 1
Let it be said of us while we walked among the living
Let it be said of us by the ones we leave behind
Let it be said of us that we lived to be a blessing for life

Verse 2
And let it be said of us that we gave to reach the dying
Let it be said of us by the fruit we leave behind
Let it be said of us that our legacy is blessing for life

This day, You set life, You set death right before us
This day, every blessing and curse is a choice now
And we will choose to be a blessing for life

Verse 3
Let it be said of us that our hearts belong to Jesus
Let it be said of us that we spoke the words of life
Let is be said of us that our heritage is blessing for life

'Cause blessings and curses are choices
Will we build up, tear down? The moment of truth is now

For your kingdom, for our children
For the sake of every nation
For your kingdom, for our children
For the sake of every nation
We will choose to be a blessing for life

I am so thankful for how God used her life and death to make a difference in my life and in turn, a difference for eternity!

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