The word legacy is so overused in our culture today. I think it is because we want our contribution to life to make a difference so we are remembered long after we are gone. As a believer in Christ should that be my goal? If to live is Christ and to die is gain – because I get to go be with the Lord Himself – then why do I have to be remembered for anything I do? Isn’t my motivation for living suppose to be about bringing HIM glory and not myself? I understand that the overflow of that will mean others remember my life lived for the Lord and the affect it has had on others’ lives, but is that really about me or is it the Lord living in me, pouring through me, to draw others to Himself?
I struggle with dying to self. Being forgotten. Others seeing only Jesus in me. I want others to know who I am and what I have to offer, because that means my life had a point. I am here for a reason. I have value in being born and learning and growing. It flows from my wounding as a teen, but I felt it some before that – when I was a young girl, the middle kid, between the first girl and the first son. I saw life from a place of wanting to prove I wasn’t invisible, that I was as smart as the others, that I could contribute something beautiful to the world. Then I got saved and discovered others saw that as a weakness to living a life of contribution and purpose. How could really smart people believe in a God who was not visible, claiming a risen Savior from 2000 years ago as proof of being able to know God, be forgiven, live for eternity? And yet the proof was overwhelming to my heart and mind. Jesus was real. I now belonged to Him. He made me special, gave me belonging, gave me a purpose, set my legacy in motion – through pain and heartache, joy and restoration, forgiveness and grace.
For the past few months I have explored all I have learned from birth to fifty years of age. Now I am fifty and the road lies before me with the opportunity to grow in learning to make Jesus famous through the gospel applied to my life and shared with others on a broken road. My wounded past and desires to be visible, worthy, useful, having purpose, contributing, have been transformed into wanting Jesus to be center, letting Him define my worth, shaping my contributions as I walk in obedience to Him. Living for Him, while waiting for His leading into the specific areas where He wishes to use me.
What will that look like? The bones of it are teaching the broken women who share a past similar to my own, helping them replace the lies of Satan and the flesh, with the Word of life and hope in Christ. Will that mean I make money or donate my skills in ministry? Yes. Both. There are places to minister where others cannot afford to pay and yet desperately need what the Lord wants me to share with them. There are places to get paid where others can afford what is being offered to them – this is God’s provision for them and myself. It is not wrong to help others and expect payment for the value of what you offer, but it is also gracious to freely offer what the Lord has enabled me to discover. Neither devalue the substance of the offering given and received. Jesus uses it all for His glory. Nothing is wasted.
So legacy for me means surrendering what this will look like in every day life. Not having to know or dictate to God the substance and fleshing out over the bones He has set up for me. Trusting the days He made for me before one came to be. Believing my purpose and worth are in the working He does in me and through me to others. Knowing He knows what I need to serve Him well and continue the work He has given me to do. Seeing God rebuild Biblical foundations for other women so they can stand firmly on His truth, living confidently in Christ without fear.
What does legacy mean to you? What footprints has the Lord left in your life for you to follow Him? Seek His Word, offer your life, step out into obedience empowered and directed by the One who knew all your days before one came to be. You will not regret this because God is good, just, faithful, and true!