I went to a beautiful memorial service on Sunday. For a beautiful woman. She was amazing. To me she was a sparkle, a glimpse of true beauty. I did not know her very well. What I did know I adored. I tell you what though. Nothing is more inspirational and God breathed than a woman who truly fears The Lord. Who fights a brain tumor for 12 years and does it well. While loving her husband, 4 children and 13 grandchildren well AND rejoicing. To hear the way they all spoke of her was so so so inspiring. It made me want to be JUST like her. For the first time I had pure, true, from The Lord motives. I want to be like her not because she was loved by many, beautiful, inspiring, had wonderful relationships etc... But because everyone who spoke of her spoke of God. Jimmy our pastor at the church Jeffery grew up at who spoke at the service challenged us to not forgot why Jeanne was who she was. Who was the master and maker of her beautiful soul. And why she was loved by many. It was because HE was flowing from her at all times.
There was another woman, Suzi, at the funeral. She was one of Jeanne's best friends. She is one of my best friends mother. She is beautiful, a Pastors wife, a woman who can walk into a room of strangers and know just what to say. She is funny, witty, a great public speaker. Another woman to be like. I adore her. I kept looking across the isle at her waiting for the flood to come. For her to weap. Instead she looked BEAUTIFUL, calm, composed. I was truly mesmorized, I felt a little creepy for staring sorry Suz. I felt like The Lord had me looking at her for a reason and He told me the word "pillar" she looked like a pillar. Her silhouette was beautiful and powerful. I wanted to be like that. Not because Suzi is Suzi (even though that is reason enough). But because I saw the Holy Spirit, and heard the spirit in her words as she spoke about her friend. Because she was and is a pillar and vessel, like her precious one Jeanne.
These women were and are "good" but The Lord makes them mesmorizing, fantastic and He has utilized them in my life in a way I will not soon forget. Jeanne seemed like a woman who did not waste a moment. I have caught myself so many times this week seeking while doing something thinking "what is this going to do for Him" instead of "for me" and what is this going to do for my children? My husband, my friend? How on earth am I being a vessel for them?" I stink at it truly I do, but I promise I'm working on it. I am aware of it. That's the first step right? I am so thankful this is just the beginning of our story. That I get so much more of a book after this life. One of Jeanne's sons posted the last bit of "the Last Battle" by C.S. Lewis on Facebook.
"And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all live happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the GREAT story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than before."
I am amazed that God has gifted me with the gift of a larger, greater story. Praying that my cover and title page can be as much of a vessel as Jeanne's and that I start thinking of being good not to just be good but to be useful...