God’s timing is perfect. What happened today was a beautiful expression of His love and will. There are times when God’s will is confusing, but we trust that a door shut is His love expressed in our lives. Today, I was able to witness the beauty of the Body of Christ, and His love poured out during a celebration of our Nana Reardon’s life. She went to be with the Lord on Good Friday. My husband and I, along with my oldest daughter, were asked to sing “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. During a sound check, I read my Bible for comfort. God directed me to this passage:
I Corinthians 13 (The Message)
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
In that moment, I was comforted in the loss of a loved one. True–we don’t see as clearly, and we are incomplete until the Day of completeness comes! Nana is on the other side–complete. Until that day, for us, we have three things to do to lead us toward the day we see Jesus face-to-face:
- Trust steadily in God
- Hope unswervingly
- Love extravagantly
Little did I know that later that day God would prepare me to live out these three things. A phone call, a conversation, a decision is made and you are set on a different course of action.
I will trust steadily in God.
I will hope unswervingly about my future.
I will love extravagantly.
God and I talked about the greatest of these. Anna, if the greatest of these is love, then when you are confused and hurt and find it difficult to trust My plan, and when the evidence of your circumstances doesn’t seem hopeful, I want you to love extravagantly, as I have loved you. Who is before you? What job is before you? What grievance or challenge seems insurmountable? If you will start with My love as your goal, you will learn to trust steadily and hope unswervingly.
Nana asked this to be read at her funeral: (She wrote this five years earlier)
The true joy of life is the journey. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us. “Relish the moment” is a good motto especially when coupled with Psalm 118: 24 ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today. So stop pacing the aisles of counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
Nana’s two grandchildren spoke at the funeral with such passion and love. They spoke of her legacy. Their memories were filled with baking cookies, trips, and Nana sitting on the sidelines at soccer games.
Nana was a successful woman in the business world. Not a single memory or conversation was about accomplishments, or her job. Every memory surrounded family gatherings, trips with friends, and next door neighbors showing up to remember when. Her love for her husband, daughter, grand children, great grand children, friends, and family was remembered.
Love extravagantly. The greatest of these is love.
Pastor Mark was deeply touched by the love displayed by the grand daughters. Through tears he conveyed that, in the end, how we love matters the most. How will your love be described? When you are carried by those loved ones to your graveside, your legacy to them will be your love.
My dad wrote a song called “Soul Train to Glory”. Jimmie Davis purchased the song and performed it on one of his albums. Nana Reardon and her late husband, Bill Reardon, were ushered out of the service by pall bearers to this song:
I will always remember this day, and God’s timing of a door shut in my personal life, but a spiritual awakening that opened the windows of my soul to embrace love no matter the outcome. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Nana for your legacy of love.
Relish the moment….
This IS the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
I choose love.
Written by Victoria
Sweet Nana was so wonderfully celebrated today. We will truly miss her this side of heaven but oh sweet joy knowing that she is with Jesus! ❤ This message was very clear as a legacy Nana wanted to share – life is about enjoying the journey, not waiting to get to a destination. This really spoke to me today. Am I enjoying this journey called life? Are you? Are we enjoy each moment? Imperfect moments? Joyous moments? Messy house? Laundry? The beautiful spring flowers? The sound of the soft rain? Are we embracing each moment with the ones we love and care about? Are we speaking kindness and loving extravagantly? ❤Sweet Nana, thank you for reminding us of this!
Written by Marie (Nana Reardon’s daughter)
I wanted to say thank you to everyone that was there today as we celebrated my Mom’s life. Listening and talking to folks…I remembered so many great memories and things she did and was a part of. It’s so easy to get mired down with what’s going on in our lives and dealing with her as she was preparing to leave us that I overlooked a lot of things to just be thankful for. So, take time to do some of what she wrote in her note that she left….enjoy the journey, eat some ice cream, laugh with folks, relax, and love your loved ones. The station will come soon enough. Thanks again for sharing this day with us.