There are a lot of women in my life that encourage and influence me and my faith. Some are online voices, those teachers in the general public like Jen Hatmaker, Ann Voskamp and Beth Moore. (To name a few.) Their voices are both gentle and profound, and they give me new insight. Their works are great.
Although their voices give me assistance as I live my life, they are not as impactful to me as the women I have known in real life. The first person that comes to mind is my great grandmother, Daisy. My earliest memories were of her picking me up and taking me to Vacation Bible School in her little church when I was no bigger than Bluebelle. As the years grew more difficult for me at home, she made certain that my brother and I were able to make it every summer. Her physical limitations did not slow her impact. She was a woman faithful to her faith, but she was not milquetoast. She is the mother of my grandma Polly, and if you know anything about Polly, you know she is a force of nature. Daisy was the same.
I was in college home for Christmas break when she passed away. My last memory of her was praying over her in the emergency room with my brother, and feeling unmistakable peace wash over us. She had suffered a stroke, and it was as though she remembered to not be afraid and that she knew her influence had carried on. I cannot express the significance of that moment.
She is one of several women in my life that have passed on her faith to me. These women are people I think about when I need a calming voice, and on-earth reminder that I can indeed survive this life.
I’ve been reading through the She Reads Truth study on 1 + 2 Timothy, and I have been moved by Paul’s acknowledgement of Timothy’s mother and grandmother. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (2 Tim 1:5) He later tells Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15) (Emphasis mine.)
In Acts 16, it is revealed that Timothy’s father was Greek and a non-believer. Timothy’s faith and diligence is credited to the influence and dedication of the women in his life.
You see, friends? Our influence is so much greater than we realize. It has the potential to be so great it can carry on for years (perhaps centuries) to come.
What kind of legacy am I creating for myself? What will our kids and grandkids remember about us when we are no longer on this earth? Am I a person now that people think of when they need a safe place? A person to talk to? Someone who will point them in a healthy and helpful direction?
I believe that by being faithful in my own life, to try hard to head in the right direction, is a good start.
What do you think it takes to become that kind of influence?