Monday, September 1, 2014

Perfect timing.

Been a very thought-provoking past few days.

I went to a memorial service the other day. Not a "funeral," technically. I was still sad. It was still moving. People still cried.

My mother's friend, Ruth, passed away after such a brave battle with lung cancer. I met Ruth separately, when I was house-hunting. The house she was selling wasn't what I wanted, but I swear I almost bought it because she was so nice and inviting. I told mom about her, and then was surprised when I went to church one day and mom introduced me to her new friend, Ruth. Instant connection.

Ruth was a connector. She was lively, busy, friendly, and always wore a smile. She was the type of person that would email you with information on something she knew you were interested in--even if you hadn't told her. Last year, she said I would be perfect to do a segment on local TV. She was taking a course with a senior group in video production. I was kind of terrified, but did it to improve my public speaking and use it as a building block. I am so glad I did that because it made her happy. She didn't have to offer to promote me, my writing or my books, but she did because she cared so much about others. Helping others. Connecting others.

At Ruth's funeral, several thoughts came to mind. First, I always fear that life is too short and I'm not going to get to write my memoir on anxiety. What if I suddenly pass away? My purpose wouldn't be attained. God better put the right publisher in front of me ASAP or I won't achieve my life's purpose. (I really do think that is to write my book, which is taking forever to complete not just in the time it takes to write, but in the time it takes for me to continue healing, and continue to write about that healing. And also to eloquently put into words trauma and show its truth as a positive.)

I realized that God's time is perfect. No one expected Ruth to pass quite when she did because she'd been doing so well. No one quite expected her to be put into Hospice so soon, but I tried to remember that this was God's timing. Not ours. It never makes sense to us. God's timing, though, is perfect. Who am I to doubt it?

I also thought about how people perceive me. Not in a shallow "OMG I hope they like me" kind of way. More of in a "I really hope I am having the positive impact on others that I so desperately want to give off." I haven't always been the kind of person I want to be...the person that I am now. I know that person isn't perfect, but I want that person to be someone who:
  • Inspires others to take negatives and turn them into positives
  • Shows compassion and helps others through their trials
  • Motivates others to go for their goals
  • Shows others that life's details matter
  • And if I'm good at all that, ultimately everyone will see that God is behind all of it, and they'll want to know Him.
I'm not going to be God-preachy here--that's totally not my style. I guess I just feel like funerals/deaths can teach us so much. I don't want Ruth's life--her legacy--to be forgotten. She reminded me about the kind of person I want to be, and to do my best to align that person with my actions and words.

That's no easy task. I'm emotional. I'm quite Italian! I have a short temper. I don't want people to remember me for that. I don't even want people to "remember me" when I'm gone, I just want to know that being here was purposeful. Maybe I can help others to develop a part of themselves, or do something, that they may not have done. I want them to be better for it. Not because I led them there or inspired them. But for their own self-worth.

I'm going to miss Ruth tremendously, as I know my mother will. They were activity buddies, and I'm so grateful for the time Ruth spent with my mother to show her that there's more to retirement than what's traditionally acceptable. You can serve. You can smile. You can impact others.

How we do that is up to us. But undoubtedly, it is all in God's time. We are enough. In our hopes and aspirations...and if those goals don't get accomplished, we have to have faith that God has us here for what He wants.

His timing is perfect.

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