Everyone is saying that she had such a strong impact on their life. There is one comment after another of how she had helped others, made them laugh, and encouraged them in their faith. Her presence was a powerful one; her personality lit up a room. She was joyful, creative, witty, kind, loving, and strong.
I am speaking of a beautiful sister in Christ who, just a couple weeks ago, was taken to be with the Lord.
Thinking about not just her death but her life, I am reminded of these things:
1. To take nothing and nobody for granted
2. To live boldly for Christ and sacrificially love others
3. To not get distracted by lesser things
Take nothing for granted
No day is promised. Crazy thought isn’t it? How would we live differently if we started viewing each day, everyone we know, and everything we have, as a gift. What if we stopped focusing so much on what we don’t have and living a life of thanksgiving for that which we do. How often do we think to appreciate the fact that we can walk, shower, eat, sit in the sun, be around the people we love, properly digest food, feel safe, etc. Living with this constant gratitude might sound exhausting and emotionally excessive (at least to some), but to not do so is to be robbed of the life that is truly life and to replace it with an incessant desire for that which can never satisfy.
To live boldly for Christ and sacrificially love others
Christ is our greatest reality. When our life on this earth is finished, it is our relationship with Him that remains…forever. He gave Himself for us, and that is what He desires us to do for Him; He is so worthy of our all. My prayer and desire is that we, as His people, would live boldly proclaiming Him in Word and in deed.
To love Him with our whole self and to love others is what Jesus desires of us. Often times we go desperately searching out His will for our lives and forget to do that which we absolutely KNOW He wants us to do. I very evidently saw this lived out in my friend, and I truly want to emulate it!
To not get distracted by lesser things
I am starting to realize that I get more distracted than I realized. I let my ‘to do’ list trump my ‘to be’ list. I want to be a light for Christ who encourages others in their walk with Him, but if I am not intentional about it, it becomes shadowed by a list of desired daily accomplishments. Don’t get me wrong, we can be a light for Jesus in the midst of all we do, but we need to be intentional about it!
If we pursued Christ as vigilantly as we do our desire for a perfect figure, our careers, our dreams, our pleasures, our perfect meal plan, becoming the best (fill in the blank), etc, imagine how much brighter our light would shine. Yes, we must do the day to day things that need to be done; yes, we should keep ourselves healthy, but may these things not become the dominant focal points of our lives.
When we are face to face with Jesus, we are not going to be wishing we had taken that trip to Paris we always wanted, or disappointed that we don’t look better in a bathing suit, or ashamed that we couldn’t do everything like it is on Pintrest. I would imagine we would be desperately wishing we had more crowns to throw at His feet. Oh my heart; that is my prayer! My sweet sisters in Christ, may we live passionately for Him!
I want the way I live my life to make the reality of Jesus, and who He is, more known to others.
I truly hope that I do not merely ponder these things briefly as I grieve my friend, but truly walk in them and see much fruit in so doing. I desire that not only for myself, but for everyone person that is a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ! I believe it is then that we will  shine as lights in this world (Philippians 2:15).
Thank you for being such a beautiful light Denise, we will miss you!

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