I confess I have struggled since I heard the news early Monday morning. A longtime friend died unexpectedly. The news sent me into an emotional spin.
Beth wasn’t a bestie, but one of those friends that you know is always there. She was a visionary and a passionate mover-and-shaker in our church community. She was influential. She was a mentor. She was a disciple-maker. She was greatly loved. And she loved Jesus.
When I heard the news of her passing, I grieved for her family, the church staff, and those that loved her most. It stirred up fresh wounds of my own grief from the recent loss of my mother. Even more, it brought me face-to-face with my own discouragement: I am struggling in this new season of my life.
I cried out to the Lord asking why He would take someone who played such a significant role and had such passion and vision for where she wanted to take our community of women. Why did He take Beth? Why didn’t He take me instead?
I am just being transparent...but I have been floundering. Big time.
I am without purpose.
I can’t seem to get direction.
I have no vision.
I have no passion.
So, why take her, Lord? Why not me?
In my one-sided dialogue, as I hashed through my grief, clear thoughts began to emerge.
Why not me? Because my circle of influence is mine and mine alone. Every person within my sphere of influence is divinely appointed. I must be aware of my circle and love those within it as only I can.
Why not me? Because my purpose is mine and mine alone. God has a purpose and plan just for me. I can’t compare my purpose to someone else’s; mine is designed specifically for my personality to be used in my circle of influence. However, purposefully, I must seek the Lord, abide in Him, and rest in Him until He reveals what I need to be about.
Why not me? As a staff member, Beth often ministered to those within the church walls. Just as I did not have access to minister to those in her mission field, she did not have access to minister to those in my mission field. My mission field is outside the church walls. It is in my neighborhood. In my longtime relationships. In the places where I encounter strangers on a daily basis. It is uniquely mine.
Then I realized that somewhere along the way that discouragement, weariness - and grief - had caused me to lose perspective of my calling. When I lost perspective, I lost my passion and vision.
And then I knew the all encompassing answer to the “why not me?”
It is because I am the only one who can write my story of God’s goodness and faithfulness. And my story is still being written.
I can almost hear Beth saying, “Girl, what are you waiting for? Get about it!”
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was revealed to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. ~ 1 John 1:1-4