I have often thought as heaven gets a little closer to me, what message about my life is being delivered to my children, grandchildren and my friends? Not that there is an approval rating to be searched for, but rather will they remember me for my faith or my follies which have been plentiful?
Last week while at Good Landing Recovery doing a session for men, I mentioned a story about one of the survivors of the tragic van accident and afterward one of the guys came up to speak to me. Turns out he was in prison with the husband of Kristie Whitfield who perished in that fire, and he recounted how her new found faith caused her husband to find his and how he had a spiritual impact on this guy who was speaking to me.
Kristie was one of the three that we baptized who died and she had sat with me to tell of her incredible story of pain and grief along with her struggle to put it all behind and stay sober. But her faith overshadowed her follies and long after her death she will be remembered for how God remade her life into a beautiful story. Too young and not intended to be memorialized so quickly, but yet an inspiration now to her peers.
What will ours be? What will they say when we are gone that is beyond the cliche words of how we will be missed or how wonderful and kind we were? Will they say we had an impact for Christ on others, will they say that God turned our messes into messages of hope? Not that we were heroic but will they say we were humble and generous?
We are all still processing the now 7 women's deaths, and each one we knew had a special impact on us that left behind a legacy of uncommon life change. So few who have been addicted make it beyond just a few days or weeks to sobriety, and even fewer have a change of faith.
In these next few weeks I will remind you of how uncommon they were!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.