There’s an ache that just won’t go away. Time may help it fade, but nothing will erase it. Things have changed and will never return to the way it was before. Before sickness, before pain, before fighting, and before the sting of death.

Today was a day of goodbyes. A member of my family passed away last week. She was not of my blood, no. But she was most definitely family. I was privileged to call her my housemate for two years.

Jane. I will never forget this woman. A woman of noble character and loving compassion. A woman with tender touch and reserved wisdom. A truely godly woman. And after an evening of worship and tears, Father God called her to the sweet slumber that is his infinite presence.

She loved fiercly. My kids called her Gran Gran and she loved them like a Grandma. She rocked every one of them to sweet, peaceful sleep. Her mere presence exuded peace.
She has five Grandkids of her own that will miss her dearly- and countless others that her life touched. She spent her time as any other Grandma would dream of- taking care of her Grandchildren. The pride in her voice could not be missed when she spoke of them.
She raised three children, one of whom I call my Pastor. His life has impacted mine in ways that I cannot explain. For this woman, I am eternally grateful. Because she fulfilled her calling, she helped fulfill mine.
Without her life, her son would not be my pastor. Without my Pastor and his wife, I would never have moved to Tennessee. Without a move to Tennessee, I would not have met the man of my dreams. Without my Marriage, I would not have my wonderful children.

You never know how your life impacts others. I’m almost positive that Jane, were she here, would not take any credit for my family, job, or blessings I have on my life. Yet, her obedience to a faithful God made it all possible. Could God have used other methods, I’m sure he could- he’s God! But he chose Jane, a willing vessel, to put things into motion.
Gods callings are never short-sided or individually driven. Fulfilling my calling doesn’t just affect me, it sets into motion continual callings. Fulfilling my calling helps my children fulfill theirs, not only that, but it completes the callings of my ancestors. A humbling thought, yet no less true. In a society where individuals are encouraged to choose what’s “right” for you, to focus on yourself and how life can benefit you- God calls us higher. He calls us to be servants- to be the least- to love others – to give it all. Not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of others. For the benefit of the kingdom.

I pray when I take my last breath, my family will know, as Jane’s did, that my calling was fulfilled. I pray they know my body may be dead, but my spirit is finally truly alive in glory.

Jane, we will miss you deeply. Our hearts will ache. But not like those “who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14 NIV) I am forever grateful for your impact on my life. I will always consider you my family, my friend, and Gran Gran.

So, as Paul said- I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1 NIV) Because your calling, doesn’t just affect you.