WORDS // RACHEL MCHARGUE
My Grandma passed away this fall. In the immediate days after she went home, her house was in a frenzy of boxing up, giving away, and unearthing her lifetime of treasures.
Memories are clingy things. They’ll stick to objects, scents, or places, and they come unannounced and without invitation. It is strange how so much of a person can be felt, seen, and wrapped up in mere things. Sweet memories of moments shared together were stained all over the familiar coffee cups, the decorative trinkets, and the music boxes.
Before my Grandma passed, she gave me some beautiful pieces of jewelry, a mug that reminds me of her, and a blanket she knit. But when I think of my Grandma, it is not these objects that come to mind. When I think of my Grandma, I think of the beautiful legacy of faith and family that she left behind.
In our twenties, nothing is more irrelevant than the reality of forever.
While most of us are still struggling to figure out the next few days or months or years, let alone the rest of our lives, it feels terribly out of turn to think about anything further.
It is tempting to allow myself the comfort of focusing only on the things directly in front of me. I’d like to be consumed with decorating my new home, trying to finish college, and going on adventures with my new husband. But when I think of the incredible Legacy my Grandma left behind I can’t help but hope I leave something beautiful and important for others too.
It’s so hard not to get caught up in the ebb and flow of our lives and daily demands from work and friends. In our culture, there is an emphatic need to separate ourselves from the crowd. All comparison is encouraged until the details of our wardrobe, the followers on our Instagram account, and the social events we attend define our worth and value. But I really hope I leave more behind for the people I love than a popularity status.
My grandma left me a lot. Because of my Grandma, I know what it is to be wholly loved, encouraged, and believed in to the fullest extent. Those things are so much more valuable than what my Grandma would have given me if she were Instagram famous.
The truth is, the more willing we are to invest in relationships, the more impact we will make.
I’ve found that these thoughts of comparison and misplaced self-worth often only add more stress to this already foggy twenty-something stage of life. Now, in the midst of discovering what I want to do with the rest of my life, I also have to think about the impact I’m leaving behind me. I have come to discover that the only way to remove the anxiety and be as effective as possible is to daily come before the Lord. By daily seeking God and allowing his good and perfect self to recreate and remold me, I can not only face the uncertainties of my life with clearer confidence, but also leave an impact when I no longer have an earthly life to be uncertain about. We do not affect change on our own, but rather as God shapes us to be more like Him, we become His tool to pour out His love on those around us.
There was no conversation with my Grandma that didn’t start or end with Jesus. She studied His word every single day and prayed unceasingly. My Grandma relied wholeheartedly on the Lord for everything. And that is the key to leaving a legacy. If you want to have an impact, stop trying to live on your own accord and rely on the Lord to do His work in your heart and in your life.
In our twenties, we can become so consumed with the idea of ‘arriving’ at an expected point of success that we can neglect the more important things. Enjoy your life, work hard, be good at what you do, but don’t forget that every moment, every day, you are building something that impacts everyone you know. Please understand there is a vast difference between being someone that incites others to envy what you have and who you are, and being someone who encourages others to be better versions of themselves. Learn to leave the legacy God designed for you by daily relying on Him and trusting His purpose above your own.