What will be on your tombstone?

I have been blessed to participate in a small group for Bible study with my husband over the last couple of years. This past week, as often happens, our conversation ranged from actually following the study guide to topics that were weighing on people’s minds. We ended up in a discussion about our purpose and our focus in life, and ended (pun intended) with the question:

What would you want to have someone say about you at your funeral or be inscribed on your tombstone?

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Is there any better epitaph than “child of God”?

That is a question that can make you very uncomfortable as you try to consider how you would want to be known. What’s your legacy? What would you ideally like to represent your life when it comes to an end and Jesus calls you home? The discomfort of considering that question gave me pause, but led to a rich discussion. With permission from our group members, I wanted to list the sometimes deep, sometimes funny and often faith-full epitaphs they shared:

  • God loved me enough to bring me home.
  • Jesus walked her home.
  • She pointed to Christ.
  • Overcame and came out stronger in Christ.
  • He loved generously.
  • I win – I got there first!
  • We decided he is as smart as he thought he was.
  • After all these years he got it right – further proof that God is good.

Our study pointed us to what could have been Paul’s eulogy in 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Paul’s comments in this passage are so appropriate. In living a life that is surrendered to God and filled with HIS purpose, we know we might face fights…..a long race….and the need to persevere. None is easy to accomplish. And all during this time, we might be focused on sowing the seeds of God’s love with others, never knowing what the impact of our efforts might be. We won’t know until we get to heaven.

What this entire discussion reminded me is that I need to keep my eye on the ultimate prize – the end of my life and my homecoming with my Father. Being focused, surrendered to God and trusting in Him will help me reach that “epitaph” I might envision for myself. Because ultimately, our ending is our beginning.

In Christ,

Jen Clark

A personal note: My family knows that the photo of the tombstone above holds special meaning; it is the stone that marks my younger sister’s grave.  My parents chose the best message to epitomize her and the message of this devotion – she was a child of God.

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3 thoughts on “What will be on your tombstone?

  1. Ha, we’ve had many such conversations here too. I have a lot of “stuff” and when I sort often say, I’ll put it here “for now”. I’ve told my family that we could put that on my stone, “she lays here, “for now”.”…. Sadly though, I already have a headstone as my first husband died in 2000. We were blessed to have had a long conversation about dying, cemeteries, and headstones before his untimely and unexpected death. Because of that conversation, I knew that I wanted his headstone to be a monument of hope and not a monument to him. On the back of the stone is engraved Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with the sleeping disciples and the thorn bush (I’m sure you know the picture I’m describing). Along with that engraved image is the scripture “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage I have conquered the world.” John 16:33. It has indeed served as a monument of hope over the last 13 years as there has been much “trouble”, but we take courage in Christ.

  2. Pingback: Stepping into Surrender | Beautiful Savior, Beautiful Women

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