The Legacy You Leave

A few weeks ago, my co-worker, Zach lost his father Steve. I attended the funeral service along with many staff members from my office. I had never met Steve but assumed that he must be an amazing man seeing as his son was also a very thoughtful and caring man. As we visited with one another before the service, I was able to see how many things Steve had crafted with his own hands.  He enjoyed fishing and loved the outdoors too.

I sat in the church and watched as Steve’s family came in behind a coffin, one that looked like something Steve could have crafted himself. I remembered a time when I had to sit in the front seat at the funeral of a loved one and how numb I was to any feelings. As the pastor asked the children to come and speak about their father, each of them stood there confident about what they would say next.  I was surprised that Zach, his brother and his sister could confidently stand up before others at this emotional time and speak firmly about their faith in God, a faith shown to them by their parents. They also spoke about Steve’s faith and how in the last hours before his death he asked to see and speak with people from his past. As Steve began to lose his ability to speak, the family contacted one last friend.  Even though weak and near death, Steve was able to speak clearly to this last friend and what he said during that conversation astounded me. Steve shared the Gospel with his friend telling him about God’s love for all of us. Within the next 12 hours, Steve went home to be with God.

As the service progressed with a beautiful rendition of “In Christ Alone” on the organ, God reminded me that Steve’s legacy wasn’t about what kind of car he had, how big of house he had or what amount of money he had in the bank, but that his family and friends would know the love of Christ – and Christ alone.

Yesterday, many of you read a wonderfully written blog by my good friend, Dina Newsom.  Her mom, Linda went to Heaven on Sunday June 7th. As Dina shared her thoughts and feelings about the woman she had known all of her life, God began to show me a few connections. Dina didn’t mention anything about the house her mom and dad owned, the vacations they took or the car they drove. She wrote about what a wonderful human being her mom was and her faith in God.

After Steve’s funeral I knew that I would write about what an amazing man of God he seemed to be. Then, on May 31, 2015 our Pastor Keith Grimm shared his final message with our congregation as he is moving to another church in Minnesota. I took a few notes that day and again God hit me with something. Pastor Keith mentioned “Don’t worry about the legacy you will leave because in 200 years no one is going to remember who you were, but the legacy and relationship with God is all that will matter.”

Why do I worry myself with all of these earthly things such as what size my home is, if my kids are accepted on their sports teams and what people think of my hair or weight?  The only thing I should be worried about is my faith in God and how that legacy encourages my family in their faith. Don’t get me wrong, having clothes and a home is important, but isn’t God even MORE important?

My friends, I ask you this: What kind of legacy are you going to leave?

Thank you to Steve and Linda for shining God’s light so bright that people like me know the path to take. Linda, thank you for always smiling, even when you didn’t feel like it, for always being around your grandkids events, for hugging me and treating me like family and most of all for giving birth to one of the most loving women I know.

Lastly, when Pastor Keith ended his sermon in May he shared this verse from Colossians 3:23-24:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Leaving a new legacy,

Carey Oswald


2 thoughts on “The Legacy You Leave

  1. Thank you Carey. Very well written. My dad went home to Heaven in September and his faith legacy is what his grandkids talk about most. As my son Drew said, the best thing I can say about Grandpa is he helped me know Jesus better. Isn’t that how we want to be remembered? We will see him again😄. Take care. Brenda

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