Are You An Influencer?

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With a cheerful “Good morning”, a gentleman held his hand out to shake mine with a big smile on his face.  “We’re so glad you’re here and so glad your son will now be part of our Elon family!”

We had received an email and invitation in the mail to come to the “Legacy Breakfast” before the Class of 2022 convocation took place under the huge, tall oak trees that shaded the couple of thousand chairs that sat under them on the oldest part of Elon’s campus.

Where did the time go?!  Our son, and oldest child, just moved to college – to Elon University – a few weeks ago.  Even though it’s a mile and a half from our house, our son is living on campus and he’s started a new chapter in his life.  Our family will never be the same.  And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing – it’s just going to be different.

But it was a little fun to receive the invitation to the Legacy Breakfast.  People who are former graduates of Elon College or University, who now have a son or daughter, or niece or nephew, or grandchild, beginning their start at Elon, were given special treatment.  Elon College is where I met my husband when I was his Orientation Leader when I was a sophomore and he was an incoming freshman.  It seemed like maybe just five years ago when I was a student there.  My husband and I are Elon’s class of 1996 and now our son the class of 2022!

Something I’ve enjoyed doing is helping older adults record their Life or Faith Story and the legacy they want to leave behind.  Reading their stories and looking at their photos brought comfort and joy to family members and were especially special to set out at the visitations from their passing and priceless Christmas gifts to grand and great-grandchildren.

By no means did I leave any kind of legacy at my alma mater and I’m not upset about it.  As each year has passed, I think a little more about what imprint I may have had on someone’s life, whether it be positive, negative or neutral.  And I know I’ve left plenty enough of the latter two.

Recently I stumbled across the book Only One Life: How A Woman’s Every Day Shapes An Eternal Legacy  by Jackie Green and Lauren Green McAfee, a mother and daughter.

Not always, but most often, it is the women who have a directional and influential role in the way a society goes, because they are the ones most often taking care of that society’s most valuable asset: the next generation.

In a similar way, there are certain cultural and societal impacts that we women are uniquely gifted by God to make.

They endow the Christian woman with an amazing power, not to mention an immense responsibility. Our unique roles and gifts provide us with the opportunity to be influencers

As a woman, whether you happen to be a mother, you have an irreplaceable role in our society.

God created women with unique gifts and traits, and we all have an important role in passing on our legacy of faith.

I like how the authors say that all of us are influencers.  If someone spoke about me after I’ve passed from this world, whatever I have done has not been me or my legacy.  It’s been Jesus, who is in me.  All Jesus!

I don’t want to be accolated for accomplishments I nay have made, because God should receive the credit and glory for the gifts and way He created me for Him to use me to help point others to His Son, Christ.

Have you heard Casting Crowns latest song, Only Jesus?  Click here to listen to it.  I want to live like the chorus says to live:

And I-I-I… I don’t want to leave a legacy
I don’t care if they remember me
Only Jesus
And I-I-I… I’ve only got one life to live
I’ll let every second point to Him
Only Jesus

At the same time though, the Bible is packed full of instructions about how we’re to live a life of faith and pass it along to future generations.  Here’s just one, but you can find more here.  https://www.openbible.info/topics/legacy

Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.  Deuteronomy 12:28 ESV

So, yes, let’s be influencers who live with faith in our Savior and give him the glory for what gifts us with the opportunities to spread His love with others in the unique way He created each of us with special talents and abilitiesAs the mother and daughter wrote:

Our hurting world needs godly women leaders now more than ever.

We can lead. We must lead.

Future generations will bless us if we press through our obstacles, fears, and insecurities to meet the sobering challenges our families and communities now face, and invest in others.

Let us leave a spiritual, faith-filled, influencing legacy to the people Abba puts in our lives where it’s all about Jesus and not about us!

Beth

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