Celebrating Taylor

rula-sibai-pink-flowers-webI didn’t know Taylor, but I knew of her. I knew she was a beloved youth leader in our ministry, and I knew she was impacting lives.

On Monday I went to her funeral. I had heard Christians should attend funerals as a reminder that life is short, and I wanted to celebrate what I had been told was a life well lived.

I sat in the church parking lot for at least ten minutes, watching cars slowly fill the parking lot and people shuffle through the doors in pairs. I went inside and watched as some of the people who are near and dear to my heart grieve for someone who was near and dear to theirs. They hugged their other friends a little tighter, held them a little longer. I was on the outside looking in, learning what it means to life a life of influence as the people who loved Taylor most told her story.

I sat near the back, off to the right, as Taylor’s family and friends shared things I already knew—I had been hearing about her life for the last week as people filed in and out of the church office, talking about what had happened. I watched as, one after another, my pastors brought hope in the midst of their own grief—each had special memories of Taylor. They talked about her faithfulness, her joy, her meekness, and her impact.

Through them, Taylor’s life, though it ended when she was only 23, told a beautiful story much bigger than her own. A story of the hope she found in Jesus. It was evident in every memory shared, every tear shed.

One of the pastors said “her life was to glorify God,” and he quoted John 12:23–24—“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified . . . unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” I had been thinking about that all week. It was difficult to lose Taylor, especially for those who knew her best, yet God was getting so much glory. Despite the sadness of her passing, hundreds of people were hearing about her faith in Jesus.

I’m left wondering about my own life and praying that, when God calls me home, my life tells that same story—the story of a God who loves despite failures, who forgives despite unrepentance, who saves despite death.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, I have one question—why? What’s stopping you from living for Him?

Click here to learn more about the hope and purpose that comes from following Jesus. And if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. Email me at editionally (at) gmail (dot) com.