While it's hard for me to linger on the memories of this day, I am challenged as I remember my dear friend and the beliefs that she actually lived out in her life. Anyone that knew her can vouch for me when I say that she was one of those people that reminded you of Jesus - Even if you didn't know Him, you knew there was something about her that was different, something counter-cultural, fresh and inviting. She overflowed with compassion and hospitality. She always looked for the outsiders, the ones with no one to talk to, and went there. She loved people in ways that have the world still talking after 10 years...
With Betsy, we learned her beliefs the opposite way - We saw her values, passions and convictions lived out in her daily life, and then we found the words behind her character after she passed away. I am challenged by her model of talking less and being more, of living our your beliefs in a way that no one needs to really ask you where you stand.
I hope her words challenge and inspire you as they continue to do for me.
Written by Betsy Smith, 2002
People are my passion.
I believe that people are my ministry. Working with the needs of people is my mission field. This must be my focus.
I am supposed to love them with God's love, not my own; when I get hurt by sharing that love, it is hurting God even more than it hurts me.
Working with people is draining, therefore I must rely on God and not myself. I cannot, absolutely cannot, help others without the wisdom and strength that God gives. Therefore God must be my first passion. When I am a failure and weak, it allows God to get bigger and Him to do more. God's power is made perfect in my weakness. II Corinthians 12:9. It will cost more to give more, but it will affect more.
I must give all.
My life should be a living sacrifice and a drink offering poured out to God. It cannot be me though because then it won't really be a ministry.
Expect to get hurt,because the more I love, the more I will get hurt, BUT it is better to love and get hurt than never love and never get hurt. This is the cross I must bear. I cannot keep God's love to myself. I must share it. Is God's love truly overflowing in my life?
I need to learn to forgive and let go, I cannot hold grudges, and be fulfilling God's calling for my life. There is no room for an attitude.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." To me, this means giving my life away, because it is not mine to keep. It means spreading God's love for others to them, because that is not something I can keep to myself. By doing this, I am gaining an indescribable blessing and fulfilment. It gives my own life purpose and meaning.
At the end of my rope, God's rope just begins, I must give my life away to truly find it. Always remember that I'm only working for an audience of one.