My heart was beating so hard as I walked into the small gathering of people having dinner at the lower level of the church. How could it not? This was the place where I was born spiritually, where Sunday after Sunday I attended with my whole family and learned to love God with all my heart, body and soul. This was the place where I learned what it meant to be deeply loved and highly favored by God. This was the place where people embraced me from the very beginning of my christian walk. This was the place which allowed me to serve in different roles and develop in areas I never knew I was passionate about. This was the place where people witnessed miracle after miracle in my life. This was the place where all the stories my mom told me about, became alive!
We totally surprise them! Everyone stopped eating to come and greet us by the door. It still feels like family! The first one to greet us was Edgar, he was a teenager when I met him and I remember him crying out to God asking for his family to learn about His ways. My mom was his prayer partner. Those prayers were answered. She was a prayer warrior. In fact, her prayers are still being answered in his family.
Wally and I planned our visit a few days before the end of the year and although we hoped for the opportunity to catch up with many of the people we left behind, the few that were there, greeted us with much love and joy when they saw us! The conversation during the dinner, after the dinner, during the service and after the service turned out to be a tribute to my mom! Every conversation, every special part and even the sermon served as platforms to speak about her impact and legacy left to the families of Arca. It was a very emotional moment for me!
To hear Pastor speak about having a clear vision for 2020. Or a 20/20 perfect vision of our purpose in life in the new year, was timely, refreshing and wonderful. However, this was not the most impressive thing that happened that night. The most impressive thing that happened that night was the fact that Ruben was the pastor. He was Edgar’s little brother when we were members and I could only imagine how happy my mom would have been to hear Ruben preach and know that many of the prayers, visits, counseling and all her energy and efforts given toward him, Ruben’s parents and the whole family would be paying off today.
We used to say that my mom’s crown was going to definitely be very heavy if counting the number of people she impacted spiritually. I read in a commentary that “The crown is reserved for those who care for, mentor, and help mature Christ’s spiritual children and into spiritual mothers and fathers” based on ! Thessalonians 2:19 by Dr Roger Barrier.
I imagine God sending a couple of angels to help my mom carry her heavy crown when she entered His throne. Her greatest joy lied in those whom she helped on the path to Christ. I myself symbolize a jewel on her crown. She taught me to live a live of significance and I’ll dedicate the rest of my life to honor her. She was, is and will always be my most precious treasure.
It’s no secret that I have a very active life! I love being involved in things that matter and make a difference in other people’s lives. I have a tight daily agenda, travel often and guard my family time as much as possible. My mentor, Dr John C Maxwell, often talks about how “great things take a long time” and how “everything worthwhile is uphill”. Our dreams, our hopes, our ambitions, our prayers, everything we want to accomplish in life will take lots of our energy, time and resources. Sometimes this gives people the impression that we are “too busy” to stay connected with them.
This doesn’t have to be a fact! I want to be intentional about staying close to those I care about and find ways to stay connected. My favorite way to do it is to send a message, leave a vm or send a picture that simply says “I’m thinking about you”. I can’t always meet with people and have a cup of coffee but there are so many ways to stay connected! My mom and I weren’t always close in proximity. We actually lived far from each other much of our lives. I left home (Durango, México) when I was 17 years old and have lived in Chicago ever since. She stayed back home with her husband and my younger siblings and started visiting Chicago years after I moved here. Back in the 80’s we didn’t have the advanced technology available to us as we do now. I now use FaceTime, texting, messenger, WhatsApp or Zoom calls among other things to stay connected. I became active in social media just in the recent years and LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even my daily devotionals make it easier to stay connected. My mom and I weren’t “friends” on any of these platforms however, we were both intentional to stay closely connected. We wrote each other letters, sent cards and mostly talked on the phone. We didn’t leave room to miss each other.
If you find yourself telling people “I miss you” it’s definitely a sign to reach out to them. Don’t wait for them to take the initiate, do it yourself. I do, maybe not as often as some of my friends and business acquaintances would like me to, but even when my effort to stay connected doesn’t seem appreciated because it’s once in a while, I still reach out because it gives me personal satisfaction. Whether I get a call back or not, I do my part. Try it! Reach out without expecting people to reach back, just do it! It will give you a sense of fulfillment and eventually those you’re meant to be close to, will also do their part and reach out. Stay close!