Lessons from Amy
Yesterday, most of us filed into church feeling a combination of disbelief and grief. One of our precious members had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly over the weekend. Sunday was the first time that we had the opportunity to join together as we tried to process the overwhelming news. Amy was such a lovely lady; a truly beloved member of our church. She was vibrant and talented, and was a member of our church choir. She was also a wife and a mother of a handsome young 16 yr. old son. Her face would beam every time she spoke of either of them.
Although I had only known Amy for a few years, we had developed a very special friendship. The two of us met for lunch on occasion, and discussed some pretty powerful topics. We didn’t always agree on all things; which made our friendship even more wonderful. Both of us realized that in spite of that, we had so much more common ground on which to stand. We shared in our faith, in our desire to serve others and in our ability to overcome differences to embrace a truly unique relationship.
In the time I spent with Amy, both at church at outside of church, I learned so much about living life to the fullest. I would like to take a moment to share some of those things with you:
- Live life with conviction. Barbara Boxer once said, “When you take a stand out of deep conviction, people know. They may not even agree, but they ask, ‘Do I want someone who is willing to take a hard stand and someone I can trust to do that when the chips are down?’ They want that. Amy definitely lived her life with conviction, and her drive to stand up for what she believed was a huge part of who she was.
- Love Jesus and follow His example. Jesus taught us to treat others as we wish to be treated. He taught us to love unconditionally. To minister to children and to others. To love our neighbors. To show kindness and compassion unconditionally. Amy tried her best to follow this example and to serve her fellow man.
- If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Amy was passionate about whatever endeavor she was involved in. I loved watching her commitment to excellence in choir practice. She didn’t just sing through the songs and leave it at that. She brought along an app on her IPad that allowed her to pick out her notes if necessary so that she could learn them more quickly. She often took her music home and practiced on her own. And she sang from her heart, which was as important as her beautiful voice.
- Open up your heart to the possibility that there is often more than one way to look at something. Even with her strong sense of conviction, Amy was willing to have dialogue and listen to other opinions. She was not easily swayed, as her beliefs were often a result of much education and experience, but she was willing to discuss things with people who may think differently.
- Encourage one another. When I heard the news about Amy, I quickly saved some of the messages that she and I had sent back and forth. She was such an encouragement to me as a friend, and my husband in his ministry. She always had a kind word and a smile, which will be greatly missed by us all.
The loss of Amy is a huge one, and will be felt by many of us for days and years to come. I cannot begin to imagine the overwhelming grief that her precious family is feeling, and my hope is that we can support and help them get through this the best way we know how. I will always treasure the time we spent together, and plan to keep the above list handy as a way to both honor and remember such a wonderful friend.