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Leaving a Legacy

Late last week, I learned that a dear friend of mine, Faye, had died. I had known for about six months that she was not well and there were signs that the prognosis wasn't good. It had been about nine years since I last saw Faye. I sent her some encouraging words over Facebook Messenger a couple months ago and remembered that a month or so prior to that she had sent out a message to her loved ones saying "Love you family of God, each one!". That was the last time I heard from Faye. I guess, when someone you love dies, you start thinking about their life and what they meant to you. And when someone like Faye dies, you start thinking about how the world will be different without her. 

Faye Thomas was known as Mama Faye to most people. She had the best smile and gave the best hugs... and she loved Jesus. In fact, that is the one thing she made sure you knew even if you knew nothing else about Faye - Jesus was her true love. She prayed about everything - her troubles, your troubles, her needs, your needs, her blessings, your blessings... she always took it straight to Jesus. She taught everyone she met that no matter what situation they found themselves in, Jesus loved them and she loved them. She had so many children that she invested her life and love in over the years - I am one of those children. No, I'm not related to Faye biologically - but she was a mother to me over the years in so many ways. 

Faye's door was always open. I spent so much time at her house over the years -eating her food, drinking endless cups of coffee and tea, listening to her tell me how God was working in her life and listening to her encourage me that God had a plan for my life. She poured her heart out - all the things she knew about God's faithfulness and his love for us, about his power in our lives. And she always showed up when you needed her. When I moved into a house by myself after a divorce, she and her sweet husband Doug helped me move in and brought what furniture and housewares they had to spare to help me get settled. When I was younger, she came and prayed with my family when we were going through some tough times. When I was in college, they came to visit me and would take me to dinner - a luxury at that time - sparing me from another cafeteria meal or bowl of instant grits in my dorm room. Whenever I had a need - spiritual, emotional, physical... Faye would pray me through - and usually with a great big hug and a cup of coffee or a meal to accompany that prayer. 

I attended her memorial service this past weekend and I cried the entire time. Not in sadness for Faye - I know she is with her true love now - there is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind - but because I don't know anyone like Faye. I have never met another person like Faye in my entire life, and that worries me a little, because I think she had it right and I wonder if I have it in me to be like her. And I know that she would say that it was all Jesus - and it was. Faye had her hard times in life too - and she wasn't afraid to talk about it either - but she had somehow come to a place of surrender in her faith. A place of abandon of all else but her desire to know Jesus and serve him everyday - a place of trusting that God would walk her through whatever she faced. 

At her service, her loving husband Doug made the pronouncement that it would bring Faye no greater joy and fulfillment than to know her legacy of love lived on through each one of us that she touched. Isn't it amazing to think that your life could have such an impact? That the moments you spend investing in others could cause a domino effect out into the universe? I know that each person that met Faye carried on some of Jesus's love into the world like seeds on the wind. One thing that will always remind me of her is a field of sunflowers. She was a sunflower in God's garden - bright as sunshine, bolder than most of the other flowers. And I love her. 


  1. Faye sounds like an incredible woman! I am glad that you had the chance to know her.
    That love she poured into you and so many others is a blessing to us all. You have what it takes to be like her, even if in a smaller way, because she showed you just how to do it!

    1. Thank you for saying that! Glad to share her story with others!


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