My big kids and I sat in Jacob Worthey’s beautiful celebration of life last Saturday and the tears, they would not stop. My precious husband was concerned about how I would cope with all of the extra hormones my body is dealing with these days. Hormones are a crazy thing, as I’m discovering. Truthfully, as emotional as it was, it was such a blessing to be able to be there. Nothing makes you ponder life–and this one shot that we have at it–as much as sitting in a memorial service for a teenager who lived life big…and now lives it even bigger in heaven.
Our drive home was a sweet time of sharing hearts with my boys. How blessed we are with these guys! They seem to be growing up before our eyes. It’s hard to believe that Connor is halfway through tenth grade already. God has gifted them and given them abilities–both so different to each other. I love that! I love that they can use what He has placed in them for His glory.
But I long even more for them to get it.
To understand so deep down in their hearts that every day we are given is a gift from God.
Every day God gives us breath is an opportunity to be used by Him.
No matter what!
I drove home thinking about just how fragile life is. Anthony serves God as a hospice chaplain. One of the things he often shares with me are the regrets that people have as they reach the end of their lives. They wish they had done more, given more, mended broken relationships more, let the small stuff go more.
And those who are believers so often wish that they had had the courage to fulfill every dream God had placed on their hearts–the dreams that they had buried so deep down a long time ago, but never forgotten.
I sat listening to the stories friends and family shared about Jacob. What a sweet boy! His brother shared about the day that they met him in the orphanage. Their family had gone to meet their soon-to-be-adopted daughter. Another adoption after Naomi was nowhere on the radar. But there he was–making his presence known and bonding instantly with the boy who would later become his brother. The kid was tenacious! He knew what he wanted. He knew that he longed for a family of his own too. He had been overlooked for many years as adoptive parents had come to adopt other children and was now the oldest child remaining in the orphanage (the one who had to work in the nursery and change the diapers).
Jacob saw the family visiting his best friend, and he went for it. “Take me to America too,” he boldly asked them. With a dream in his heart, he stepped out and did something about it. Just like his namesake in the Bible who would not let the angel of the Lord go during a struggle until he received his blessing.
And you know, God met him there! He blessed Jacob with the most amazing family.
I wondered how many people sitting in that packed church had dreams and desires that they had put on the back burner. I wondered how many people needed the courage that Jacob had to believe that if they just stepped out, got in God’s face, and asked Him to part the waters…that ALL things were possible?
“You have not because you ask not.”
Jacob Worthey leaves behind the most amazing legacy at just fourteen years of age. Hundreds of people got to hear about how he came to know Jesus in such a special way. They heard his adoption story and how one older kid needed someone to take a chance on him.
He needed just one family to help him to fulfill his dream of knowing the love of an earthly family before God would ultimately take him to his heavenly home.
I don’t understand the ending. I probably won’t this side of heaven. And that’s okay.
As my family stands ready and willing to take the biggest leap of faith we have ever taken, I cannot help but think of Jacob today. I too want to be courageous and chase after the things that God has placed on my heart. I too don’t ever want to take the first NO as a reason to close the door and give up on a dream. Like Jacob, I want to fight courageously until Jesus takes me home.
We will never understand God’s bigger picture. And we’re not meant to. Of that I am certain. He only calls us to live…and trust…for today…no matter how the story ends.
I looked at the Worthey family last Saturday and I knew this one thing with all of my heart…
If they knew the outcome of Jacob’s story right from Day One–if they knew that God’s plans would be so vastly different to what they had hoped and prayed for–I know that their answer would still have been the same.
Because even in the hard things, the painful things, and the things that we wonder how we will ever get through…
“Yes, Lord” gives us all an opportunity to leave a legacy and let His glory shine brightly.
Just like Jacob.
Help us, Lord Jesus, to get it right.
Help us to spend this one life we are given well.