Fifty years ago today, the course of our family history stepped onto a new and exciting path. Really, the journey toward this future began some time before June 10, 1962, but it is today that we remember and commemorate my grandfather, grandmother and the legacy that they left behind. Today is the anniversary of the church they started so many years ago.
It was scary. It was hard. It was beautiful and ugly and delicious all rolled together.
Lee and I have thought a lot about the legacy we want to leave to our children. Walking across the plains of Africa has shifted the course of that vision a bit, though, and once again we find ourselves reestablishing this idea of legacy. What are we doing now that will shape the futures of our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren?
We must not take lightly this responsibility we have to create a legacy for our kids. It’s daunting, really, to think that how we guide them doesn’t impact the short term. I don’t know if my grandparents realized the ultimate and forever impact they would have on future generations when they stepped onto the white sands of South Caicos in 1961 with their four young children. Did they know that fifty years later the Carribbean would still remember the family name?
Did they know that fifty years after that first dedication on June 10, 1962 there would be a service at Calvary Baptist Church to honor and remember their faithfulness and sacrifice?
Did they know that fifty years after leaving the United States their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would have traveled the world with the Gospel?
Did they understand the legacy they were creating by the faithful acting of leaving?
My grandfather did not get to see the long-term fruits of his labor. He died in 1973 at the age of 44. But his legacy did not end and it will not because his hands, his feet and his love continues to spread through the Carribbean and the world.
My grandfather wasn’t trying to be faithful to a future he would never see when he left with his family and established a lasting ministry in the Turks and Caicos islands and in the Bahamas. He was being faithful to the present he lived in and he took his family on the journey with him.
Is this how we create legacy? Is it as simple as being faithful to those things that stand before us – the messy, the beautiful, the ugly and the delicious? Is it living fully in the present that allows us to create a legacy for the future?
My grandparent’s journey wasn’t without trial or hardship and not every memory from those years is met with fondness and yearning. But the seed that was planted all those years ago continues to grow and I am so, so grateful and honored to be a part of that heritage – that legacy. I’m proud of my family and the legacy in which we all share.
Messy. Beautiful. Ugly and Delicious. It is our legacy and it continues to grow, not to our glory but to His.
All to His.
So what about you? What kind of legacy do you hope to leave for your children and the generations that follow?
*Three years ago this month, I had the privilege of traveling to the Caicos islands with my mom to see and feel the legacy that was left for us first hand. Here are a couple of the posts from that trip:
Sing it out with Nicole Nordeman’s Legacy…