An Assemblage of Legacy - Taylor Annabell
Through her, I glimpsed a God who is full of joy
Facebook encourages us to think that we are at the centre of our own universe that we have created. Think about the language it uses: you create “my profile”, connect with “my friends”, and are asked “what is on your mind?” every time you open the app. In this context, all these connections and activities stem from me. This is true. But at the same time, every other user is also the central node in a network. Thus, Facebook is not just my personal network but a network of networks where no one person is at the centre but everyone exists joined to a unique set of connections.
Maybe we could think about legacy through this lens. On one level, legacy stems from an individual’s life and the way they invest, inspire and impart may impact the lives of other individuals. It ripples out from the one to the many. Yet on another level, legacy is complex and interconnected because of the way that our lives are also intertwined. You may impact me, which may affect those connected to me and so you build something that lasts way beyond you. Conversely, I can have an impact beyond just me through something that may change in you. This mutual exchange is communicated by Paul in Romans 1 as he expresses his desire for the church Rome to be strengthened spiritually and to visit them so “that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith”. In the message translation it reads “you have as much to give me as I do to you.” How incredibly beautiful is this picture of a community of influence; an assemblage of legacy. Viewing legacy in this interconnected, intertwined way allows me to take courage that I can be doing this now. I can live a legacy rather than just leave a legacy. I do not have to wait until I have lived a long life to appreciate that I have built something. I can be part of someone else’s legacy and others can be part of mine.
In what follows I have pieced together an assemblage of legacy in my life. Leaders who exemplify Hebrews 13 v 7 - who have spoken the word of God to me, and whose way of life and faith I have sought to imitate. Thank you for running your race and for choosing to share moments with me. The stories that follow of girls who I have journeyed with and may have had the opportunity to influence, these are also your ongoing legacy in my life. To the latter girls who I have had moments to serve and share with, it is the highlight of my life to participate in a segment of your journey.
An assemblage of legacy
She is kind and gentle, and every Friday we would talk about her favourite 2000s tv shows. She saw me. She noticed a quiet, uncertain girl who would stick tightly to her one church friend. She chose to talk about tough stuff and illustrated how to live a gracious and loving life in a season of singleness. Through her, I glimpsed a God who chases after the one and decided I wanted to be like her when I grew up.
She is the coolest person I knew and on Tuesdays, we would take part in the films she would make. She prayed with me that I would live for Jesus and encouraged me not to be satisfied with what I had experienced. Once she had this picture of a sun hidden behind the clouds and said that this could reflect the way God had so much ahead of me if I could push through. Through her, I glimpsed a God who is full of joy and she radically changed my perception of what being a Christian looked like.
She is easy going and takes everything in her stride even as we would go on wild tangents during group each week. She cared about the small stuff going on and gently forced me to talk about the big stuff - the death of my grandma, parents’ divorce, fear over my future career. She couldn’t help but be encouraging, and she saw things in me I could never ever have thought possible. Through her, I glimpsed a God of so much more and through her being herself, I felt I had permission to do the same.
She is sunshine and ever willing to drink cups of tea with me. She commits to making time to offer advice and wisdom, and bring a God perspective to any circumstance. She listens and cares, rejoices and mourns. She chooses to be vulnerable so that I might be inspired and for God’s glory to be evident in all situations. Through her, I glimpse a God of endless love who cares about all the details and can be confident that there will be beauty in the ashes.
She is 14 years old and sitting on the hill at a camp, she shares once hidden secrets. She chooses to bring her darkness into the light and we get to see her transform because of God’s love, goodness, and healing. I watch her blossom and flourish in God’s house, finding her home.
She is 14 years old and we meet over hot chocolate to talk about friends, family, and school. She is brave and listens when I suggest that God can do the impossible when we ask, even though I doubt in moments that change may occur. She chooses to make tough choices in her lifestyle, and I get to watch her grow in her faith, friendships and serve His church.
She is 15 years old and loves to make those around her smile. She is lovely and sweet, and in love with a boy. She illustrates to me God’s crazy enduring love and to always trust in his timing. She returns to church and chooses to share her journey that they too may lean into the God of grace. Her words and actions exist to bring out the beauty in others.
She is 17 years old and bursting with energy and humour. She juggles expectation and wanting to achieve with living a life of faith. We get to chat about seeking first His kingdom and pray into her future decision making. I get to watch her live by faith and see the love of God overflow into the lives of others.
She is 18 years old and has strong views on the world. She has the courage to pose big questions about God and his character and wrestles with what she may have to give up. I get to be alongside her as she overcomes mountains and tackles the implications of her past. Our friendship teaches me that God will bring all things together for good.
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