How Will They Remember Me?

I have had a couple of hard days. My heart has been very heavy since yesterday afternoon when I got an email from LeAnn saying that our precious friend, Anne Belk, had crossed the threshold of Heaven to be with Jesus on Saturday.

I went to Anne’s funeral with a few P31 friends this afternoon. It was beautiful – but it was hard!!!!! My heart is breaking for her 13yr old daugher, her 15 yr old son and her adoring husband, Carl.

During the funeral, a close friend of her’s read several entries from her personal journal and from her CaringBridge blog. What I’ll remember most was how Anne described her times with Jesus and how she thanked Him for her precious husband- such a picture of God’s unfailing love as he sheltered and cared for her each day during the past year.

As I’ve thought about Anne these past two days, Nicole Nordeman’s song “Legacy” has been playing in my head. The chorus lingers:

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy.

Anne chose to love. She pointed to God in every waking moment. Anne touched the lives of everyone God placed within her sphere of influence. Throughout her life, and even through her battle with cancer, she reflected God’s grace. She radiated a heart of worship and adoration for Jesus and praised His name – no matter what!

In the midst of physical pain, Anne wrote a beautiful Psalm. It was on the funeral program so that we could remember the legacy of Anne R. Belk, a woman who was “joyful always, prayed without ceasing and gave thanks in all things.”

“Hallelujah! Praise Yahweh! Praise God! Though I walk through darkness, my Lord lights my path. Though fear and worry surround me, my Lord shows me the way. Though sickness has not left me my Lord holds my hand. Though doubt creeps in my mind, my Lord lifts me and carries me. He is my strength when I am weak. He never leaves me. His love surrounds me. I praise His Holy Name. To focus on my Lord, I receive the peace He offers me. I praise His Holy Name.”

The funeral ended with “Remember Me“- a song Anne had chosen by Mark Schultz.

This is how I remember you Anne. As I end this day, you challenge me to live and love well, and to ask, “How will they remember me?”

Will I choose to love? Will I point to Him enough to make a mark on things? I want to be an offering. As a child of mercy and grace, like Anne, I want to bless His name unapologetically and leave that kind of legacy!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend Anne. We have been blessed through the things all of you have told us about her life. I know her family will receive many prayers from her sisters in Christ.
    That song by Nicole is a favorite of mine. I think about being a pointer. We can all do that in so many ways. I can see John the Baptist pointing when He said, “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
    It is always about Loving the Lord and our neighbor. If we do that, I think the ‘well done good and faithful servant’ will be heard in heaven and on earth.

  2. Renee,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you and give you peace.

    Jodie

  3. Renee,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. It is obvious from your post that she was a very special person and that she has left her fingerprints on your heart and life. I pray that God will bless her husband, children, family and friends with peace during this season of mourning.

    God is faithful. God is good, and He will lift you up.

    HUGS!

  4. Oh Renee, my heart goes out to you. There are some things we will never understand this side of heaven.

    Anne sounds like she was a wonderful woman of God. I pray the Lord’s comfort and peace on her family and on you.

    May we all strive to leave a legacy of LOVE and be remembered as one who loved well.

  5. I lost two friends earlier in the year to cancer. In the midst of pain and grief, I was comforted by the witness of their rich legacy. Interesting sidebar…

    One woman attended my church (the UM church) and one woman attended the Baptist church less than a mile down the road. My house sits smack dab between the two. As part of their memorial, $ was given at each church in their memory. Our church installed chimes that play on the hour and half hour in memory of Marilyn. The Baptist church erected flagpoles in memory of Maxine.

    I can’t help but think of them each day as I hear the chimes play and when I pass the flags on my way into town.

    Legacy. Well lived lives. Both of them have pointed me closer to home.

    peace~elaine

    Thanks for visiting me today. A timely comfort to my weary soul.

  6. Renee, this is beautiful. Bless your heart. I’m praying for you and Anne’s family. Loss is never easy even when we know our loved ones are in Heaven with Him. God bless.

  7. I’m so sorry for you loss. It sounds like this world lost a great deal with her passing but I know she’s at peace with our Lord…basking in His presence.

    What such terrible loss.

    Love,
    Paula

  8. Renee, so sorry to read about your loss. God so often uses death and funerals to remind me of His call on my life. Am I living for Him 24/7? Am I following in the center of His will for me? Why has He given me another day? What purposes does He still have for me to fulfill, plans He wrote over my life before I was even born? Am I following with excellence? Am I living in surrender? Endless questions flow. Each day is precious. Every moment a gift. May I honour Him with my life and leave a legacy of a gal who loved and lived unashamed, unafraid and for His glory.

    Praying for you and for the families touched by Anne’s life.

    hugs,
    Joy

  9. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. Even knowing a loved one is in the presence of our dear Lord doesn’t take away the fact that we’ll miss them in our lives. I will be praying for her family.

    I think often of what kind of legacy I’m leaving. Because we waited so long to start our family, I don’t expect to have 20 or 30 years into their adulthood to “fix” things I might have missed as we raise them. I feel an urgency to get it right this time through and nothing is more urgent to me than knowing that my boys will grow to love and follow Him. It scares me to know how far short I fall.

    You are blessed to have an example like Anne. May God comfort you in your sorrow even as he encourages you with her legacy.

  10. Renee,
    Even though I never met Anne personally, my heart has been aching, too. Her family and my P31 sisters have been in my prayers. She sounds so much like my friend Linda who died from breast cancer. No matter what was happening in the physical for Linda, her testimony was always of God’s surpassing greatness and goodness. My life has been impacted forever from being her friend. I know that Anne left that kind of legacy, too.

    Just for the record, your legacy in my life is–support, godly wisdom, encouragement and Holy Spirit inspiration. That’s all in 2 years! I can’t wait to be your friend for a lifetime and to watch your legacy continue to unfold.

    Love you!
    Amy

  11. This has been a rough few days, hasn’t it? I’m so grateful that we have our sisters to lean on and I am grateful for every moment of Anne’s life. She continues to live through each life that she touched. I can’t wait to see her again and to see how crowded the Kingdom will be because Jesus shined through her every day – even through her final breath. I love the song you included in your post and I just bet it was one of Anne’s favorites!

    Even through our tears, for Anne, let’s “Be joyful always.”

    Love You,
    LeAnn

  12. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I will pray for you and her family.

  13. I am so sorry for the passing of your friend and appreciate you once again sharing your deepest feelings with us.

    You leave footprints straight to our Father with your posts.

    Thank you!

  14. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. It sounds like she was a devoted follower of Christ even in the hard and trying times! Praise God! She did what God made each of us to do- glorify HIM! I often think about my "legacy" and how I will be remembered. I choose to be intentional everyday for the Lord & I pray that others see it. thanks for the reminder.

  15. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. My heart breaks at the thought of leaving my own girls and so I know it must have been hard for her to leave her loved ones behind. Thankfully, we know exactly where she is at and that has to give comfort. It sounds like she left a wonderful legacy for her family and friends. It is a great reminder that we should always live our moments as if they might be our last and make sure that we tell our friends and family how much we love them.

    Love from the Be Still Girl,

    Wendi

    P.S. I was so excited to see you had visited my blog. My husband thought something was wrong because I was jumping up and down and squealing as I read your comment. I love you my Sister in Christ!!!!

  16. Renee, Anne would have loved your post!Just through your words, I am able to see the wonderful person that she was. I, too, have lost girlfriends in the past year. It is so hard on those of us left behind. But, I rejoice for them–they no longer hurt and are at peace. I will keep y’all in my prayers.
    Much love,
    Susan

  17. I’m sorry for your loss. It is clear from your words Anne was a beautiful woman of God.

  18. Renee,

    I think of the legacy I am leaving my children almost every single day.

    This song will forever be close to my heart because of my hearts cry to make a difference in their lives, by showing them the one and only difference maker…Jesus.

    Thank you for sharing your precious friend with us. When we get to Heaven, I would love to be introduced.

    -Joanne

  19. Renee, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We can all take comfort in the fact that God will take care of His own, He will comfort you in your time of loss. Continue to do the wonderful work that you have been doing and know that we are all keeping you in our prayers.

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How Will They Remember Me?

I have had a couple of hard days. My heart has been very heavy since yesterday afternoon when I got an email from LeAnn saying that our precious friend, Anne Belk, had crossed the threshold of Heaven to be with Jesus on Saturday.

I went to Anne’s funeral with a few P31 friends this afternoon. It was beautiful – but it was hard!!!!! My heart is breaking for her 13yr old daugher, her 15 yr old son and her adoring husband, Carl.

During the funeral, a close friend of her’s read several entries from her personal journal and from her CaringBridge blog. What I’ll remember most was how Anne described her times with Jesus and how she thanked Him for her precious husband- such a picture of God’s unfailing love as he sheltered and cared for her each day during the past year.

As I’ve thought about Anne these past two days, Nicole Nordeman’s song “Legacy” has been playing in my head. The chorus lingers:

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy.

Anne chose to love. She pointed to God in every waking moment. Anne touched the lives of everyone God placed within her sphere of influence. Throughout her life, and even through her battle with cancer, she reflected God’s grace. She radiated a heart of worship and adoration for Jesus and praised His name – no matter what!

In the midst of physical pain, Anne wrote a beautiful Psalm. It was on the funeral program so that we could remember the legacy of Anne R. Belk, a woman who was “joyful always, prayed without ceasing and gave thanks in all things.”

“Hallelujah! Praise Yahweh! Praise God! Though I walk through darkness, my Lord lights my path. Though fear and worry surround me, my Lord shows me the way. Though sickness has not left me my Lord holds my hand. Though doubt creeps in my mind, my Lord lifts me and carries me. He is my strength when I am weak. He never leaves me. His love surrounds me. I praise His Holy Name. To focus on my Lord, I receive the peace He offers me. I praise His Holy Name.”

The funeral ended with “Remember Me“- a song Anne had chosen by Mark Schultz.

This is how I remember you Anne. As I end this day, you challenge me to live and love well, and to ask, “How will they remember me?”

Will I choose to love? Will I point to Him enough to make a mark on things? I want to be an offering. As a child of mercy and grace, like Anne, I want to bless His name unapologetically and leave that kind of legacy!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. "B" His Girl says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend Anne. We have been blessed through the things all of you have told us about her life. I know her family will receive many prayers from her sisters in Christ.
    That song by Nicole is a favorite of mine. I think about being a pointer. We can all do that in so many ways. I can see John the Baptist pointing when He said, “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
    It is always about Loving the Lord and our neighbor. If we do that, I think the ‘well done good and faithful servant’ will be heard in heaven and on earth.

  2. Digging for Pearls says:

    Renee,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you and give you peace.

    Jodie

  3. Renee,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. It is obvious from your post that she was a very special person and that she has left her fingerprints on your heart and life. I pray that God will bless her husband, children, family and friends with peace during this season of mourning.

    God is faithful. God is good, and He will lift you up.

    HUGS!

  4. Julie Gillies says:

    Oh Renee, my heart goes out to you. There are some things we will never understand this side of heaven.

    Anne sounds like she was a wonderful woman of God. I pray the Lord’s comfort and peace on her family and on you.

    May we all strive to leave a legacy of LOVE and be remembered as one who loved well.

  5. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    I lost two friends earlier in the year to cancer. In the midst of pain and grief, I was comforted by the witness of their rich legacy. Interesting sidebar…

    One woman attended my church (the UM church) and one woman attended the Baptist church less than a mile down the road. My house sits smack dab between the two. As part of their memorial, $ was given at each church in their memory. Our church installed chimes that play on the hour and half hour in memory of Marilyn. The Baptist church erected flagpoles in memory of Maxine.

    I can’t help but think of them each day as I hear the chimes play and when I pass the flags on my way into town.

    Legacy. Well lived lives. Both of them have pointed me closer to home.

    peace~elaine

    Thanks for visiting me today. A timely comfort to my weary soul.

  6. MrsProverbs31 says:

    Renee, this is beautiful. Bless your heart. I’m praying for you and Anne’s family. Loss is never easy even when we know our loved ones are in Heaven with Him. God bless.

  7. Paula (SweetPea) says:

    I’m so sorry for you loss. It sounds like this world lost a great deal with her passing but I know she’s at peace with our Lord…basking in His presence.

    What such terrible loss.

    Love,
    Paula

  8. Renee, so sorry to read about your loss. God so often uses death and funerals to remind me of His call on my life. Am I living for Him 24/7? Am I following in the center of His will for me? Why has He given me another day? What purposes does He still have for me to fulfill, plans He wrote over my life before I was even born? Am I following with excellence? Am I living in surrender? Endless questions flow. Each day is precious. Every moment a gift. May I honour Him with my life and leave a legacy of a gal who loved and lived unashamed, unafraid and for His glory.

    Praying for you and for the families touched by Anne’s life.

    hugs,
    Joy

  9. RefreshMom says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. Even knowing a loved one is in the presence of our dear Lord doesn’t take away the fact that we’ll miss them in our lives. I will be praying for her family.

    I think often of what kind of legacy I’m leaving. Because we waited so long to start our family, I don’t expect to have 20 or 30 years into their adulthood to “fix” things I might have missed as we raise them. I feel an urgency to get it right this time through and nothing is more urgent to me than knowing that my boys will grow to love and follow Him. It scares me to know how far short I fall.

    You are blessed to have an example like Anne. May God comfort you in your sorrow even as he encourages you with her legacy.

  10. Amy Carroll says:

    Renee,
    Even though I never met Anne personally, my heart has been aching, too. Her family and my P31 sisters have been in my prayers. She sounds so much like my friend Linda who died from breast cancer. No matter what was happening in the physical for Linda, her testimony was always of God’s surpassing greatness and goodness. My life has been impacted forever from being her friend. I know that Anne left that kind of legacy, too.

    Just for the record, your legacy in my life is–support, godly wisdom, encouragement and Holy Spirit inspiration. That’s all in 2 years! I can’t wait to be your friend for a lifetime and to watch your legacy continue to unfold.

    Love you!
    Amy

  11. This has been a rough few days, hasn’t it? I’m so grateful that we have our sisters to lean on and I am grateful for every moment of Anne’s life. She continues to live through each life that she touched. I can’t wait to see her again and to see how crowded the Kingdom will be because Jesus shined through her every day – even through her final breath. I love the song you included in your post and I just bet it was one of Anne’s favorites!

    Even through our tears, for Anne, let’s “Be joyful always.”

    Love You,
    LeAnn

  12. Amy L Brooke says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I will pray for you and her family.

  13. I am so sorry for the passing of your friend and appreciate you once again sharing your deepest feelings with us.

    You leave footprints straight to our Father with your posts.

    Thank you!

  14. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. It sounds like she was a devoted follower of Christ even in the hard and trying times! Praise God! She did what God made each of us to do- glorify HIM! I often think about my "legacy" and how I will be remembered. I choose to be intentional everyday for the Lord & I pray that others see it. thanks for the reminder.

  15. BE STILL GIRL says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend. My heart breaks at the thought of leaving my own girls and so I know it must have been hard for her to leave her loved ones behind. Thankfully, we know exactly where she is at and that has to give comfort. It sounds like she left a wonderful legacy for her family and friends. It is a great reminder that we should always live our moments as if they might be our last and make sure that we tell our friends and family how much we love them.

    Love from the Be Still Girl,

    Wendi

    P.S. I was so excited to see you had visited my blog. My husband thought something was wrong because I was jumping up and down and squealing as I read your comment. I love you my Sister in Christ!!!!

  16. Runner Mom says:

    Renee, Anne would have loved your post!Just through your words, I am able to see the wonderful person that she was. I, too, have lost girlfriends in the past year. It is so hard on those of us left behind. But, I rejoice for them–they no longer hurt and are at peace. I will keep y’all in my prayers.
    Much love,
    Susan

  17. Michelle says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. It is clear from your words Anne was a beautiful woman of God.

  18. Renee,

    I think of the legacy I am leaving my children almost every single day.

    This song will forever be close to my heart because of my hearts cry to make a difference in their lives, by showing them the one and only difference maker…Jesus.

    Thank you for sharing your precious friend with us. When we get to Heaven, I would love to be introduced.

    -Joanne

  19. Shanniel Shakespeare says:

    Renee, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We can all take comfort in the fact that God will take care of His own, He will comfort you in your time of loss. Continue to do the wonderful work that you have been doing and know that we are all keeping you in our prayers.

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