I thought my friend was joking when she told me our friend had died. It wasn't the news I expected to wake up to, but I knew that she would never joke around about something like that.
"He can't be dead. He's my age. We were just talking about him Friday night." So many thoughts flooded my head. I was in shock. I went about my day, hoping to distract myself from the cruel reality of this news. Perhaps if I don't think about it, it will make it untrue.
As we drove the three hours home, we talked about everything unrelated to our friend, but every so often, one of us would say, "He's dead." Not because we wanted it to be true, but to help us come to terms with the truth.
Just in the past few weeks I had been thinking a lot about how I regretted not getting to know my co-workers better that summer. It was a random thought. It had been 3 years since then, there was no reason it needed to come to mind. But it did, and I was regretting being intimidated and self-absorbed by not reaching out to everybody and thinking about how it would have been so much different had I been more outgoing the way I am now. But it's too late. He's gone. I can't relive that summer.
But it's not too late to move on and change. As sorrowful as this death is, God has reminded me that he wants me to learn from this. Life is short. I never know how long I'll have someone in my life. This friend that died was a true example of what it meant to show God's love to others. He was constantly sharing the gospel, and he was always looking to relate God to everything.
That's the legacy I want to leave. I don't want to be known as the girl who kept to herself and never reached out. I want to be known as the girl who had God's love in her and it was so evident that it came out in all my words and deeds. I want to love others in a way that can only be attributed to God's work in me.
Lord, help me to love like you do, and to take advantage of every opportunity I have to serve, love, and share you with those in my life.