Our ministry got the sad news early Friday morning that one of the women in our widow’s ministry had died suddenly.It was shocking to say the least, as no one knew she was sick and this woman was only 40 years old.
Her name was Costa. I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing her very well, but every interaction I had with her was always filled with a huge smile, a big warm embrace and a kind word. She always made me feel so welcome.
Yesterday at our weekly widows meeting, women had an opportunity to share their memories of Costa. It was sad, sweet, funny and touching but the one word that was repeated off everyone’s lips was Costa’s JOY.
Costa was indeed a joy-filled woman despite her tough life circumstances. Women mentioned how she encouraged them in a dark time or brought food to them when they were sick. And everyone remarked on her amazing dancing abilities. Costa loved to dance! Wild, life of the party, dancing Costa.
At the end of the tributes to this special woman, one of the leaders of our ministry asked us all a very sobering question. It’s been lingering on my mind as well:
"Costa will be remembered for her JOY. What will you be remembered for?"
What legacy will I leave for my friends and family when I am gone? The truth is we don’t know the day or the hour of our passing and so we must live purposefully, with intention, forgive others, love deeply, live generously and remember that our life on earth is just the “cover and title page” to the rest of our story.
As we mourn with her friends and children and other family members left behind, we cling to this truth:
Costa is free now. Free from the pain and stress and sickness and burdens of this life. And as we were reminded by one of her friends, she is dancing in heaven now with her Savior, truly radiant with JOY!