I awoke this morning with many thoughts of Jessi. The main word on my mind initially was Discipleship. It is one word that I have continually thought of for many many days.
Rewind to the Year 2007 and Jessi the age of 9 and in 4th Grade. This was her first year at Towns County Elementary. She joined Awana's and was amazed that she was at a school that you could actually acknowledge God or Jesus much less to actually be taught about Him......
That first year in Awana Jessi was able to memorize the names of all the books in the Old Testament. I remember her reciting them one evening at dinner. Her Dad and I was so proud. Jessi stayed in Awana until she went to Middle School.
One day in particular stands out in my memory of that school year. I would always drive Jess to school in the morning and this particular morning she asked me something that I will never forget. Especially now as I realize that anything is possible if you believe it and work towards it.
Jessi said this to me that day "Mom......u know how there where 12 disciples with Jesus?.....Well, do u think I could ever become a Disciple?" You had to be there to see the desire in her eyes. Jess was not just saying this, she really was thinking about it. It took me a moment to answer her because I did'nt want to really mess this moment up with the wrong words. I did tell her this "Jessi, you can be anything you want, Im sure those 12 disciples of Jesus never thought that is what they would be doing, anything you set your mind to u can do it and with God on your side nothing is impossible". She smiled big with a glow in her eye and as I dropped her off at the school I watched her walk in and was so very proud of her...
Fast forward to November 2010:
Jessi did become a disciple.....maybe not to the magnitude as those that actually walked with Jesus, but she did spread the Word. In her short life of 14 years I know of 7 people that have been saved BECAUSE of Jessi. I say because for the reason that anyone of us can lead someone to know Jesus but that necessarily isnt BECAUSE of anything we have done personally. Most of us just witness to people and it's very easy to show someone in the Bible how to know Jesus as your personal savior and be saved. Its is another thing to live by example and have people be saved Because of what you may have done or said that directly would impact someone in that magnitude.
Jessi set a huge example on another issue also......She became special friends with Baria in 7th grade.
Baria is a Muslim and Jessi is a Christian yet they became very close friends. That is how we are all suppose to be. By befriending Baria she showed that even though they have huge differences in beliefs they could still be friends. Jess thought enough of it to actually mention it to me and her dad. She thought is was so awesome that they could be friends and not let their beliefs get in the way of a friendship. She spoke of how they shared of what each of them believed. Jess said she told Baria that r belief is that to be saved you asked the Lord into your heart. And u live for the Lord and you have conviction over doing things that are wrong. Then when you die you live forever with Jesusu. You have eternal life forever. Jess thought is was so funny that Baria said "Saved, what is that" after Jess explained it she said Baria had told her " Well I know ur saved cause you dont cuss, lie or do anything real bad" What a huge compliment I was so thankful Jessi shared that with us. I believe that is an example of a true Christian. Living it. Not just on Sunday but everyday of your life. Jessi and Baria became such good friends in just one year of school together that when Jessi passed Baria called me and asked if she could speak at Jessi's service. Of course I told her absolutely. The funny thing was she had asked me if she could wear her traditional muslim clothing because she had never been to a Christian Church before. Of course my words to her where "Baria where whatever you feel most comfortable with". I know that is the words Jessi would have spoke to her. In one of Bill O'Reilly's books he states "You are who You associate with". Well said, I'm glad Jess made good associations and liked and loved people for who they where and not what they where. Something we can all learn from, and then put that learning into action.
I for one have not done that and am 46, so what does that say about me......I have learned alot from Jessi.
I'm very proud to say I am her Mom. I'm thankful that I was given the chance to know her and raise her, and this question was posed to me the other day " If God had asked me if I would have still wanted jess knowing that she would be taken at 14" my answer would still have been yes.
That would be because I wouldnt trade those 14 years for anything. They have been the best years of my life. I wish they had been longer more than anything in the world, but Jess accomplished more than most in her short time, I'm so very proud of that.
My heart aches everyday to be able to see her and hold her again, that will never go away, I'm trying to find my way back to God in order to do and be what I firmly believe Jess would want me to do.
When I die and see her I dont want her to ask me something like "So mom what have you done all these years since I came to Heaven"
I want to be able to tell her all the great things that she did to inspire me and all the things I accomplished through her. Hopefully the Lord will open some doors for me and send me in a direction that I will be able to help many many people in whatever is left of my life on earth.
So....as I crawl back to God and wait on Him to direct my paths......I have a new inspiration in my life through a terrible tragedy that is unimaginable................
The inspiration....................................TO BE JUST LIKE JESSI................................................