Several years ago, I met a wonderful person named Annette, while serving as a missionary in Minnesota. Our paths crossed for the first time in the spring of 2008, when I helped to coach the local high school softball team in Saint Michael. I usually found myself working with the teams pitchers and catchers, which Annette was one of the foremost. I was blessed with the chance to get to know her over a few short months and was truly blessed by her love and joy.
Nearly two years ago, Annette passed after an unfortunate accident. For quite sometime, it was rather tough for many of those who knew her to see God in the midst of it all. A few days after she was injured a couple of young men from her home town put together a song called Today’s the day.
Each time I listen to the song, I am reminded of Annette’s zeal and love of life, which has been a great lesson for me this month. I often remember the smile she constantly had on her face, and the excitement she seemed to have about life. I do not know why God decided to call his daughter home so early in life, but I do know that He taught me through her example to enjoy life and live it to the fullest! She truly exemplified the words Christ speaks to each of us in John 10:10 “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
As a missionary, I sometimes forget that in the midst of giving my life completely for Christ; I am called to be FULLY ALIVE. I am called to live a life of service, community, and prayer with my whole heart not simply pushing through and lasting, but joyfully living and excelling.
On the anniversary of Annette’s passing, I found myself living out that joyful life, as I was weed eating and wearing my bright lime green mission shirt. In the midst of weed eating, the song Annette’s friends wrote for her came on my Ipod. In the moment, as I remember my friend I was filled with Joy. I was able to celebrate the beautiful life she lived and gave thanks to the Lord at my remembrance of her. (and laughed a little since I was wearing her favorite color.)
Saint Irenaeus once stated that “the Glory of God is man most fully alive.” Annette was a beautiful example to me of someone fully alive! She was passionate about softball and truly enjoyed having fun. I hope and pray in the coming weeks and months to live out this same passion and zeal for life and for souls!