One month ago today, Stacy Sawyer met her precious Savior and reunited with her beloved son.
A few days later, I sat in a familiar pew, in an overflowing Sanctuary to celebrate the life of a woman whose life taught me so much.
Left behind are so many who miss her; especially her family and closest friends. I feel somewhat unqualified to write about this dear sister-in-Christ; but I have felt so led to honor her by sharing a two lessons that I learned through Stacy’s life well lived.
1) Your influence extends beyond what you imagine.
A short four years ago is when my life first intersected with Stacy’s. Our friendship grew, but our time together was usually in group settings. I believe we only had two one-on-one conversations that lasted more than five minutes. But over these last four years, I was watching her and learning from her, mostly from a distance. She was the type of person that drew others in by her charismatic personality, and ability to make a friend wherever she went.
Sometimes I believe that in order to influence another person’s life, a great deal of one on one time must be invested. God does call us to those types of relationships, of course, with our children, family, and specific people we are called to pour into. However, I’m learning that my influence extends far beyond these people that I’m intentionally meeting with regularly or even leading in bible study groups.
I am reminded by Stacy’s life that people are watching and God can use your life and mine to touch others just by living a winsome life in Christ.
2) Through Jesus, pain and suffering can transform a family and a community.
Stacy taught me that the most painful parts of life can be conduits of meaningful transformation.
About 11 years ago, Stacy and her husband, Scott suffered a devastating loss. Their son Cole, at age 11 passed away after battling cancer.
Through the years of knowing Stacy, it became evident that Cole’s death, although devastating, changed their family for the better, as Stacy and the family drew strength from Jesus, and grew in their faith through the experience. As I heard Stacy’s niece share at the memorial service, it was evident that Cole’s death had a beautiful ripple effect through their family, even through many tears.
God impressed a new truth on my heart at Stacy’s memorial service. I don’t believe I’m overstating this, but I believe that non only did Stacy Sawyer’s life, and the suffering she and her family endured change their family, but it also transformed the entire community.
Stacy not only beautifully poured out her life to serving her family. Stacy reflected the character of Jesus as a steadfast pursuer of people. She invited others into what was meaningful. Stacy invited, invited, and invited to women’s bible studies and events. Many women know Christ more because of her life.
Not only did she serve the local church, but sought out ways to bless the community. She was a soccer mom who touched lives even on the sidelines of soccer games. She served with great passion at Camp Kemo, an organization dedicated to serving children with cancer.
As I saw hundreds upon hundreds (maybe even close to a thousand) gather to remember Stacy’s life, I considered how many people each of those people intersected with in their daily life. And it occurred to me that God provides people.. people like Stacy Sawyer… who are vessels of grace to change the landscape of a person’s heart; a family; and even a community.
Stacy’s influence will life on in the lives of those she touched, and I know that God will continue to water the seeds of grace she planted in many lives.
Please join me in continuing to pray for Stacy’s family as they grieve the loss of this precious woman.
Also, if you feel led, please post here in the comments or in the Facebook post a lesson that Stacy taught you through her life. I will compile these responses and share with her daughters.