• Mila J

Live Life Like Jay - Courageous

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

This entry is dedicated to:

Jerusha L. Clark

Birth to Earth: March 4, 1989

Birth to Heaven: August 23, 2019

“We are of good courage I say and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 New American Standard Bible

“Be calm and strong and patient. Meet failure and disappointment with courage. Rise superior to the trials or life and never give in to hopelessness or despair.”

– Dr. William Osler

Being courageous is risky. I had a short conversation with my mother who is the most brilliant person I know and asked her who was the first person that came to mind when she thought of the word “courageous”; she said her mother. Emily Janet Isaac nee Marvin (my namesake) is a woman I wish I knew but crazy enough, I do know her. I feel that her legacy of courage and risk taking in her 46 years of life transcended decades of stories and influenced lives for the better. I never go a year without hearing how my grandmother shaped or changed someone’s life. How magnanimous and humbling it is to be named after someone so courageous to leave a legacy that has impacted me. My mom has left a huge legacy for me but my grandmother has paved a way of courage for the both of us…and each day we are trying to find ways to be more courageous as women and as women of faith.

Living life like Jay – I met Jerusha my freshman year of high school. Goodness, she was so confident in herself then. Confident in playing ball against boys even though she wasn’t that tall, confident in her studies. I can remember her voice; it was so unique – husky even at a young age but when she talked it was with purpose. At that time, I wasn’t sure about myself, probably along with 90% of kid our age at that time. When I think about someone who was, on surface, unapologetically dope at such an early age, it would be Jerusha. The last few years of her short but meaningful life, she rededicated herself to God. Her blog was so fitting “Back by Unpopular Demand” – seriously, how do we live Christlike when living Christlike isn’t popular? I struggle with that today; finding confidence and courage with my own personal walk – holding myself and others around me accountable for the way I want to live -- but up until her last moments, Jerusha didn’t break. I told her that her faith was supernatural, but in a way, that is true when you think abut faith and your relationship with a higher being. Being one with God is supernatural, the courage to having unwavering faith and understanding that “God never loses a patient” or that God never makes mistakes….we (the world) lost this woman way too soon and I’m sorry God, but she was a beacon of your light and your word…but God, she was the example of courage and faithfulness in her 30 years of life. Similar to my grandmother, at 46 years young who lost her life to save my grandfathers – the risk…we lost both faithful servants too soon but their legacy is too courageous not to rejoice.

“Be strong and of good courage, fear, not, nor be afraid of them…” –Deuteronomy 31:6

Whew…courage. To move on from what was comfortable and be rocked by the unknown. Death is the unknown. Be courageous in knowing in death you are in the presence of God…whaaaaaaatttttt!!!? (insert appropriate emoji face) Yes…after a job well done, we are with the Lord. That takes supernatural faith – and in my own courageousness, Jay, I will see you again. I want to leave a legacy like Jay and my grandmother. I want to live life like Jay. To cry and smile at the same time knowing 1,000% sure she would be with our Lord and Savior. I want to live life knowing that I am living the life God wants me to live.

Modern Day Ruth’s -- be courageous. Live life full of faith and without fear like Ruth, like Jay, like my grandmother. Live life unpopular. Live life courageous, to the fullest.

Jerusha taught me so much in such a short amount of time. I always saw myself living and dying at old age. Jerusha lived until 30 – 3 months after being diagnosed with breast cancer. One of God’s most faithful fought a physical battle that was beyond her – but God, never loses a patient. He gained a true soldier. A soldier who will fight for people like me, to continue to push in the direction to live with God’s word on my side. To “Be Still” and “Know God”. My grandmother lived until 46 – I want to live a full life like my her. To have people saying – your grandmother, your namesake, changed lives. I am Emily Janet – I want to change my own life – and if I can reach just one – to take this courageous walk with me, my legacy, my purpose is complete. Take this unpopular walk with me. Live life like tomorrow isn’t promised.

When I think about Jerusha, I don’t feel blessed, not necessarily, to wake up each day. It is a privilege because if you are a believer, the blessing is to transcend to the beyond, to live life good enough to enter Heaven’s gates. I am privileged to have time to get it right. Jerusha’s passing on left me knowing that each day is a blessing…and that I also don’t have the security of time. I don’t know when God is going to call me home, but I can take the necessary steps to live the life that I want, with God and his teachings as my guide.

Most of these thoughts occurred while I was cruising in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The sun is hot – so hot I have a sun burn on my nose (LOL). But it is a huge reminder that I. Am. Still. Here. Being in the middle of the ocean – I feel more alive. For me, water has always been calming. My thoughts are relaxed. I feel closer to the Creator of life. It gives me confidence and clarity to go after what I want in life and be OKAY. I may never have a husband and I may never have a bio-child but that doesn’t mean I cannot create an environment surrounded by love, respect and faith. Life doesn’t have to fit in a box. Be courageous to live life differently. If life has taught me anything, it’s that you cannot plan it. I didn’t see my life crashing and burning like it did nor did I see my courage and faith in the Lord as strong as it is today. But I control it all – really, I do. I control my faith and I am courageous to believe that “Everything that happens to me, is to my greatest benefit”.

Jay – Jerusha – your life was lived to the fullest. Grandma Emily, your life was lived to the fullest. Modern Day Ruth’s…be courageous and LIVE.

--Be Still


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