Leave a Legacy
“50 years apart. Maybe it was an unlikely friendship, but to me it was so normal, comfortable and perfect. We connected at such a heart level. She always termed it a “special relationship.” I never had words for it. All I knew is the faithfulness of a godly woman who prayed for me every single day, and subsequently when “me” grew to my family, Grace Klein Construction and Grace Klein Community. Every day since I was in the 6th grade. How?! That is so miraculous to me – the love of a prayer warrior.
There is so much we can give one another, but prayer is a most pure, powerful and holy gift. Prayer is a supernatural force that holds us up when we are weak, spurs us on when we get tired and infuses us with faith when we are tempted to doubt.
She taught me how Jesus looks, in all the words she said, and what she didn’t say. She knew the Bible and feasted on it, reading it in full every year. She even had notes in her bible of which month she should be where so she knew if she was on target. This year she was ahead of schedule. She confessed all her inadequacies and her great need for Christ. She opened her home and her life to me. She sacrificed for me and showed me in real time how to journey through suffering.
By God’s grace, I saw her son was going on a trip with his wife, and I asked if I could stay with her for the two weeks they would be traveling. Who gets two weeks with the person who has been their longest and most consistent spiritual mentor.
I still can’t believe it happened. We said so many times how it felt like a dream. I cried with her and told her I did not want to leave her and she reminded me how God gave us something special, but I was needed in other places and we both knew I had to go. She kept telling me over and over to thank Jason for sharing me for two weeks.
Those weeks were truly a culmination of so much, reminiscing about the years that had passed, a celebration of all God had done in our lives, and an anticipation of the miracles that awaited us. She loved hearing all the Jesus stories and so many things happened while I was there that I was able to share with her. The most beautiful part was realizing that we lived parallel lives. We are so similar and as she would describe her and her deceased husband Lamar, it was so much like my life with Jason. She loved him as much now as she did when he died when I was in the 4th grade. I remember him – his love, his kindness, his work ethic, his generosity, his quiet, but fun demeanor. I had literally married someone so similar to her husband.
And as we lived together, I was reminded of her love for reading, learning and bookkeeping. She enjoys silence as much as I do. We both eat like little birds, but we do love most all the same things. We ate some of our favorite foods together and drank plenty of coffee. Even the way we keep a house, how we love to bring together all different types of people, and how every day we are watching for some way to love someone. We both love to watch movies too, but we never had time.
She was introverted, serious, direct and actually, very funny, if you understand her jokes. I feel so safe with all those attributes and really I’m just the same. The ways people misunderstood her are ways people misunderstand me. And even the things that drive me crazy, drive her crazy too. As we lived those days, I felt so free to be me, and I hope she felt free to be her, and maybe it was all because we understood each other completely.
At my wedding, she was going to be honored as an honorary grandmother, but she was very ill at the time and could not come to my wedding. My bridesmaids and I spent the night at her house before my wedding day and I slept with her. We stayed up all night talking and she told me all the things that marriage is. She told me the truth, not the fairytale. That’s just how we were.
One of my favorite things, of our time in September, was going to her Wednesday night prayer gathering. She had told me how she felt like she really had nothing left to give to God and then she was convicted remembering she could pray. And so here she was at 93 leading a prayer gathering for ladies ranging in age from 83-103. Y’all being in a room with these ladies, as they prayed, was an incredible experience. These women had known Jesus for decades, many had told me their testimonies, and knowing they were making massive impact with their prayers gave me such chills. I felt so honored to be there with them. The moment was holy.
The most important part about Mrs. Moore is she never lost her passion for Christ. She never wavered. She was never lukewarm. She taught me, by example, that you really do live until you’ve left everything on the table. You go home used up. That’s what she did. She prayed to the last moment. She gave her all. She remained a good steward of all her resources. She shared her home and her life. She worshiped her King. She kept learning. She listened to others. She gave all.
When a person is a good listener, sometimes the people around her miss getting to fully know and understand her, but she knew everything about them. She noticed pain and she ministered directly to the person. She spoke truth over negativity and life over death. In the things that looked most bleak, she confidently believed Jesus was not done and she had eyes to see the little glimmer of light that would bring hope.
If anyone has been impacted by Grace Klein Construction, Grace Klein Community or my family, I believe her investment in us has been the secret ingredient. So many days, I felt like I didn’t have enough strength to keep going, but her prayers carried us. From glory to glory, through all the valleys, the misunderstandings, the problem solving, the trusting, the provision and the miracles. She was always praying and she believed in miracles.
We asked her to hold a position on the Grace Klein Community board, but she declined since she lived in Arkansas. She thought she should live closer. If she only knew that her prayers accomplished more than I can ever articulate. It never mattered where she lived, it was about who she was. She wanted me to tell all her friends about what God was doing through Grace Klein and she would almost squeal hearing the miracles day after day. I tried to always share different stories so she could hear more. At the end of my stay, she asked for a written list of how to pray for my family and for every staff member of both companies. The list grew to pages of information for all our servant leaders.
Our desire is to pass on this legacy to all our business partners, customers, donors, and volunteers. Praying for each of you must be a top priority in our lives, no matter how many prayer teams we have to create to make that happen.
When she died, I immediately thought, oh no, what is going to happen?! We just lost one of our most powerful influencers. Of course that thinking was my humanness, my flesh and my mind believing lies.
God has sent the next round of prayer warriors who will run to Jesus with us and for us. The next day, a sweet friend reminded me she prays every day. And so do countless others that God so quickly reminded me. A legacy inspires and empowers the next generation, and the next, to follow the example we leave. She left a legacy, many more will step up in their gifts as they feel the weight of responsibility shift to their shoulders.
When a mentor dies, any places of complacency or apathy, that we’ve allowed, suddenly awakened again and we begin to feel an urgency to fully live all we were privileged to learn. I feel compelled to figuratively step in and walk in her faith shoes, pressing in even more to my Lord, believing for the impossible and somehow passing the torch to others who come behind me. The results of mentorship root when we are young and blossom as we grow.
May the remembering of Mrs. Jeanette Moore’s life fan our flames and motivate us to use our time wisely. Our lives are not about our accomplishments or the stuff we accumulate. We do not exist for ourselves or for what others think about us.
We may have one more day or 50 more years, but the moments culminate to tell the story of our lives. By God’s grace, let us be good stewards of every activity, wise in the investment of others, full of integrity through our words and actions, fully present, maintaining a disciplined work ethic, the willingness to compromise and forgive, and the courage to live by faith and not by sight. Through the consistency of our lives, the world will experience Jesus and pursue a personal relationship with Him. Then, we too will leave a legacy.” – Jenny Waltman, Mentee of a humble, confident and committed follower of Jesus