Instagram Live Video 11.16.17 @heatherferroni
On Saturday, November 11, 2017 I received a call from a former co-worker with shocking news. Our dear friend, Amy had a tragic accident and passed away.
Never in a million years would I think I'd be asked to minister for a friend's memorial service. The extent of my leadership and ministry, so far, has been in serving in my local church, leading volunteer teams, hosting connect groups, and ministering to my closest friends.
As I wrote in my previous blog, "Take Jesus to Work With You," we all have a responsibility to share our faith in the sphere of influence we've been entrusted with. We have to be willing to open ourselves up to be the salt and light of the world that is wandering, wondering, hurting and searching for the solution that can only be found in Jesus.
Today I want to share my heart regarding the importance of placing high value on relationships.
As Romans 12:18 tells us:
So long as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone
This particular verse is contained in my single most favorite chapter of scripture (at least for now). This command is conveniently wrapped within the section that speaks of "Love in Action."
As people of God, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are the peacemakers of the world. That the words of our heart are saturated with truth and love. We are unifiers, not dividers. When drama comes to us, we must bring the peace of God in us and allow God to work through us.
This is a practice that is presented in hardship. When division and dissension are apparent. When we COULD give in to the gossip, slander, and problems we face. When our workplace drama is escalating, when family troubles are evident, when friends have offenses, when we're hurt by people in our churches, when divorce happens and there are all kinds of issues we are forced to navigate....
I challenge you in the midst of your challenges to think of the bigger picture. To place high value on the preservation of relationships above all else. When a division must happen (changing jobs, switching churches, ending a relationship), leave with grace. Depart in peace. Do all you can to value the blessings in every situation and with each person.
It's irrelevant which banner you're under on earth (work title, last name, etc.)...because you serve YAHWEH NISSI, "The Lord is my Banner."
Relationships Matter. I am so thankful for the friendships I've developed in the different jobs I've had. And I'm so honored to have been asked to minister at Amy's Candlelight Vigil amongst her closest family and friends. Although I felt entirely unqualified for such a task, my dear friend and prior boss Raquel said, "Heather, you're the first person I thought of. I know that you will be able to deliver a beautiful message in that moment. We wouldn't have it any other way." Wow.
Life is so precious and so short...death reminds us of that. Reconciliation is possible so long as there is air in your lungs and a beat in your chest. If there are relationships that need mending in your life, please be empowered by this message to take a step of obedience and courageously offer a gesture of reconciliation and forgiveness. Put down the defenses, cancel the offenses and simply choose to BE.LOVE. Because you are called BELOVED.