When we hear the word, legacy, we often think of a financial or real estate inheritance.
That’s what Genny Sanders first thought in my book, The Key to Everything, when her grandmother died leaving Genny her house. Genny was grateful for the house, but that was only the beginning of her grandmother’s legacy.
A legacy can take on many forms.
When the father of my friend Joseph died, Joseph said, “He has left me his good name”―a reference to Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is more desirable than great riches . . .” Joseph saw his name a reflection of the man of honor and integrity his father was. He counted it of more value than any material possession.
My own dad left to me a continual love of learning. In his retirement years, he read physics books for pleasure. When I homeschooled my children, I could call my dad with almost any question related to aerodynamics or engines and he would know the answer. Though he had some experience in these areas while in the Air Force, he was a banker for most of his career. He built on that earlier knowledge largely through autodidactic learning. His legacy to seek knowledge continues to inspire me.
My Aunt Nell has inspired me through her legacy of perseverance. Due to health issues, many thought she would not live past mid-life, but she did not give up. A woman of great faith, she lived through the death of many close to her. Perhaps, for the sake of her children, grandchildren and as an example to all who knew her, she persevered making it to her nineties. When I encounter health challenges or other difficulties, I think of her and her Godly strong spirit. It is a great gift.
Legacy takes on a new meaning for my character Genny when her journey leads to the discovery of a secret she could have never guessed about her grandmother. This hidden truth has the power to help Genny break free of her past, but will she allow that truth to be worked out in her life?
The same is true for us. Will we allow the legacies of those we have known shape us?
We also need to think of what we may leave to those we love―those gifts that cannot be listed in a will. These are the ones that truly make a difference in generations to come. It is never too early to think of what our legacy will be.
For those of us who are writers, many of us pray that we are leaving a legacy through our writing. The Psalmist may have had this in mind when he penned, “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:18).
May we all never forget the power of a legacy.
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Beverly Varnado is an award winning author, screenwriter, blogger and artist who lives in North Georgia with her husband, Jerry. In addition to The Key to Everything, she has written two novels, and a nonfiction book, Faith in the Fashion District. She has a screenplay optioned for a film.
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