Confession #92: I Want to be Known for Love

The other night I asked our teens, “When you are at the end of your life and you look back to see what you have accomplished with your time on Earth, what do you want to see?”

Most of them were silent. Some began whispering to the person next to them. And others gave a generic response like, “Something good.”

And then one person spoke up.

“That is a personal question,” he said slightly agitated. “What you do with your time and how you live your life is personal.”

I looked at him. Then looked around at everyone else. They were waiting for my response.

Typical I thought.

He would give me that answer.

“I don’t think how we spend our time on Earth is personal,” I replied. “God didn’t make us to be personal. He made us to be in relationship. So how I spend my life affects you. And how you spend your life affects me. Don’t you think?”

Cue the crickets.

Throughout the week I continued thinking about my question and this particular boy’s response.

What do I want to accomplish in my life? What do I want to be known for? Is my time here personal?

Sunday morning at church Evelyn Boyd, who recently passed away, was spoken of many times by those at the microphone. The founder of the orphanage our teens once called home, the Haitian leaders kept referring to her as “a friend to the Haitians”, a “compassionate missionary”, and as “someone who listened and loved”.

Among the Haitian people, Evelyn will forever be viewed as a compassionate, loving friend. But what about me? When my time comes, what will people say about me?


That is what I want to be known for.

In the end, I want to be able to look back and see, that above all else, I loved well.

I want to be known for loving God, endlessly.

For loving my family, unconditionally.

For loving my friends, beautifully.

And for loving others, especially those who no one else would.

Simply that.

Not for my accomplishments, my talents, or my skills.

Not for my career, how many projects I started, or my assets.

I don’t want a legacy.

I just want to be known for loving well.

Loving like Jesus wants me to.

And love…well…love is nothing personal.

Love involves others.

If I choose to love or not to love- that decision affects others.

And I think I need to tell my friend at Emmaus House that. You remember, the one who said what we do with our life is personal. I think God wants me to. Not that he will have some all-insightful revelation, but because he needs to hear what I want from my life. And in my life, I want to love. And one person I want to love is him.

Knowing him, he will reply to me by saying, “Well, this is your choice”.

Oh, I can hear him now as he shrugs his shoulders.

And in a way, he will be right. This is my choice. We all have a choice. After all, God granted us free will.

But in my life, I am making the choice to love. Love is what I want to be known for. Loving well is the most valuable accomplishment I seek. For God. For others.

This is my calling. And I believe if you look deep enough, you will realize it is your calling too.

I love what Jennie Allen in her book Restless has to say about being called for something greater than ourselves:

Your view of your life may be small, but nothing about your life is small.

Every moment is granted for purposes we can’t see. Every breath is issued for eternal things left undone. We brush against people in our check-out lines who will live forever in heaven or hell, and we contain God. Try to tell me your life is insignificant. Try to tell me that anything about this life is insignificant.

Feel the weight of your calling you have received, but not so you feel guilt. So that you feel great worth in your soul and in the work of your day.

I love that.

We all have received a calling, which gives us great worth and work in our everyday. Even the mundane day. And whatever our work looks like, one of our main callings is to love so that people will know Christ. Our calling to love is purposeful.

Now what about you? Do you feel the calling to love? Or have you lived like my friend- believing how you spend you life is simply personal and nobody else’s business but your own? If so, let me tell you what I am going to tell my friend:

How you spend your life- what you are to be known for- affects me and affects others. God will continue going about his business without you, but He wants you and people need you.

So what about you? When you are at the end of your life and you look back to see what you have accomplished with your time on Earth, what do you want to see?

How about a life full of love?

~ Jillian

2 Comments on “Confession #92: I Want to be Known for Love

  1. To me, your answer is exactly right.

    At the end of my life, I want those I knew to be able to say, “She made me feel special; I always knew she cared about me.” Whether that caring involved a few moments, a few years, or an entire lifetime, I want to know I left others feeling loved. And I hope then they will say, “That’s because she was trying to walk in Jesus’ footprints.” I have made, still make, lots of mistakes, but I pray my influence is seen as God’s light shining through.

    (PS…Your teen boy will say many things to you, but he will listen much more than even he realizes, and one day when he is older, he will need help, and then he will hear YOUR voice in his head and know which path to take. And, Jillian, he will remember that you loved him…even when he was at his most unlovable.)


  2. This was exactly what I needed to read today. I’m so guilty of pursuing my own career or status or projects, and I fight that battle internally almost daily. Thanks for the eternal perspective I needed yet again.


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