what i learned from my mentor

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she called last fall & asked if i could come photograph their family, including their sweet new pup. i would have moved a mountain to make sure that happened, but our schedules were super easy to line up. on a beautiful crisp late fall afternoon i made the drive to one of my favorite spots to gather families. i remember reflecting on the incomparable impact regina made on my life.

our families became friends in the 70’s. i was just a little girl but i remember her & her hubby bill, aka willy, hanging out & visiting with my folks. it’s funny because the specific memory i have of them was one afternoon after they played tennis- always active & always young at heart-visiting our home & hanging out sitting by the fireplace, looks exactly like the image of them that fall day last year, just a brief 40 years later.

she worked with my dad. she prayed with my mom. i babysat her boys & she helped me get my life back on track with jesus when i was 18. she hosted my bridesmaid luncheon when i married gregg & she came to the hospital when i delivered my first baby girl on valentines day, 1993. gregg died 3 years later…and she was diagnosed with cancer.

i remember being really mad the day i found out she too would battle that beast. i remember wondering if all she taught me about prayer and god’s faithfulness was really true. how could it be?  suffering? cancer? death? surgery? widowhood?

that was 20 years ago. & sunday my lifelong friend, regina, met the savior she loved with all her heart.

& yes. oh He is faithful indeed.

faithful in the suffering

faithful in the remission

faithful in cancer

faithful in health

faithful in the face of death

faithful in the living

oh He was faithful

& this time i’m not mad or angry. oh i miss my friend. her “twinkle in his eye” hubby bill will begin to live without his bride by his side. heartbroken she’s not a text away anymore, but i’m not angry.

you see, second only to my mom, regina taught me immeasurably much about loving jesus. if she were here today she’d tell me in her calm voice, paige don’t be mad…it’s all for His glory. and i know that i know that i know that the rejoicing was great for her homecoming into the arms of jesus. i know she heard, well done regina, well done.

regina is known by so very many as “mentor.” these words are hers, written within her blog titus 2 /mentoring women.

Thinking about this, I realized that when all is said and done, our lives are reduced to two dates and one little dash. When we leave this world, our life will be represented by a “-“. The “-” represents our legacy. We have no control over either dates, but we do have control over how we use our time, talents, resources, and all the wisdom gained while we’re here on earth.

Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Let’s live well during the dash, and fulfill what God has called us to do. Let’s not “dash through life” hurriedly spending precious time chasing things that will not really matter in the end.

There are countless younger women needing an older woman to encourage them to live the life God has called them to live. Will you come alongside some of these younger women and encourage them, spur them on, and equip them to be all He’s called them to be?

I pray we will all live this life in such a way that when we see our Heavenly Father, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful daughter! You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)

i receive her blog posts via email. the day after she met jesus, in what was obviously a previously scheduled post, her words showed up in my email, still teaching me 40+ years later….

It’s not about what you know!

It is about Who you know and what the Lord has taught you in your years of walking with Him in the different seasons of life.

As you make yourself available to younger women, you’ll find God using you in ways unimaginable!

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

May you be the fragrance of Christ to the next generation!

~~~~

oh my sweet friend regina.i surely miss you. i still have the card you gifted me after gregg passed. it talks about how we don’t understand all the tangled mess we see…which in actuality is just the back of the tapestry God is weaving in our lives. we see the knots & the tangled threads, seemingly unconnected & surely a mess. the cancers, the surgeries, the recurrence, the tears…and the suffering but one day, in His time, He’ll turn that tapestry over. we’ll see the glorious work He created in our lives. we’ll see how all those knots & tangled threads were used in the glory of what was once unseen.

you taught me to trust in His faithfulness…

so i will. no matter what may come.

& one day, i know i’ll see you again.

until then….i love you.

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September 23, 2015 - 8:19 am

Amy McKelvey - Sweet Paige,

What a beautiful tribute to your lovely friend. The pictures you captured of her and her family are moments to be treasured. I am deeply sorry for your loss and what a wonderful friendship the two of you shared. I loved how she so eloquently wove pieces of life into the tapestry that God is creating for each of us. Knotted and confused and just a complete mess. I pray for that day when the tapestry is revealed and all of this senselessness reveals a beautiful story that surely only he can tell. Love and peace to you, sweet friend <3

September 23, 2015 - 9:14 am

Amy Avery - Dearest friend,
What an amazing “-” your friend Regina lived as you reflect upon her life here in this beautifully written post. Her legacy lives on in all whom she loved and mentored through allowing God’s light to shine through her own heart. I want you to know that you have and are living into what she graciously taught you about God’s love. Because you listened and continue to listen and share, you allowed her gift to you to be passed on to others in a beautiful ripple affect. Wow, just looking at these images you captured last fall. What an amazing blessing Regina was o earth and will continue to be in heaven. Praying for peace and comfort for you and Regina’s family and friends.

September 23, 2015 - 9:25 am

» what i learned from my mentor - […] what i learned from my mentor […]

September 23, 2015 - 10:30 am

Lisa Mothersead - These things we carry with us that are of no material value…beautiful tribute.

September 23, 2015 - 1:21 pm

Maria - I have been waiting for this post, checking back impatiently since Sunday when Shelley Giglio posted on Instagram. And it was worth the wait. What a legacy for Christ this woman had. What a legacy for Christ you (Paige) have. I am so sorry for your loss. So so sorry. But, I love how all Regina taught you, you now teach through your blog and your life. That is what older women teaching younger women is all about. xoxo

September 23, 2015 - 2:45 pm

Sandy - What a glorious picture of young-at-heart. You don’t tell us Regina’s age but I only hope that as I age I will have that kind of testimony and be as youthful as she.

September 23, 2015 - 6:58 pm

wynne - this is so beautiful, thank you for sharing. what a beautiful life your mentor lived. i can smile today knowing that YOU have been one of those mentors for me. love you paigey!

September 23, 2015 - 8:02 pm

Maureen Wildauer - What a great way to share and honor your sweet friend. The pics are a very special legacy for her family to remember her. You know she is romping in the joy she prayed about while she was here dealing with earthly issues. I have a dear friend that has brain cancer and when he told me he had he was so excited!!! He said it was “his turn”. He was soooooo looking forward to meeting the Lord and Savior he had loved since his teens. He acted as though he had won the lottery instead of finding out he had brain cancer. WOW! Our God is good! He is mighty and so full of goodness. I can’t imagine what those first few days are like in heaven. I am studying Revalation in Bible Study Fellowship this year. I can hardly wait to learn each little tid bit there is to learn about what God says about our years to come. So exciting. BSF is a wonderful study for anyone who wants to learn about the true and living word of God. Have you heard of it. It is awesome. I know you would love it Paige. maureen

September 23, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Beth - So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, Paige. What beautiful photos you were able to gift to her family. I’m sure it’s very bittersweet to have such treasured memories of your friend, yet to have lost her so soon. How wonderful that the impact of her faith and obvious love of family can transcend even death. Thinking of you..

September 23, 2015 - 11:02 pm

Amy - Such a beautiful post. These shots are such a keepsake I am sure. Awesome. I am sure she is missed horribly by that lovely family….thank you for sharing.

September 24, 2015 - 11:20 am

Jen@thecottagenest - Wow. What an inspiration. She was beautiful inside and out, Paige. Your words were so touching and made me teary this morning. I can’t help but feel sad for her partner of all those years and her beautiful family but how lucky were they to have her?

September 25, 2015 - 4:49 am

Jane - What poignant words. I long for a mentor such as this, and then I stop and think of the women God has put in my life to journey with me for a short or long season and I’m so thankful. Thinking of you and Regina family as you mourn the loss of having her here on earth, and long for the day when you will be reunited in God’s presence.

September 25, 2015 - 6:38 am

let it be jesus » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] This morning I selfishly wasn’t feeling very celebratory heading to Regina’s celebration service. (See backstory here). […]