This past weekend, our church played the video below to honor Judy Steidel’s life. Judy is Laura’s mom. I only knew her for two years before she passed away, but she made an incredible difference in my life. I thought I’d share with you some of the lessons this awesome woman of God left with me through her legacy.
I met Judy right after my mom died. She ran a weekly Bible Study for kids in my high school. Each week, 80-100 kids would go to her house to hear about God. It was incredible. I was invited a million times, but never went until my mom passed. I still remember the night I went as though it was yesterday. I walked down the stairs and saw Judy with a huge smile on her face. She hugged me and already knew who I was and what happened in my life. She showed me the love of God in a tangible way. She invited me back week after week, she took me in as family, she brought me to church, she changed my life.
For the next two years after Bible Study, I spent time with Judy and her family (I kind of liked her daughter Laura, which gave me extra incentive to go over as often as I could!) Judy passed away on September 24th, 2004.
Today, I’ve had the privilege of being around and a part of their family for 9 years. It’s incredible to see the legacy Judy left behind in her family and everyone else she impacted. Below, I list some of the lessons Judy taught me.
People Need God – Judy has a ton of her own quotes. They were hilarious! My favorite though was when she’d see or hear about someone with a problem. He response was always the same, “It’s ok, They just need God!” When Judy engaged others, it was for one purpose, to point them to God. That’s it. That was her mission in life, and she was awesome at it!
Life is Simple – Love God, Love Family, Love Others, and have a “rip-snortin good time” doing it. When I think of Judy’s life, that was it. I think there is something we can all learn from that.
No Matter What – All of her family mentioned this in the video. She always said, “No matter what, with God, we win.” That’s how she lived her life. She never gave up on God. Never doubted Him. Never quit pointing people to Him, even in her weakest moments.
Leave a Legacy and You’ll Outlive Your Life – It’s been 6 1/2 years and her life is still impacting people. Everyone she poured into, that is pouring into others, she has a part in that. The coolest part? She didn’t intentionally say, I want to always be remembered, I am going to leave this legacy, etc… she just loved people and pointed them to God, and the result was the legacy she left behind. I’ve never been to a memorial service like the one I went to for Judy. Her impact in this world was incredible. Judy definitely outlived her life!
Raise Up World Changers – Judy believed in everyone. She believed anyone could do anything with God. Her and her husband, Mike, have always said, “Our goal in raising our kids was to raise world changers.” All of their kids are in their twenties and well on their way to being just that. The people that went to Bible Study, world changers! Key Takeaway: Lift people. Encourage them. Believe in them. Call them world changers and they’ll raise to the level of your expectation.
Love Life – I’ve never seen anyone enjoy life as much as Judy did. She’d get excited about everything. She never let anything get her down. She never focused on her struggles and problems, only the struggles and problems of others. I think that was the key to her joy, forgetting herself, and focusing on others.
Go For It – How did a mom start a small Bible Study that grew to over 100 students every week? No youth center. No fancy service. No worship band. Just a love for God and a love for people. She just went for it, and God blessed it. Key takeaway: If God puts something in your heart, go after it, and watch what He will do!
Family is Everything – I’ve met very few families like Judy’s. It’s taking me a while, but I’m recognizing how important family is and how intentional you have to be to raise a great one. Mike and Judy did that, and they still have an incredible family 6 1/2 years after Judy passed away.
I could probably write a book about what this lady taught me in two short years. A lot of her lessons didn’t make sense until years down the road. I am so blessed to have know her.
Everyone needs a Judy Steidel in their life. Everyone should aspire to live a life like Judy Steidel lived.