It’s been a year since I got the phone call. A year since Carla Dysert got in her car, intending to go to work, but instead went to meet Jesus.

I still miss Carla. I miss her way of looking at things. I miss her upbeat outlook on life, that no matter what happened, God was ultimately in control. I miss how she challenged me to step up and step out.

The day Carla died, it just didn’t make sense to me. Here was a woman who went out of her way (sometimes WAY out of her way) to do whatever God was asking of her. Here was a woman who made a real difference in Jesus’ name.

Plant during the warm winter.

So, I sent out a challenge – the Carla Dysert Challenge. You can read about here, but the challenge, in a nutshell was this – “whatever it is you feel God telling you to do, just do it. Put it at the very top of your to do list. Don’t let busyness or fear or doubt or just feeling silly keep you from it. Whatever opportunity God places in your path, take the time to act on it.”


That post was read more than anything else I have ever posted. It had almost 21,000 readers. All over Facebook and on Twitter, people vowed to take the Carla Dysert Challenge.

It totally warmed my heart to think of Carla’s legacy continuing. I thought she would have gotten a big kick out of it, too.

But you know how life is. We get busy. The pain of loss dulls to an ache. The emotions that run so high after a sudden loss die down, and we get back to our everyday lives.

And the challenge we took up with such passion and fervor on that day last November, gets pushed to the back, like all the the other good intentions that grow dusty, pushed to the back of our lives by the urgent.

The thing is, though, some of you actually followed through on the Carla Dysert Challenge.

For myself, this year, I made Carla my word for the year. It wasn’t to idolize her or put her on some kind of a pedestal. Not only is it a recipe for disillusionment to put any human (no matter how special) way up on a pedestal, I know that wouldn’t have been something Carla even wanted.

Nope, I made her name my word for the year to remind me to be intentional about looking for the opportunities God puts in my path, to be willing to listen to God’s still, small voice and to have a heart that is willing to do what that still, small voice asks, even when it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. Even when I feel foolish.

I wanted to be challenged by Carla’s legacy, even though she was no longer here to do the pushing. I wish I could tell you a story of some huge, great thing I did in the name of that challenge, but I can’t. What I can tell you is that I said a lot more yeses this year, and those small yeses have made a difference in my life, and hopefully, in the lives around me.

And I guess that is okay because at the foundation of Carla’s legacy was a daily faithfulness, a faithfulness to say yes to the everyday ordinary things. It was the accumulation of all those yeses that made Carla’s legacy something we still remember a year after she is gone.

I wonder – did you take the Carla Dysert Challenge? Since I have no real way to follow up except through this blog, I am hoping you will take a moment and share how the Carla Dysert Challenge changed you this year. If I get enough people maybe we can do a series of interviews. What better way to honor Carla than by sharing how we obeyed her God this past year!

Blessings, Rosanne

1 Comment on Did You Take the Carla Dysert Challenge

  1. God has been working in my life to be more intentional in seizing opportunities to take time for people. Carla was such a great example…people over projects. She had a great impact in my life.

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