Thursday, February 28, 2013

My friend had the biggest smile and the strongest hope

Yesterday I went to the funeral of a friend.  In reality, she was much more than a friend.  She was a sister in Christ.  Actually, she was more than a sister in Christ.  She was my Titus 2 woman.  She was a woman I looked to for spiritual guidance.  Especially for spiritual guidance in my role as a wife and a mother.

Evidently I wasn't her only friend.  The church was packed.  The funeral was standing room only.

My husband and I looked at each other.  We didn't even have to say it.  We knew what we were each thinking.  There was no way either of us could fill a church with friends like that.  Linda was a special person.  Even the minister was struggling to keep it together as he read the verses from the bible that give us hope for eternity.  Even though he was full of the knowledge that our friend was in heaven with her king, the pain of losing her, as a friend on this earth, was too great.

You might think, "my, this woman must have been a perfect woman."  You may think she was goodness personified.  She wasn't, you know.  She was a normal, flawed human being.  She had struggles in her life.  I remember when my son was young, I went to her for support and sympathy.  So often we christians have a tendency to act as if we have it all together.  My friend, Linda, let me see her cracks.  She had been divorced and was now remarried.  She struggled with this.  She knew God hates divorce, but she knew God loved her.  So even though she had been through tough times in marriage, she could share with me how special and important the sacrament of marriage was to her.  I was at a difficult time in my marriage.  I had a husband that was working A LOT.  And added to the extra working hours was a 20 hour a week commute.  My son is severely dyslexic.  Schoolwork was such a struggle.  Needless to say, I found myself overwhelmed at times.

My friend was there for me.  She shared the tough times she had been through and how she had squeaked through them by hanging on to hope and praying.  She reminded me that God keeps his promises.  She reminded me that God will restore the days the locusts devour. (Joel 2:25)  (she had a sense of humor.  do you see how she compared children and needy husbands to locusts?)  There were two things my friend always had to give me, her smile and hope.  Her smile was the biggest and brightest anyone could have.  Her hope was firm and never-ending.  Her hope was in Jesus.

Our friendship was broken for a few years.  This is the weird thing about "church friends."  It seems that sometimes we can only be friends with people in certain arenas.  Linda was my church friend.  When I stopped going to the church she was going to, we lost touch.  If I saw her somewhere else in the community, we were always glad to see each other, but it wasn't the same.  She was busy and involved with her church and I wasn't a part of her church.  That's just how things go sometimes.  But, when I came back to her church, she was the gladdest to see me of all the people at that church.  She made me feel as if I had come home.

She was sick when we reconnected.  She was very sick and I think she knew she wasn't going to get better.  Cancer is such an ugly disease.  I hate cancer.  The treatment for cancer is almost worse than most other diseases you can get.  It's a violent treatment.  My friend never lost her smile or her hope.  She may have lost her appetite for food (I had to put something in this post about food or I just wouldn't feel right linking to Emily's blog), but she never lost that beautiful smile on her face.

She was taken home to our lord too soon.  She was only 69.  I know many of you reading this may think 69 is a good time to die.  It's not.  It's too soon.  This life on earth is a good one.  I know heaven is perfect, but this life with our loved ones is a good life.  I checked her facebook page.  My friend had 69 facebook friends.  That just shows what the caliber of a facebook friend is.  Linda had THOUSANDS of friends.  She had tens of THOUSANDS of friends.  So all you people with a thousand plus fb friends... well, let's just see how many of them crowd together to say farewell to you at the end of your life.

Thanks for letting me take a moment to share this tiny tribute to my friend.  I miss her.  I don't know why I thought she would just get better and we'd be together, like it was when I was younger.  I guess I knew she was very sick, but her hope in God's love made me have hope that God would give her more time with us.


I'm linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose on Thursday.

196.  Hope in the promises of God
197.  Friends (even church friends)
198.  Restored health (yay!)
199.  Eating food without fear (because that nasty virus is DEAD)
200.  Being reminded that smiling is a good thing to do
201.  Having my purse returned to me when I was forgetful enough to leave it behind (I was at a church, but still...)
202.  Signs of Spring EVERYWHERE

17 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. How are you feeling?

    I think we should make a pact, here and now: whichever of us outlives the other will attend her funeral. Hoping to meet you IRL before glory.

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  2. It's a pact.  And, we are DEFINITELY going to meet IRL.  That is a promise.  I'm just waiting for your little Chip to get big enough to travel a little lighter.  You know those little guys have a lot of luggage.  :)

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  3. It's not bad, actually. He has a Rock & Play that folds up, as opposed to a playpen. His food is warm & ready & contained w/in my body. I don't know how far you are from Baltimore, but I'll be up there mid  to late March. My brother's having a surgery at Hopkins on the 14th and another (Lord willing) about ten days later. (Pls pray for him.) xo

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  4. a nice tribute to her...its good to have those friends...sad a bit when we lose touch like that....my wifes college roommmate passed away over the weekend from cancer....38....ugh....

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  5. Kaitlin @ Homemaker DesignFebruary 28, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss!!! It is hard!!  Losing someone isnt' natural, it's not what God intended - so it's okay to hurt - even if we know they are laughing it up with our Lord in heaven! :)  This was a beautiful tribute!!  I pray for His comfort and peace to you as your grieve this loss but celebrate her life!

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  6. Oh brian.  I am so sorry for the loss of your wife's college roommate.  38 is much, much too young.  I'm praying for God's comfort at this difficult time to all affected.  :(

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  7. I'm sorry to hear that your brother has to have surgery.  I know you've written about his health struggles.  You know, March 14th is a possibility.  I will pray.  You know I will.

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  8. Hi Happygirl,

    Your friend Linda sounds like a neat woman. Thanks for letting me peek in tonight.

    Hopping over from the Imperfect Prose link up,
    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

    Nice to meet you! :)

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  9. She sounds like a remarkable woman.  I am so sorry for your loss.

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  10. Sorry Honey...Your excused...G

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  11. Elizabeth StewartMarch 2, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend.  

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  12. good words for a good friend. I'm sorry for the empty place in your heart and life now. Sending hugs and prayers.

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  13. I am sorry for your loss.

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  14. I understand this well.  With all the funerals I've been to in my little life I always marvel at the people who have packed funerals.  I think of why they do and I realize they are always pouring into other's lives.  I know my funeral would not be packed that way because I am far too self absorbed.  I wish I could change that but I'm trying to allow God to change it in me.  Sorry for your loss friend!

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  15. I'm late getting to this, but am so sorry to read this.  I lost a good friend 3 years ago, and I saw myself in some of what you write here.  You did a great job of honoring your friend here. 69 IS young.  I could not write about my friend for awhile...it just made me cry.  (I did finally write a tribute here:  http://adventuresintheballpark.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-wonderful-friend-kim-died-of.html )  You were blessed to have such a mentor in your life. 

            from
    The Dugout

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  17. So sorry about your friend!  She would love your tribute.

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