I purchased an understated black dress for Marc's memorial service. I remember thinking that for something I was only going to wear once, that I should keep it simple and forgettable. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to forget that dress. Out of all the dresses in my closet, I have worn it more in the last two years than any other. Memorial services have been a fairly frequent event in our world.
This past weekend a dear mom of three lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. I met this sweet woman about four years ago at a women's Bible study through our church. She was one of the many sincere people that prayed and supported us through Marc's illness and death. She was a woman that I admired greatly -- she is quiet, gentle, soft-spoken, and loves God's word. When I talk to her I know that I am speaking to someone that holds fast to Christ and lives for Him. She exudes His love. Her countenance is beautiful.
Over the last couple of days I have had a chance to speak with my friend. Our paths now cross at the school the kids attend. We have stood in the parking lot in the rain, chatting -- relating on a level that most can't grasp. And, again, I have to say that I admire this woman. I am grateful for her. While her heart hurts, her mind is scrambling, and her body exhausted, she continues to see the bigger picture. She sees the blessings. She feels His love. She has hope.
I was encouraged by our conversation. As we stood in the downpour by our cars, a gentleman approached quietly. "We'll be there about 11:00," he said. She teared up. The guys from the church had been to her house yesterday to do yard work and help with her property. She started listing all that our church family has done to help them. My heart soared. I was reminded again at how faithful God has been to our family. Watching our church body -- His hands and feet -- move is a powerful experience. Those that are servant hearted show the broken hearted that they are not forsaken. Thank you to those of you that served us so graciously. Thank you to those of you that are serving this family -- many of the names and faces are the same.
While my heart hurts for my friend, I am also excited for her. Weird, huh? Not really. This woman has a beautiful faith. She is wise and is already leaning on Christ. She gets it -- she knows that there is so much more to our existence than our life here. I am excited because she will get to experience God's promises on a very deep and personal level. She won't be disappointed. He has great plans for her and her precious children. I have a feeling that we will all be able to watch and marvel at her faith and testimony. I already am.
I guess in some ways I am glad that I have to pull my black dress out again. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to dismiss it from my memory. It's in the remembering that reminds me of the countless ways we have been blessed by God's overwhelming love and provision. These are things that should never be forgotten.
Please pray for this family.
With love and gratitude...