Each month we send out a monthly newsletter talking–In Word & Deed– about the going ons in our church. On the front page of that newsletter is a column written by Pastor Don’s wife and office administrator, Kristi. Every month we will be posting her articles so everyone can read them. The following was written on January 27, 2016.
I received a letter this week. An interesting letter. A unique letter. A beautiful letter. This letter is from a friend I have known for over 30 years. I don’t remember when I met her, but I do remember going to her home with my new baby, Erin, in her basket, in order to work on counted cross stitch projects together and talk. JJ was there and is the one who introduced us.
Some of the things you would notice about my friend are her love for Jesus and her love for laughter. Jesus is her world. She had some very hard things happen to her in her life, but she didn’t let those things get her down. She kept her focus on Jesus and allowed Him to comfort and heal her. She went through the hard things, kept loving Jesus, and moved on. She is more concerned about other people than herself. She pours herself out for family and friends…even new friends she doesn’t know very well. She is generous, kind and loving. She knows how to laugh at herself…a lot! I can go over to her little apartment feeling scared, or tired, or just bummed and within a few minutes we will be roaring with laughter over one of her latest (or oldest) escapades. What a gift that is…laughter.
My friend is a prayer warrior, even in her younger years. She knows God. She knows He answers prayer. And she trusts Him implicitly. She knows the most important thing she can do in any situation is to pray. I need people praying for me. I do not pray as often as I should. God reminds me over and over that prayer should be the first thing I need to do in any situation, and, yet, time after time I wait until I don’t know what else to do. I’m getting better, but I still need to be reminded way too often. My friend enjoys reminding me.
My friend accepts people. She loves everyone she meets and sincerely cares about them. She wants everyone to know Jesus and be in God’s Forever Family. She worked at SPU for a while and loved her co-workers and the students. She goes out of her way to help anyone in any way she can and to show them as well as tell them about her Lord. She is an encourager. We need more encouragers in this world today.
Now that you know a little about my friend, I would like to share the letter I received:
Dear Family and Highly Valued Friends,
Thank you for all your loving ways, fellowship, and genuine friendship over the years. You have encouraged, taught and shared in many of my life experiences. We have laughed gleefully and so much more. You are truly a cherished person in my life.
This letter affords me an opportunity to do what many never get a chance to do.
I am writing to say good-bye as I prepare for my soon departure from this world into the Kingdom of our all-gracious and merciful God. Soon I will meet our Savior face-to-face. (A family member will note my passing on fb.)
I have suffered a long time with end-stage renal failure. That will soon be over as I discontinue dialysis treatments and wait a few days until the Lord takes me to my true Home with Him.
“And I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”
Wow! What an honor to receive that letter. She has shown me how to live and now, she is showing me how to die. What a treasure! I want to be like her. Not scared, not angry, not self-pitying, but accepting what my Lord is doing in my life, knowing He has numbered my days and will take me Home at the proper time and place He has chosen.
I was driving down Aurora Avenue this morning. I saw a new billboard that says something about “Look into eternity without fear…” That’s exactly what my friend is doing. Because of Jesus, she is able to look into eternity calmly and at peace. She is confident. She is patiently waiting for Jesus to lead her there. She is looking into eternity with anticipation.
(Since I don’t have a FaceBook account, my children are watching for the note.)
If you would like the complete PDF of this month’s In Word and Deed, you may download it here: In Word and Deed – January 2016.