There are events in life we do not have control over. One of those events is death. A close friend passed into heaven this morning. She courageously battled cancer for over four years. She didn’t complain and ALWAYS greeted me with a huge smile. I will always remember her laugh, we could laugh about anything. I’m going to miss our conversations while hanging up art at school or just randomly talking about our girls. In fact, my Facebook newsfeed is filled with memories of our beautiful Jen and they all mention her smile. God blessed her with an abundance of joy, even in difficult and often unbearable times. I look at the painful disease that ravaged her body and know I could not have handled it with such grace and dignity. She is a true inspiration. I’m a better person for having known her. Her journey has made me think about my own life.
Do I walk in grace?
Anyone in my family can tell you that I’m stubborn and passionate. There was a time if I was right, then I’d hold onto an argument for all it was worth. Lately, I have seen where this trait can hurt other people. Being right isn’t the end goal. At the end of the day, if I’m right and I’ve hurt those I love, then where does that leave me? I would rather be remembered for showing grace, than being right.
Do I love with more than words?
I look at my daughter and son and ask myself… have I said I love you today? How many days go by when I get so busy in being a mom that I forget to love on my kids? Have I stopped to enjoy them today? Listened to what they are saying and enjoy this stage they are in right now. This is my daughter’s last year of elementary school, time passes much too quickly. I need to slow down and embrace it. Memories don’t just happen, we have to make them.
Am I trusting God?
This is a big one for me. Jennifer walked her journey with such ease and confidence. She never appeared to waver in her faith. Do I completely trust Him with every area of my life? My marriage, my kids, my writing. It’s hard for a control freak like me to give it up, but I know I must. I have to concede control, or I will never be happy. It’s a constant matter of prayer to remind myself that He doesn’t need my help. He created this world and has managed just fine without my help.
I’m thankful God brought Jen into my life. Through her, I saw amazing joy and grace reflected on a human scale. It was a humbling experience and one I won’t forget. She was here for a short time but made a big impact. God was truly gracious to allow me to know such a sweet soul. She is now in heaven and fully healed, for that we rejoice. One day, we will walk the streets of gold and talk about life on a whole different scale. I can’t wait to see her again. Until that day, I promise to give her daughter lots of hugs and always remember the wonderful friend she was to me.