This week a beautiful saint suddenly went to be with Jesus, one of my "aunties" back home, not related by blood but tied in the Spirit of Christ. There have been many tears for me this week, pondering the fact that she is just...well, not here. That her family is here still without her. I had chance to see her a few weeks ago when we were both at a friend's baby shower and I never thought it would be the last time I saw her this side of the Jordan. This post has been re-written three times because what can you say when death visits? What words are there to capture the sadness and grief and joy and awe?
I have been reading a book of short devotions by Elisabeth Elliot for several months. I am struck over and over by her courageous truth-telling, her unshrinking drive to speak truth in love. She makes me think of my friend Sue.
Sue raised her children on the mission field here in the US, and understood many of the struggles I faced as we slowly raised our financial support in a time I didn't feel like many could relate to or understand. She always had a story to share with me about God's faithfulness to provide exactly what their family needed; and she shared them even after walking repeatedly through the valley of the shadow of death in illness after illness. Her faith through suffering was a proof to me of God's faithfulness.
The first trip newborn Lyddie and I took together was the short drive to visit Sue and Heather; such special memories
I am so thankful for the way the light of Christ shone from Sue. It has always given me so much hope for who I can become in Him, and the confidence I can learn to have in Him.
I have thought about Sue since receiving word that she had gone Home, and the word "courage" comes to mind repeatedly. Whether courageously defending innocent life from abortion or courageously trusting Him as she walked by and through so many with serious illnesses, or courageously dropping everything to minister to a family member in need while receiving no acclaim or earthly reward, Sue lived in the courage that comes through grateful faith in Jesus who saved her. Her speech was seasoned with grace and love and kindness. I so long to be remembered in the same way, or to be known like that in life too, maybe. I can't wait to tell her these things again one day, about the inspiration she has been to me to trust God in the midst of chaos, and the peaceful waiting on Him I started learning from her and continue learning to this day. For now I am in awe to think of her joy at being united with the saints who have gone before. For now I rejoice that her waiting for the Lord is over and she has received the fullness of joy unhindered by sin and death and sorrow.
Would you please lift up Sue's family in this time? I am praying especially that the Body of Christ would come around them and they would feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
- I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;Ills have no weight, tears lose their bitterness;Where is thy sting, death? Where, grave, thy victory?I triumph still, abide with me.