About a year ago, a few of us ladies from church decided to get together socially once a week. We’ve grown from a small group of three to a total of about 8 depending on who is available. We usually meet for coffee and conversation.
On Friday night, one of those friends went home to heaven. In the brief time of getting to know her, we all watched as she struggled with COPD and other health issues. For her, this little weekly diversion was more than necessary. It was a way for her to feel connected, loved and open to talk about her life. It has also become a nurturing time for all of us. We can bare our difficulties without being judged. We can talk about things funny or serious and share our common faith through adversity.
This friend grew up in the Christian faith. She served her country in the military. She dreamed of some day becoming a librarian, because of her love of books. She talked about her sons and grandchildren a lot. She was so proud of those little ones and wanted them to be a part of her church as well. Her life was full of tragedy beyond our comprehension, yet she clung to the cross and her hope of a future in heaven.
Through this interaction, we became bonded as friends. Her death came as a complete surprise to us, because she seemed so happy the last few times we were together. She had some frustrations with using the prescribed oxygen for her breathing a while back. She quit smoking and seemed on a path to physical recovery. Last week she sat with us in church and worshipped alongside us. Her face was radiant and I had a feeling of comfort when I talked to her. She seemed to have come to grips with her illness and at peace with it. She also talked about another grandchild on the way.
Life is so fragile. On Saturday, I wrote a post about aging and never knowing when our time will come to an end. For my friend, life is just beginning. She is in the presence of our Savior. She will no longer struggle for air. She is wrapped in glorious robes of salvation and will live eternally because of what Jesus did for her. Death has no dominion over us when we believe in God’s everlasting love for us. Rest in eternal peace, my friend. We’ll all get together again someday.
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” 1Corinthians 15:51