I went to my sweet friend Stephanie's funeral this week. I didn't know her family, but I know and love her best friend, so I wanted to be there for her. I took the morning off of work and went all by myself. I got there early, so I just sat in the sactuary and watched the all the pictures of her life and her smile. Tears kept streaming down my cheeks as I kept wondering why God would take her at such a young age. She would have turned 44 this coming week.
However, the pastor did such a wonderful job with the service, just talking about Heaven and all the reasons we can know and be sure that she is there. He helped turn the funeral into a celebration of her life.
I know God doesn't take someone until their purpose has been fulfilled or if their purpose will be fulfilled through their death. I hope that Stephanie's example and impact on the world will be evident for a very long time. I learned two things from Stephanie. Every where she went, she always wore a beautiful smile that could light up a room. Even in the chemo room, her smile was radiant. She also lived life to the fullest. She didn't waste her time sitting around. She was active, running marathons, 5K runs, and biking. She didn't let cancer stop her. Life meant something to her, and it wasn't something to waste. Every day mattered.
I will admit I've been guilty of crossing days off the calendar as if to say I'd made it through a busy month. Even when it's extra busy, I was reminded to live each day as a gift and embrace each moment of activity. I need to cherish these moments full of life. I need to cherish each moment God gives me, especially with my husband and my boys. Life is not given to us so we can successfully cross each day off the calendar at the end of the day.
I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that I won't be seeing her around anymore. I will miss her smile and her huge brown eyes. I just hope I can live out the lessons she taught me through her life by not letting a single moment slip by.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.