I last talked with my friend Sara (@gitzengirl) about three weeks ago. We were planning my trip to Iowa to see her this Thanksgiving. We were both so excited about this long overdue visit. Now, just a few short weeks later, I’m Map Questing my way to Iowa in hopes that I may be able to attend her funeral service.
The Lord can change our plans in an instant.
Sara has been sick, very sick, for a long while, and while we knew that this day would eventually come, I think we had all hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t. At least not for a long time. I received the news that her condition had taken a serious turn about a week ago. It’s been a long week full of lots of tears and heartache for me. But I know that my weepiness and selfish longing for her is not what Sara would want. I hear her in my ear reminding me of God’s goodness, of our hope in heaven, of her peace, and the joy that she experiences every day. That’s our Sara, our consummate encourager.
My best effort to honor Sara in her last days is to try and do exactly what I know she would want me to do: Not focus on the loss of her passing, but rather sing praise and rejoice in the life that she has lived.
Through Sara’s friendship I have had the blessing of learning first hand what “a life lived well” is supposed to look like. I have seen pureness of spirit up close in person. I have been given the priceless gift of experiencing what we were created to be on earth displayed for me through the love of my dear friend.
I have seen humility.
I have seen grace.
I have seen kindness.
I have seen selflessness.
I have seen mercy.
I have seen patience.
I have seen trust.
I have seen forgiveness.
I have seen love. True love. 1 Corinthians 13 style love given freely to me and countless others.
Sara has taught me that living my life well isn’t about me. It’s not about what I do, or what I have, or who I know. Living life well is all about what we choose. Joy. Peace. Love.
Sara, thank you for all of the times you have held my heart, kept my secrets, and prayed over the hopes and dreams of me, my marriage, and my family. I love you more than you will ever know.