"You look so lovely today."
Those were the last words my dear friend Kim spoke to me, last Sunday in church. She passed away suddenly yesterday morning from a recurrance of cancer, taking us all by shock. She taught Sunday School and led worship Sunday morning, full of joy and anointing, with not the least hint that by the end of the week, she'd be gone.
My heart is so heavy for the family. She and her husband have five lovely children whom they've homeschooled from the beginning, the first to graduate next month and the youngest just seven. Her dad is pastor of our church and I can't imagine how difficult it will be for her folks to carry on the ministry without her very gifted and loving presence. Ours is a small church, so she leaves a very large hole.
Kim and I hit it off the first time we met years ago in our homeschool support group. Later, when she left the group, we would run into each other at conferences or fairs, and always it was as though we'd just seen each other just yesterday. It was at one of those times she invited us to their church. We did, and from the first day it was 'home' for us. One of the highlights of these past two years for me has been the reconnect of our friendship and warm fellowship in Jesus. But more significantly, her spiritual strength, radiant joy, and amazing faith has lifted me time and again when I've been discouraged over the long course of healing from health issues of my own.
I've been privileged to know a truly lovely soul and been blessed by her love and genuine, caring heart. We will miss her terribly, but the Word promises that all of this is working together for good, and that we sorrow not as those who have no hope. Thank the Lord, it doesn't end here--she's in our future.