Wednesday, June 27, 2012

With a Heavy Heart

Yesterday I went to the funeral of a friend of mine. Just typing those words "funeral of a friend" is hard to do. Her name was Laura, and she battled cancer for 5 years before finishing her race Saturday night. To say that she finished strong is an understatement. She was an amazing person. A quote from Laura was printed at the top of the program from her service yesterday. It read, "Once upon a time, a plain and ordinary girl was asked by the God she so desperately loved, to walk through a long and hot fire. He was with her every step of the way." It is one of the biggest privileges of my life to call her my friend. Let me tell you about her...

My friendship with Laura began in her living room about 3 years ago. I was unsure about joining her Bible study. I only had one friend in the group. But, I was in a tough spot in my life, so I knew I needed to be in the word and needed a support system. Well, I couldn't have providentially landed in a more precious group of people if the Lord had picked me up from my house carried me across town and dropped me on the sofa at Laura's house. At first my anxiety grew as we began introductions. We went around the room and everyone introduced I thought great I am the only one without kids in this room. Does everyone in the world have children but me?!?! At the end of the night we did prayer requests. I thought what the heck I'll go ahead and tell them that my husband and I have been trying to have a baby for months and that we are starting to see signs of trouble ahead. Laura said well you have landed in a good group. Then almost everyone in the room told me a little bit about their own infertility struggles and successes some through birth and some through adoption. Okay, so I have never had quite the AH HA! moment with Holy Spirit as I did that night. Needless to say, that precious group of friends was my backbone and support throughout my whole infertility and adoption experience...

And Laura led the charge, which leads me to the first amazing thing about her. Laura, even though she had been diagnosed with an incurable cancer, never belittled anyone else's needs. It would have been so easy for her to say you think you have it bad well I have this, but she never did. She truly listened, took it to heart, and fervently prayed to the Lord on your behalf. The needs of our group included infertility, adoption, divorce, financial struggles, children with sickness resulting in brain surgery, not to mention Laura's cancer battle. We were quite the motley crew! Through Laura and that Bible study I learned the real power of prayer. Never in my life have I felt the love and support, tangible and supernatural, as I did on my journey to Anna Dixon. She taught me to keep it real. I always identified with her because she was a very passionate and out spoken person, yet never once did I come home to Tommy and say can you believe what  Laura said to me tonight? She truly knew how to speak the truth in love, something I could use a little (a lot of) help on. Before meeting her, I thought in order to be a good christian I had to become a quieter person. She showed me that I can still be my loud self and love the Lord and show others His love through my personality. She taught me that I needed to start living for the Lord today and not wait for my circumstances to change. God gave her cancer and she used it for His glory. Yet, she was honest about her struggles. She never tried to act perfect in her situation, which made her all the more real, which gave all the glory to God, because she showed her real need of Him. Laura was a fierce and loyal friend. She was the drop everything she was doing and come to your side type of person. What was amazing was that she was a fiercely loyal friend to so many people. If I could love just one person the way she loved so many...

So, with Laura's home going I am feeling joyous that she is finally healed, heartbroken for her precious family and friends, just plan sad and kinda achy in the pit of my stomach, and vulnerable. Vulnerable? Yes. I have lost one of my spiritual leaders. She was on a very short list of people I would call if I needed spiritual advice. Also, it has been easy to live in her shadow. Laura was an amazing godly woman, and she left this legacy that I want to follow. That can be very overwhelming. But, she was always good at staying on today's page of the book of her life (something that I am really really bad at). So, that is where I am going to start by serving the Lord today and taking it one day at a time. One of the questions she asked our pastor before she died was if she ran a good race. Are kidding me?!?! She was right up there with the Apostle Paul in my book!!! But, she was humble till the end. One thing I know that she would want everyone to know is that all she did was ONLY possible by the grace of God. Well done, Laura, well done. I love you!

"For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth their is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." 
2 Timothy 4: 6-8  
(from her service)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mullet No More!

AD turned 18 months on the 6th. I can't believe it! We had her check up this week, and she is the average height of a 3-1/2 year old (37") and the average weight of a 33 month old (28 lbs). So, I am not surprised that she was already ready for her first haircut yesterday although I never thought we would cut it before 2. All of her aunts and her daddy agreed that she was sporting a pretty good mullet. "Business in the front party in the back," according to Aunt SR! Well, you will be pleased to know that my child has a mullet no more. It only took a couple of minutes, and she did great. She sat in Tommy's lap for the first half, and I held her for the second part with a sucker in her hand as enticement. We took pictures of course and kept some of her baby locks for her book which I will get around to at some point!