With Hope

We have all seen the movies or heard the songs where, due to an illness, someone is given a few weeks to live. Maybe it’s just me, but it usually causes me to pause and think “what if”. Then life gets busy again and before you know it, the “what if’s” are replaced by our day to day schedules. As I have mentioned in previous posts, for one friend, the illness and timeline are real.

My wife and I have had the privilege to get to know Brandi the past several years. We have marveled at her ability to battle the illness each time it returned. Her faith was never shaken and her witness has gotten stronger. Her light has brightened the lives of people fighting the same illness and she has been “Jesus” to everyone she has come into contact with. Her calling is one that most would not want to accept, yet she accepted it with honor. In doing so, she has brought honor and glory to her heavenly Father. Amazing.

Last Friday, we were invited to share a time together with her family and friends at their home. Though the evening was, at times, filled with tears, the laughter and memories of stories she told quickly drowned out the sorrow and thoughts of what is to come. I stood in her home and watched a peace overcome her as she told the story of hearing God say that “it is time for you to come and enjoy all that I have for you”. I cannot put into words the hope that was seen by everyone that was there. It is a hope that each of us is afforded. It is a comfort that only “thy rod and thy staff” can provide. We were all given an opportunity to see a living example of the 23rd Psalm displayed before our eyes.

As the evening drew to a close, I was asked to pray for Brandi. In all of my 36 years on this planet, I don’t know that I have ever been given a higher honor. Luckily, I didn’t have time to think. For if the words would have been mine, I am not sure what I could have prayed. Yet 2 words immediately came to mind “well done”. Two words clearly define Brandi’s life and her influence on all that know her. “Well done”. I close with the words to a song that says what I am clinging to in the coming days. May we all know the peace, the hope and the joy that we can cling to in days like this.

“We can cry with hope. We can say goodbye with hope. ‘Cause we know our goodbye is not the end. Oh, no. We can grieve with hope. ‘Cause we believe with hope there’s a place where we’ll see your face again” – Steven Curtis Chapman

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