Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Friend Changed Her Home Address

This is Debbie. She was my secret sister. You haven't met anyone on fire for the Lord like Debbie. In the few months we went to church together we enjoyed one another a lot. Whatever the social event, we would find each other. Both of us weren't what you'd call the quiet and gentle types. When she came over to swim this summer she made sure to grill me about the new church we were attending - like any dear friend would.

Last month we were at a friend's surprise party. Her and I were laughing over the fact that we were both huddled on different parts of the couch trying to quickly seal our birthday cards...hoping the birthday girl wouldn't notice how fresh the spit was on our licked envelopes.

Debbie moved September 8th.

Her new home address is Heaven.

Debbie was 48 years old and died unexpectedly from pneumonia. Everyone was shocked, but God wasn't. He knew full well the date and time of her welcoming party. Knowing Debbie, she ran full speed into His waiting arms and hasn't stopped talking and laughing with Him since.

She leaves behind many touched lives, a godly husband, her precious seven year-old son Samuel, and a church family who loved her dearly.

My plan was to attend her life celebration yesterday, but at the last minute I was held up. It was difficult not gathering with my sisters who were missing her too.

Friends shared later how beautiful her service was and how the church was packed with people from all over. I wasn't surprised.

If Debbie were here she'd remind everyone of her forwarding address. She'd point out the way and joyfully and quite matter-of-factly tell you how you could see her again.

When she was a child she heard Jesus knocking and gladly opened the door of her heart for Him.

For some of you He is knocking right now.

Debbie would want you to answer.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20


Denise said...

Such a precious tribute to your dear friend.

The Real Me! said...

Oh Joanne, what a wonderful wonderful tribute to your sweet friend. How sad to lose someone so young. But like you said she went running into the arms of Jesus and there is great comfort in knowing that!!
Blessings to you my friend.

LisaShaw said...

My love and prayers are with you and her family. Beautiful tribute unto the glory of God.

Mari said...

Oh Joanne, I have tears in my eyes as I read about this loss for you and her family. What a joy though, to think of her joy in her new home and know that you will see her again!

summur braley said...

I am sorry for your loss.
When a fellow believer passes it always comforts me to think of the song...."I'll fly away old glory, I'll fly away. When I die Hallelujah by and by........."

momstheword said...

I am sorry for the loss of your friend but so thankful to know that she is with our Savior!

It's always bittersweet to lose a believing friend or family member. When my dad died I missed him so much (still do) but I also knew that he was with the Lord and how could I wish him back?

Still, it's always so hard when the person is young and has young children like you friend. What a shock! You just don't expect something like that.

christy rose said...

Oh Joanne, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of a dear friend, especially as she was so young. It is especially sad that she left a 7 year old behind. But I am glad to hear that she is dancing in the arms of Jesus now. I am lifting her family in prayer today. What a sweet tribute to your friend.


Honeycombmama said...

Joanne, I am sorry for the loss of your friend and sister, but how wonderful to know that it wasn't goodbye:) So many go on without knowing if it's goodbye or not. I will pray for her family and friends to continue to celebrate the life she was given by our Lord, and for strength and guidance and love. Hugs

Cathy said...

Aw, such a sweet post ~ I know you miss your friend.

Angie said...

Oh Joanne, I am so sorry for the loss you ALL are feeling...but your loss is heaven's gain. It's hard though to think in the lines of that when the pain is fresh. I know.

You are on my mind SO much lately. I'm praying still.

Love you darlin'. Cake plate is washed and ready.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Beautiful...yet I must say I was shocked. I thought for sure you were going to talk about her moving on this earth. My heart missed a beat when you said Heaven.

I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful friend and mostly a wonderful daughter of the King who lived and loved out loud for Him.

Kathy C. said...

Oh Joanne, what a beautiful post. I cannot imagine losing a dear friend, however, it would be a precious comfort in knowing they were whole and smiling and praising our Lord...waiting for us to join them some day. Big hugs to you.

a portland granny said...

Your friends sounds like someone we would have enjoyed knowing. It is truly hard to understand these sudden, unexpected home calls.

Jim Elliot wrote in his college diary, "God isn't peopling Heaven with only old people" ...and the longer I have lived, I have found this to be so true!

I'm so glad you shared your friend with us! What a blessing she was to you. You will miss her!

On another subject--do you remember last spring you challenged us to write our testimony?? I thought about it a lot, and have taken you up on your suggestion. Having 77 years of my spiritual journey to write about, I am putting it into segments and have done the first one.

Faith Imagined said...

What a beautiful post in honor of your dear friend. I will say a special prayer for you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for you loss. But, I am so glad that you were blessed with such a wonderful friend. It would be grand if we were all blessed with a friend like her, spreading joy wherever she goes.


Karen said...

So sorry for your loss...this tribute was so very sweet...can you even imagine what she will have to tell you the next time you meet?

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful way to honor your friendship. My heart breaks for her husband and son. I pray that they feel God's peace through this.
Hugs to you!

Kristen said...

Loved reading this Joanne! I miss Deb terribly but look forward to seeing her again one day.

Loved running into you last week and I love your blog dear Sister! God bless you much!


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