I’m no stranger to death. It seems that all my life, folks around me have been passing away.
If it wasn’t a relative, it was a church member or the family member of a church member. Then I went through a phase when a lot of my friends and associates were losing their parents.
While these were all difficult, they were somewhat expected. You know what I mean?
People get old and they die. That’s the way of the world, plant a flower grow a pearl… excuse me, I digress.
But when a peer passes, it feels very different.
My choir sister died today. Wow, I said it… she “died.” That’s a word I rarely use. “Passed away” sounds softer to me. To say that someone “died” is so hard, so definite, so ugly to me. Maybe it’s because to say that a person passed away, it sorta feels to me as though they've passed from this life to go to another. But when we say that a person died, it feels more… dead. Like never to live again, like finite. Crazy, perhaps, but that’s how I feel.
Anyway, said another way, my preferred way, my choir sister passed away today.
She’d been sick, we were all trying to prepare ourselves, but when I got the news today it still hurt.
She’d just retired a few years ago, was losing weight and growing her hair out, had a boyfriend, life was going well for her and just seeing her always made me smile. But then she got sick. And then she passed away.
Wasn’t she too young to die? Too happy to be permanently and completely subdued? Too vibrant to have her light turned off?
Why did she have to die?
I try my best to look for the message or lesson in every unpleasant or crazy situation, yet finding one this time has been difficult. That being said…
As I wrote in an earlier blog post, I’m recognizing, once again, that sometimes God says no.
And it’s a lie to tell people that whatever they ask God for, He will provide. That’s simply not true and we need to stop spreading that fairy tale.
You see, while others were praying that my friend be comfortable and free of pain, I was praying for a miracle. Yep, I was praying that she’d have a complete turnaround.
As I shared with God, she would have been the perfect candidate for such a miracle because she’d be sure to testify to His goodness.
“You’ll get the glory, God,” I explained, in my ignorant, limited, human way, “this is a good situation to turn around for good."
See, I totally buy into the fact that we should ask God for what you want, and I wanted my friend to live – so that’s what I prayed for.
God answered my prayer. But the answer was “no.”
Now I trust. Now I rest. Now I heal.
I trust in a God that never fails – no matter what the situation looks like.
I rest on His promises, knowing that my friend is now resting with Him.
I heal, knowing that that’s what my friend would want for all of us who are mourning her loss.
OK, I'm finished, there's no fancy wrap up here, I’m not feeling it today.
So here it goes... The End.
Well, maybe not. Maybe it would be more appropriate to end with "New Beginning."
My choir sister's day began in the arms of her Heavenly Father. And now my choir members and I begin a new chapter of singing without her.
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