By now most of my blog readers probably know that my dear friend Christy Hildebrand died last Saturday unexpectedly. I feel like writing something to show you how wonderful she was, and how much she meant to me, but I think I will share something she wrote instead. Less than a week before her death, she wrote the following note on facebook. I believe she meant it as a testimony and a thank-you, but now I think it was the grace of God at work prompting her to write it. I can't tell you the peace it has brought to her family and friends over the last week, even as it was read at her funeral two days ago. I loved Christy dearly, and am so thankful to have been her friend. Take a few moments to read this, and you'll begin to see why...
As many of you know by this point, the last two months have been some of the most difficult days of my life. But I cannot simply walk away from these days now that I am almost completely better without reflecting on what I have learned - or was just reminded of: 1.) Christ is in me and I am in Him. I simply would not have gotten through this ordeal and be this joyful on the other side of it apart from this truth. 2.) God has revealed His love for me not only by sending His one and only Son to die for my sins - which absolutely was enough - but continues to reveal this love everyday through my family, my friends and even my doctors:-
My husband Josh is my husband for a reason. I firmly believe now more than ever that he was selected especially for me by our Heavenly Father. Josh has lived out the vows he spoke to me on the day we were married 4 1/2 years ago in a way that I didn't even know was possible. He has prayed for me, loved me unconditionally, been there at every moment I needed him there, taken care of my physical needs, helped me to understand and deal with my emotional needs and has done his best to keep me smiling and laughing through it all. I pray he always knows how true my love is for him and how grateful I am for the love he shows to me every single day. I am quite the lucky girl!
My mom, Julie, is my mom for a reason. I also firmly believe now more than ever that she was also selected especially for me by our Heavenly Father - just as Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. God knew even before I was created that I would need a very special mother - and boy did he pick the right one! My mom has helped me clear every hurdle I have ever faced in my life. Some we jumped and cleared without difficulty and some we jumped, smacked into the hurdle and fell down. But anytime we fell, we fell together. And everytime we fell together she was always there to pick me up. My mom has also prayed for me, loved me with a love I cannot even understand, been there every time I have called for her, taken care of my physical needs and has cried with and for me. I pray she always knows how strong my love is for her. She is truly my best friend.
Kyle, my brother, and Chris, my stepdad, are also in my life for a reason - they make me laugh! God knew I would need that from time to time :0) Anytime I feel like there is no smile left in me, one of them ALWAYS proves me wrong. I love my brother more than he probably knows and I know he loves me. I am happy that God has bonded us strongly together as brother and sister and enjoy the times we get to spend together. I also love my stepdad. God brought him into our lives over 10 years ago and I know we needed him as much as he needed us. We have grown a lot as a family over the years and I am happy to have the relationship that I have with him today. I pray it grows even stronger as the years continue to go by and as we all continue to learn and grow in Christ.
My friends - way too numerous to count or list! God has given me great friends from all over the world. My friends have prayed for me, visited me, cared for me and have made themselves available to meet my needs even when it wasn't convenient for them. I pray that I can truly express my gratitude and return the love they have so generously poured out on me.
My doctors - Dr. Jeffrey Neal, Dr. Paul Nichols, Dr. John Harrison, Dr. Charles Rose and others I'm sure I'm forgetting (or don't even remember that have taken care of me). God has put together such an amazing group of doctors for me and they have come together to treat me in the best way they possibly can. These doctors, the ones whose names I listed in particular, have a love for me that I don't understand - I'm just their patient - but I feel it each time I have a conversation with any of them. I am so thankful for their care and concern and feel truly confident and blessed that God carefully selected each one of them for me.
3.) In the words of Geoff Moore - "It's good to be alive." I came as close to dying as I think I ever have and although I am confident of where I am going when I do - the fact that I didn't means that God still has work for me to do here on Earth. What that is...I have no idea. I know a good part of it is to continue in ministry with Josh and spread His word. But, I feel like there is more. What? Not sure. But when I figure it out I'll sure let you know. And, maybe I'll never know. That's OK. I plan to live my days learning and growing as much as I possibly can and living each day as if it were my last. August 5th, 2008 could have been that last day. It wasn't and I am grateful for that. I now have a perspective on life that I have never had. It was a wonderful lesson to learn.
Love to all,