In the last year, five of my dear friends departed this earth. These people contributed greatly to my growth as a Christian since moving to western Iowa six years ago. Each of these honored the Lord with their lives and their words. All examples of Godly Christian living, their walks with Christ encouraged me to imitate their faith. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
However, this last loss affected me more than the other four. Lori, a close friend, showed true friendship and challenged me to use the gifts God gave me. She created opportunities for me to use them in my new church surroundings. She asked me to lead a women’s Bible Study, give my testimony at a women’s fellowship program, sing at another women’s fellowship outreach, and promote my new ministry of authorship of middle grade books. I watched her step out in faith and organize these evangelical outreach events with another friend, pray in front of others, and trust calmly in the Lord’s leading physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Together we grew in our walk with the Lord and each other.
Lori suffered for over two years with liver cancer. She faced the same prognosis as her cousin. Though her cousin knew Christ as Savior, Lori worried about her uncle and how his attitude when his daughter died. We prayed for the opportunity for Lori to witness to her cousin’s father. Lori called me the next day and expressed her joy about the chance the Lord provided with her uncle, and his willing response to her words.
Lori genuinely believed in me. She sensed my desire to serve the Lord however he needed me to serve Him. We talked and prayed together weekly. Together we sought the Lord’s will every time we prayed, and so did I as I prayed daily for my friend about her health, family, finances, and service for Christ. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). Any problems and trials that confronted either of us, the other was there to love and support her through it.
During her last week on earth, Lori sensed Christ’s presence and welcomed her journey to Heaven. I know she reunited with her cousin and the four other church members we lost this past year. Her body and spirit separated when the Lord took her home. There is no more pain or worries of this world for Lori. Though my faith assures me Lori walked into heaven a week ago, my heart aches.
Selfishly I miss her phone conversations, prayer time together, her belief in me as a willing servant, the sweet fellowship we shared through devotions, prayer, talking, or just being together. Rarely does a person find someone who sees your heart as clearly as Lori did mine. I miss her, Lord. Thank you, Father, for her gift of friendship!
I miss Lori, and I look forward to uniting with her someday when He calls me home. In the meantime, I plan to continue serving the Lord using the gifts He gave me, and that Lori encouraged me to use. In that way I honor her as my friend, and the Lord Who brought Lori into my life on earth and throughout eternity.
What about you? Have you lost someone recently? This is my way of expressing my grief and hope because of a future reunion with my friend someday. How do you cope with loss? Please leave a reply below, and thanks for reading my blog.