It's been a very shocking, draining, revealing couple of weeks. A beloved wife and mother from my church unexpectedly went to be with the Lord. Wendee is not someone that I knew well on a personal level but I have known her since I was about 15 years old. She and her husband served at the youth camp I attended every summer and I have attended the same church as their family since that time.
From the moment I heard the news that she was on the way to the hospital I was instantly ROCKED by it. She has a loving husband and 4 children. As a wife and mother myself I was instantly affected by the whole reality of it all. The few days she was in the hospital before she passed were emotional and prayer filled for so many people that I love and care about. My neighbor and Wendee have been friends for THIRTY years! SO MANY people I love were going through so much pain, and it was overwhelming! But while I was overwhelmed with emotion I was also overwhelmed with the Peace of God and the knowledge that He alone is sovereign and in total control.
Although I personally didn't know Wendee well, I had something to deal with that was hard. About 3 years ago my family kept running into their family at least once a week. We just kept seeing them everytime we would go out to eat. I felt God nudging me. He was nudging me to seek out a relationship with Wendee and her husband and to have them mentor my husband and I. I was a bit intimidated by this....so I kind of ignored God's nudge. Then we would see them again...NUDGE...IGNORE! Then we finally stopped running into them and I didn't have to ignore the NUDGE anymore. To be honest...I never even told my husband. OK..OK...I know!! I was totally disobedient to what God was calling me to do!! I have no excuse! I was just plain disobedient! And NO....feeling intimidated is NOT an excuse!
So when I found out that Wendee had passed away I was quickly reminded of my disobedience. Now, I'm only left to wonder what God had to teach me through her and I'm left with the consequence of knowing that I missed out on an opportunity to REALLY know an amazing woman of God.
Talking about her to people who knew her well and loved her deeply has really shown me what I missed out on. Her Celebration of Life service really demonstrated that as well. WOW! I really screwed up! She had so much to offer and I missed it! The more I hear...the more I KNOW that God was calling me to seek her out and I can already see just SOME of the things that God wanted to teach me through her.
So I've shed many tears in the recent weeks. Tears for her family. Tears for my friends. Tears because of my own disobedience and the "what if".
I've been praying a lot for her family and friends. I've also been asking God to be merciful to me for my disobedience and to somehow teach me through her death what He wanted me to learn from her when she was alive. I truly think I'm seeing some of it already and I look forward to more.
As I and many others grieve her loss we also rejoice. We rejoice because we have hope. Hope in the Lord and the sacrifice that His son Jesus made on the cross. This was what drove Wendee in her daily life and it was a privilage to attend her Celebration of Life service and hear about the impact her life had on so many. We Celebrated not only her life...but her HOMECOMING. For she is truly at home now as she is with the Lord and rejoicing is his PRESENCE!
They talked at the service about how when her kids or a friend would being going through a hard or frustrating situatation she would always ask the question, "What do you think God is going to do through this?" So they turned that around and asked all of us to apply that to her death. Wendee would say to all of us, "What do you think God is going to do through this?" So I'm praying and seeking God for that answer in my life. I look forward to the answers!! One thing I know for sure...it's been a lesson in disobedience for me. God calls on us to be obedient to Him. It's a lesson I try so hard to daily instill in my children and I chose to ignore it for myself. I can't do that. None of us can. The consequences can be too great, and more importatntly....we miss out on what God has for us!