I have had a few days now to think and process through the loss of my mother. First, let me tell you that the Celebration of her Life and Legacy that we held on Friday (she NEVER wanted a ‘funeral’) was absolutely beautiful. So many people were touched and changed by knowing her. I am blessed to call her Mom. She loved that name. She loved being a Mom. She loved being Mom to me and my brother, Martin, and my sister, Jane.
I have asked myself numerous times since March 20, 2012 at 12:24AM why God chose this time to bring her home. I still need her. Others still need her. She is such an amazing servant of God…her life always pointing people back to Christ. She was gentle and kind; she was devoted and faithful; she giving and sacrificial; she loved with fierceness and without asking questions. She loved the way Jesus asks us to love. So, why? Why take her now? Isn’t there more? Can’t she bring more glory to Him here on Earth? I may never fully know the answer in whole (at least not this side of Heaven), but I do have some thoughts.
My mother’s love and influence went further than I could even fathom. I knew she was wonderful, but the outpouring of comments and stories from people after she died have overwhelmed me with how much she was doing. Here are just a handful of things that we’ve heard–these are just the tip of the iceberg–every quote is from a different person.
- The way she will be remembered: the amazing woman that was always putting others first and loving EVERYONE like God does. She will be missed…impacted many lives including my own!
- Her life makes me want to be more like Christ.
- I can remember her teaching me, loving me, guiding me, praying over me.
- Thank you, Debbie, for being such a loyal friend to everyone that met you.
- What a Godly woman; she was always smiling and had so much joy in her.
- With every act of kindness, every smile and word of cheer, you built a lasting monument in the hearts that mourn you here. Deep in our hearts you’ll always stay, loved and remembered every day.
- She would send me a message, a verse of scripture, or a song every day to encourage me.
- Words can’t express who all Debbie was and will always be…she had the gift of encouragement and was one of the most thoughtful women I know.
- She was my faithful prayer warrior with the most gentle soul. I will miss her encouraging words and wise counsel.
- She was my favorite Sunday school teacher. She had such a sweet and caring soul.
- Debbie was a driving force in a lot of young people’s lives—in their decisions to follow Jesus and become a part of the Kingdom.
- The thing I am going to miss is seeing her smile and hearing her laugh. She always knew how to make me feel better.
- She was always there for me, no matter what; she understood my weaknesses and never judged me for them.
- I vividly remember her describing heaven when we were younger in Sunday school; the thing I remember most about it was her excitement for it. I know she’s there now with our Lord!
- One of her best qualities is unconditional love.
- She will always be the best Sunday school teacher I ever had. I learned more from her growing up than I did in most other church services I’ve been to.
- I will miss seeing her smiling face in the choir every Sunday. She was a sweet, gentle, and kind lady.
- Debbie was a beautiful person and her life touched many. Her love for Jesus was evident and inspiring.
- She was a rare, special soul; and we are all blessed, better people for having been graced by her presence in our lives.
Based on all that I have seen and heard about how she reached people, how many more haven’t said anything? Maybe it was time for her reward in Heaven. The more I think about it though, I think it has more to do with us…when I say “us,” I don’t just mean my brother and sister and me…I mean all of us who loved her and knew her life and what (Who) she lived for. If only my sister and brother and our spouse were moved to action, then her life and her reach will be multiplied by 6 times. But it’s more than just us 6; there are so many of you that are reading this that have been impacted by her and even now God is urging you (because I know He’s urging me) to honor and remember how my mom ministered to, taught, mentored, prayed for, loved, encouraged you by following her example. Her life can and will be multiplied by all of us. I won’t let my mother’s touch in my life go in vain.
If you haven’t seen it, this video is a tribute to her life and legacy. Let me share a little bit of her with you: http://vimeo.com/39028322