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Tuesday morning started out as a normal day. I wrestled the children down to our school room and started our school day. And then I received the text that would forever change my life. In that text the message was clear, my mentor, fellow mom, my blogging buddy and best friend had graduated to Heaven along with her husband and two of their other children. Instantly learning addition problems no longer seemed important.
Over the past few days, I have been living in what seems like a hugely horrifying nightmare. When I lay down I pray to God to please let this all have been a bad dream. I need her still. Yet, the next day is the same. There is still no text or voxer message.
My heart aches for the two precious children who were left behind, for the two mothers who are having to say farewell to their babies and for the siblings who are saying see you later to their instant best friends. All of which I am sure are like me and are asking “Why?”
Mandy and Scott lived their lives fully serving God. Opening up their hearts and home to anyone who needed them. You weren’t a stranger or an inconvenience. You were a wonderful guest. They truly worshiped God with all their heart and used everything that God had placed in their lives to serve Him. And though we may never understand why this happened we can rest assured that God is using this for His glory.
Since Tuesday, I have struggled to find the words to say, struggling to make sense of it all, struggling to focus on God. Instead, I was focusing on my own heart and the loss of someone that had been so dear to so many people. Then I remember words that Mandy spoke to me. She said:
Joy is never taken away. It can shine through you even in hard times. It’s up to us to allow that joy to shine through.
Joy is something that Mandy lived and she lived well. Along with grace. She was a person who allowed herself to be transparent around those who were around her and even in the hard moments she chose to praise God. In those tearful moments when her heart felt like it was breaking and I would be crying along side her she would say God has a plan.
In this I take comfort. God has a plan. His plan is better than any plan I can imagine. So as I sit here struggling to pick up the pieces of my heart off the floor I will remember Mandy’s words of wisdom. I will choose to shine joy and I will do so by focusing on Him.
To My Sweet Friend Mandy,
Though my heart is broken…It will heal. I cherish our phone chats, text messages, video chats and prayer meeting. Thank you for always being willing to listen and to pray with me. Thank you for always speaking Biblical truths to me. Thank you for always standing beside me in the dark moments and for celebrating with me in the triumphant moments. You were a true gift from God. An inspiration to all those around you. You were an angel that was placed here on Earth who God placed in my life for a reason. I just wish I had told you this more in person. Until we have our next chat session I will replay all the others in my mind and heart. And I will continue to worship with my life in a way that you always encouraged me to.
Your Bestie Always and Forever,
It would not be proper not to mention that Scott and Mandy’s home church has set up a special fund for the two surviving children. The church is accepting cards as well as financial donations. I know that the family would be greatly comforted to know how Mandy has inspired you.
The church’s address is:
Trinity Baptist Church
2003 Charleston Hwy.
Cayce, SC 29033
You can also donate via Trinity’s website. There is a GIVE button on the menu. Choose the ‘Kelly Fund’ from the drop down options.
Until Next Time Just Keep Soaring 4 Him,
I would like to invite you to my Facebook group Christian Homemakers in Training where we dive into homemaking, motherhood, marriage and group devotions. After all, we all need a safe place to grow together, right?