My friend...my dear, dear friend...Barbara Ann Willoughby...entered the gates of Heaven yesterday.
I'm supposed to be happy. She is no longer suffering. Her battle with cancer is over and she won! She is dancing around the Throne of the eternal God at this moment.
But it's hard for me to be happy.
My heart hurts. I ache. There is a tightness in my chest and a big round ball in my throat.
I will remember her with joy. When I say her name, I smile. But my smile quickly fades because I am still human. I am still here. I am still on this side of the river. And she is not. We are separated by an expanse called Death.
I am not tormented by questions...God is sovereign and He does all things well. He said "no" and He knows why. I learned years ago that He can be trusted no matter what.
Faith, to me, is defined as trusting Him serenely even when I don't understand or agree.
But I am sad. I am sad for her children. For Meghan and Barak and Mikayla. For the fact that she will not see them married nor hold grandchildren still to come. I am sad for Steve, who will continue his fight against his own cancer alone. I am sad for Tabernacle of Joy in Singapore who loved her without restraint. And I am sad for all of the ones who will never meet her...never experience her infectious joy or watch her graceful dance or hear her incredible laugh. I am sad for me and for my husband...for the fact that we four will never again ride the back country roads with no destination in mind just to talk and laugh and share vision and feel God and friendship and love.
My heart hurts.