Some days, I am so homesick for Heaven.
It's easy to go through our days only thinking of what lies directly in front of us as we take this journey.
But then there are days when we come up against the brick wall of reality. We come face to face with the reminders of the holes in our hearts that were left by those we love.
I count myself blessed that all of those who've gone ahead of me are waiting in Heaven for me. I know it's a rarity to have that assurance.
But it's there and I'm grateful for it.
It's on days like today that hope sustains me.
Six years ago today my best friend went to be with Jesus.
She gave up the fight in her battle with the demon Cancer.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her.
She's in my heart always.
|Missy and I - 2 days before my wedding, Dec. 5, 1991|
Practically inseparable through high school, she became the sister I never had.
I can hardly remember a time when she wasn't part of the memory and we were only separated when she married her sweetheart and moved to Omaha.
|Missy - Freshman photo|
Missy's life had taken some unexpected turns. Some sad and awful days, but she'd come through the hurt and pain and heartache and had been blessed with a new life. Loved by a man who saw her value and beauty.
On this day, she saw me marry my own prince.
And as always, she brought joy and silliness with her, making sure that we didn't get too serious....
|She was always there for me|
I'll never forget where I was and what I was doing when my cell phone rang and she gave me the terrible news of her cancer.
It was a beautiful September morning and I was walking Emma to school.
Her voice on the other end was a knife in my heart, and my heart died a little in that moment.
"It's Stage 4" she said.
"But God is going to heal me." she said.
"I love you." she said.
And for a while, it seemed that anything was possible.
|One of the bravest women I've ever known|
We went for a drive that April, just so she could see the spring flowers and budding trees. I think we both knew it would be the last time she would see them from this side of Heaven, but our conversation was all about the ones she loved. The ones she was scared to leave.
That was my Missy, the one who had the most compassionate heart I've ever known and who never failed to put others before herself.
I've often wondered why God would see fit to bless me with such a friend. I know now that it was to teach me about love that can only be found in sacrifice.
The end came as it always does - sneaking up on you like a child on tiptoe.
I was such a coward.
I wasn't there when she left us, I was walking the beach.
We'd said our goodbyes two days before - not officially, but we both knew it, like we'd always known each other's minds.
She slipped quietly into Jesus' arms surrounded by her family.
And I wept on the beach.
Great big gulping tears pouring straight from my heart.
It is said that you can count on one hand the number of real, true blue friends you'll have in a lifetime.
It is true for me.
And I can honestly say that she was the only friend who knew everything about me - yes, everything - and loved me anyway.
That friend is a once in a lifetime.
It is also said that we see glimpses of those we've loved deeply in the ones we have still around us.
That's also true for me.
I see so much of Missy in my Emma.
Loyal to a fault.
And that's why not a day goes by when she's not with me.
Even though I'm sad today - remembering what was - I also rejoice in what will be.
She's waiting there for me, and today I'm just homesick for Heaven.
With a Courageous Heart,