Red Valentine's heart

Rhonda

It is finished…three words a friend texted me this week when Rhonda won her battle with cancer and danced into Heaven.  Three words that ripped my heart and healed the wound.  Three words that ended the race and hailed the start of a life in Heaven that’s beyond our wildest dreams.  Three words so devastatingly final and yet so fantastically full of hope.

Sent when I desperately needed a kindred spirit friend, Rhonda was a gift from God… an answer to prayer from a lonely heart.  Don’t misunderstand, Brad and I have an incredible relationship, but we all need additional friendships and my circle of close friends was pitifully small.   I will be forever thankful for the way she came alongside me, spurred me on in my faith, challenged me to never “settle” and made me feel accepted even when my “dark side” reared it’s ugly head.  Rhonda was safe–a rare gift indeed.

My heart has a lonely spot again.  I know that God has not forgotten those of us who are left behind.  He will give comfort.  He will bind the wounds and help us keep running our own race to the end.  But it still hurts.  A.A. Milne wrote in Winnie the Pooh,

 

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

 

Thank you Lord, for a friendship so deep and dear that loosing it is so hard.

Thank you Jesus, for leaving Your glorious home in Heaven to be born in a barn, grow as a commoner, live as light in the darkness and die so that we might live.  Thank you for declaring “It is finished” (John 19:30).  Death has lost its victory.

 

P.S.  Yes, I did say she “won” her battle with cancer.  Cancer does not win when a person knows Jesus.  I had found myself saying, “She’s losing her battle with cancer” and I stopped mid-sentence.  Rhonda was a light of Jesus’ love, grace and beauty through this ordeal.  She told ambulance drivers, nurses, doctors…everyone about Jesus’ love.  No, cancer did not win.  Rhonda won, in the power of the Holy Spirit.  She ran the race to the end and has the prize.

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