I had planned to write about our Valentine's or how excited we are about Duck Dynasty coming back or even about what the kids have been up to. However, tonight I wanted to take a minute to remember my friend Beth.
My job at school is to talk to new families and give them tours of our school. I deal with young families alot, telling them about the advantages of a small Christian school. In the fall of 2008, just days before the school year started, I met a young mother of two boys looking for a spot in our K4 program. They were a military family, which I usually connect with instantly, and the boys were just precious!
Beth and I talked about motherhood and she was so excited to see how Caleb, her oldest one, would grow and learn. Later that fall Beth got sick. Her husband Paul came in with her to meet with our elementary principal and myself and together they explained that Beth had cancer and how that would impact their life.
This past Sunday morning, Beth met her Savior.
Beth and Paul fought the good fight and kept the faith from the beginning. They truly lived out James 1:2, keeping a positive outlook and an encouraging spirit. I always enjoyed speaking to her in the pick up line or visiting her at the house. Anytime Paul posted on her Caring Bridge site - asking for prayers or relating the latest bloodwork or treatment plan- I would get a blessing because he never failed to give God any glory for good news or to offer praise to the One who was seeing them through when there were valleys.
Both of the boys are in our school now - Caleb is in the third grade and Eli is in kindergarten. Sunday afternoon, each one told me in their own way what had happened to their mom. It left me heartbroken yet peaceful because I know Beth gave motherhood all she had. She tried to be up on all the homework, class parties, field trips and events! And on my way home from visiting the family, I felt so convicted of the blessings God has poured out on me.
I am completely undeserving!
As I visited with her mom I encouraged her that through this illness they were able to spend more time together than many mothers and daughters that I know. Mrs. Becky spent most weeks with Beth and Paul, helping out with the boys and the house stuff. She told me how grateful she was for every one of those minutes. I take my own mother and father for granted, thinking they are invincible and will always be there. When I remember Beth, I will always remember to appreciate my parents and any time I have with them because the older I get the more I realize how much they love me.
As I talked with the boys Sunday I saw Beth's smile in Caleb and her twinkle in Eli's eyes. They played on the trampoline and showed me their race care Wii game and I caught myself thinking how I take little moments like that with my own children for granted. When I remember Beth, I will always remember to soak up every minute of being a mother. I will not say "not now" or "ask me later" or "I'm too busy". I'll be at every game, listening intently to any conversation we have and open to any time I can spend with them because I realize they are only ours for a little while.
And then I talked to Paul. In his eyes was grief but on his lips was praise for a Savior who would continue to see him through without the love of his life. I had no words of encouragement for him because I can't imagine life without the other half of me. When I remember Beth, I'll always remember that love is an action and a choice. I'll remember for better or worse could be much worse. I'll remember that love hurts when you give completely. I'll remember that the greatest thing is love.
Paul quoted hymns in many of his posts on Caring Bridge and I appreciated reading those old lyrics. There is victory in Jesus and we all need to have a sweet hour of prayer! Last week Paul wrote, "the darkest hour means dawn is just in sight". For Beth, joy came Sunday morning when she entered heaven's gates to sit at the feet of our King.
I will always remember Beth! I will be forever grateful that God allowed our path to cross at the counter of a small Christian school one summer morning. Please keep her family in your prayers as they walk through next few days of sorrow.
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Great is Thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see,
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me.