I’ve been mulling over this post in my head for the past week. Do you ever feel like you just have to write and you don’t even really know what’s going to come out at the end, but you just know that you have to get it down? That’s what this post feels like.
Last Monday on Facebook, I saw a prayer request from one of my very best friends from our time in California. One of her friends,Praise, (also a friend from our time in Cali) was very suddenly and unexpectedly sick. Things did not look good.
So I prayed. I prayed for the Lord to heal Praise, and for the doctors to be filled with wisdom and know exactly how to treat the mystery illness. Off and on all morning, my mind and my heart would wander to Praise, and I would pray again. People all over the world were praying for Praise. I have no doubt about that.
But just a few hours later, Praise died. One day she was here, young, healthy, and with her whole life stretched before her. The next day, she was gone. She was admitted to the hospital on Sunday morning, and Monday afternoon, she died. She was 29 years old, and she died suddenly and quickly from a virus.
I felt like I had been punched in the stomach when I read the news. I sat at my kitchen table and I cried. I looked out at my kids playing in the backyard, and I thought about Praise and how much she loved kids and how much she would have loved being a mother.
Why, God? Why take her now?
Praise lived and loved more fully that anyone I have ever known. Hundreds of wall posts poured in on Facebook. I wonder if Praise has any idea how many lives she touched in her time here on earth. I wish I had told her that she was the most joy-filled person I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. I wish my kids could have known her. I hadn’t talked to Praise in real life since we left California almost 5 years ago. We kept in touch through Facebook and her blog. But somehow, the news of her passing has rocked me to my core. That’s just the kind of person she was. She didn’t have acquaintances. She only had friends.
She has left behind the most incredible legacy. She traveled the world, loving and serving others, and served God with pure passion.
She had the best laugh.
Praise, you will be missed here on earth. Thank you for being you. For loving and living the way you did. You are an example to me and to so many others. You saw beauty in everyone and everything. And amidst all the sadness, I am am happy that this life is not the end.
I’ll see you again someday, my friend.