Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Friday, April 19, 2013

May Angels Lead You In . . .

As some of you may know, right now myself and a lot of people close to me are mourning the loss of a woman so dear to my heart. Connie Williams. I shared a facebook status about her passing yesterday and it was a very difficult day. I woke up to the news of her death. What a wake up call - literally a wake up call.

Bear with me as this is LITERALLY the hardest thing I've ever written.

Mrs. Williams was a teacher at Phoenix Christian at the time of her passing. She was at camp with her 5th grade students when she suffered a heart attack and died minutes later - away from her 3 sons and husband.

Let me tell you about my morning yesterday. I woke up to my phone ringing. It was my mom. I answered. The voice on the other end of the line was shaking and clearly holding back tears. Her words were "Mrs. Williams just had a heart attack. I don't know how she's doing, but please pray! She's at camp in Prescott with her 5th graders right now." *Hang up.* 

"God," I said, "You're in control. I know she'll be okay. Please. Please."

11 minutes later my phone rang again but I didn't hear it. I missed the most important call of my life thus far. How could I do that at such a crucial time? What was SO important? UGH. When I did get to my phone I saw a text. Two words. Never in my life did I think that two words could break my heart, my spirit, my day all at once. But those two words did. "She died," those two words said.

But I couldn't believe it. No tears came. This wasn't real life. It couldn't be. She was too young, too full of life and joy and love and Jesus! She had 3 kids and a husband! She was a teacher of 5th grade students at Phoenix Christian. A HUGE part of my child and adolescent life. Played a major role in my church. So loved by many. How could this be? No - she's not gone. This isn't real. It can't be. I won't believe it.

All day this was my thought process. It wasn't until last night that it hit me. Hard. The tears came. The memories came. The questions came. The heartbreak and the bitter pain came.

Mrs. Williams was a beacon of light around Phoenix Christian and around Bethany Bible Church. I never had her as a teacher, and she STILL had that much of an impact on me. I just wrote a toast for a wedding in October and I mentioned Mr. and Mrs. Williams in it! She and her husband have been a support in every mission trip effort I've been a part of. They have always cheered me on in all my sports. She always encouraged me in my academics when I was feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. She always inspired me to keep going when I felt like giving up. Her laugh and her smile were so infectious. She was a lover. She was an incredible wife and mother - such a family woman. The kind of woman I want to be when I have a family someday.

Her heart was so big and full. There really are no words to describe this incredible woman of God. And though those of us left here on earth have sadness and pain and holes in our hearts because an angel has been taken from us to sit at the side of God, we know she is no longer in pain. We know she is happier than ever and there are no more tears for her. We know there is a reason for everything and that God has a plan. We know that God can turn anything into good and we know that even the ugliest situations can be made beautiful in Him.

Mr. Williams says that she is dancing with Jesus right now . . . And I believe it :)

Jason Mraz says, "Music is our best medicine in a time of healing, as it is also our greatest weapon in the war against unhappiness.."

So I leave you with lyrics from some different songs, because my own words are not enough.
This is for you Mrs. Williams. We love you. You will never be forgotten.

"There's no one in town I know
You gave us some place to go.
I never said thank you for that.
I thought I might get one more chance.
What would you think of me now,
so lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that,
now I'll never have a chance.
May angels lead you in.
And if you were with me tonight,
I'd sing to you just one more time.
A song for a heart so big,
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in."
Jimmy Eat World - Hear You Me

"When all is said and done
And I'm looking back upon this race I've run
And when my heart gives in
I know you'll be beside me precious friend
It's just the same from the beginning to the end
When all is said and done
And if I lose my way
And I wander down this open road for days
And if the sun should fall
And the dancing we once did becomes a crawl
Let the memories move like shadows on the wall
If I lose my way
When I'm coming home
And I walk across the bridge of death alone
I will fix my eyes on the one who's waiting at the other side
It's my old friend with countless others there beside
When I'm coming home
When all is said and done
And I'm looking back upon this race I've run
And when my heart gives in
I know you'll be beside me precious friend
It's just the same from the beginning to the end
When all is said and done"
Tyrone Wells - When All Is Said And Done

"Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure
And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven"
Eric Clapton - If I Saw You In Heaven