Over the weekend a very dear friend of our family passed away....
This is *our* story.
Once upon a time when Shelly was young and green and moved to a far away land called, "New Jersey," she was at once thrilled at the prospect of a new life with her husband and despondent over missing her family and friends and the country life she so loved.
She was so happy to be united with the most *wonderful* man she had ever met but was so lonely. Shelly went to church with her husband and started to become acquainted with some really lovely people. One of those people, who went above and beyond and out of her way to welcome Shelly was June.
Now, June wasn't exactly the type of person Shelly would have dreamed to be friends with--she was old enough to be her grandmother! June was feisty and outgoing and hilarious and was crowned with lovely silver curls (that once turned purple when she used a new shampoo but that is another story =).
June was the kind of friend who deeply cared and wanted to know *really* how you were. She took Shelly on day trips and shopping excursions and out to lunch. She frequently called *the wonderfuls* over for visits and made them interesting dinners and basically took them under her wings. Her home was always open to anyone at any time.
June was a great friend. She led a very interesting life and had met many hard times and had many happy times. She had many children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren but none of this slowed her down and her heart was never too full to let others in. She shared her joys and her heartache and encouraged and always was ready with a pun (and even the awful ones were always appreciated=).
At at time in my life when I felt so unsure and helpless and was desperate to take my husband and flee the state she made me feel at home. And loved.
When I had my daughter, Amelie, she treated her like her own grandchild! She always had little gifts for her and was even the first person to babysit her!
I feel such a debt of gratitude to June--for supporting me when I needed it and for being the kind of person I would like to grow to be. She will be missed--but Praise The Lord--we'll be spending eternity together and the time we knew each other here will pale in comparison!
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died[f] so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.[g]
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died[h] will rise from their graves.
17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
18 So encourage each other with these words.