Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Unexpected goodbyes

Two weeks ago my friend was murdered. This woman loved the Lord and gleaned Him. Her heart was beautiful and everyone that met her immediately felt her love for the Lord and the joy that was in her heart from the Lord. She overcame obstacles that would destroy most, but not only did she survive them, she over came them and she gave GOD all the glory.
I met this amazing woman in Germany, she became a precious friend, a prayer partner, and a confidant. We taught our last bible study together before she moved, we finished up our study and she moved the following week, to Virginia, only days after her husband returned from his deployment to Afghanistan.
Through Facebook, we've kept in touch, continued to pray for each other. Her son disappeared last year and we prayed for his safe return and she's advocated for him and other young adults who get caught up in modern day slavery (those college age kids knocking on  your door to sell magazines, are not in school, they're ultimately being kept from their families. They have no money, no phones, no vehicles, they're being packed into cheap motel rooms, and are being shipped from one city to the next, one state to the next, often not being fed enough to keep the stomach pains away, rarely getting much rest, often being physically abused by their "managers", and being kept away from their friends and family who have no idea where they are." She was working with the FBI and her state Senators on this issue, to bring other young adults home and get them out of this awful thing. Amazing mom, amazing woman.
So how was such an amazing woman murdered? What we know is in December her husband hurt her, was hitting her. We do not know if this has been an ongoing issue, or a recent behavior that started. When I say we, I'm talking about her Army wives sisters. A restraining order and his removal from the home happened. We know that on Saturday he showed up at their home and threatened her and she called the police, who had been out looking for him. We know that he waited until she left for work Sunday night, followed her and pushed her vehicle off the road, then got out of his truck and shot her, called the police, confessed, got into the passenger side of her truck and killed himself.
He left their children as orphans. The oldest two boys were not biologically his, but he'd raised them as his own, the middle two were biologically theirs, and they adopted their niece when she was an infant. Now a 15, 13, and 7 year old are left to grow up without their parents and two very young men of 19 and 20 are left to navigate this world without their parents, and let me just say, most importantly, without their mom. Without their wonderful, beautiful, God-fearing, mother.
I'm so sad for these kids. I'm heartbroken that these babies have to live the rest of their lives knowing what their dad did to their momma. I'm heart broken that they will never get the best hugs ever, from their momma.
Murder/Suicide, I don't think it ever makes sense, no matter who is involved. I have never had this happen to someone I love. What I know is there are truly 3 families destroyed. The family they created together and their own families they came from. Grief is abounding from all walks of life, from their families, military family, and friends throughout the years. My heart is heavy. Satan does not win, my sweet friend won. She's with Jesus now and her children KNOW she's with the Lord. They know that she loved them with all her heart and that she did all she could to protect them. God wins, he always will. I have to remind myself of that. Good will always beat out evil. What I know is that what was intended to be evil, will turn into good. We praise him through this storm, we will pray her children through this. We will live better, because of the beautiful example my friend taught me, who emulated our Lord.
I continue to cry out to Jesus, lift my prayers, my heart, up to Him.
This may have been an unexpected goodbye, but oh I can only imagine what a beautiful reunion my precious friend is having with the Lord right now, for that I am thankful.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


When we were in Germany, I found that some of my dearest friends were chaplain wives. My precious friend, Heather went through some VERY scary health issue's and through it our friendship grew stronger and we became closer than ever. They are not wrapped in a super natural bubble wrap to protect them from bad things, if that were the case, Heather wouldn't have almost died, well actually she DID die, but through the Grace of GOD and his hands working with physicians, she's still here.
One of the chaplain wives I got to know and grew to love is, Dianne. I think everyone who was stationed in Bamberg while she was there could all say many things about Dianne. She had a definite presence. She had the most beautiful, strong, powerful singing voice I have ever heard in my life. Honestly, I could just listen to her sing the phone book (you know when they existed!!). Just thinking about her singing, gives me chills and brings me to tears, because that beautiful singing voice no longer sings. Dianne walked every day. When I think of speed walking, I think of Dianne. There was not a day that you did not see her out walking, often times pushing her stroller with her youngest in it, often that's where he took his afternoon nap, so he got good fresh air and she got her much needed and desired walk in (she walked more than once a day, but almost always in the early afternoon). She took care of herself, ate healthy, no smoking, etc. A couple years ago, Dianne was diagnosed with lung cancer and there was cancer in other area's of her body as well. She was not given a lot of hope from her doctors as far as long term survival, yet she's fought with passion, grace, and determination. During her own fight, her mother had her own battle with cancer as well, and through this she's an Army wife, mother of 6 with 4 still at home.
Right now, Dianne's in the hospital with pneumonia. More cancer tumors have showed up. She's hoping to go home in the next few days and because now there's nothing more to do, she's seeking clinic trials, because she wants to live. She trusts our Lord and knows and finds comfort that when it's her time, he'll call her home, in the mean time though, she wants to live, she wants to continue to watch her children grow, she wants to continue to grow old with her husband.
Will you please join me in prayers for Dianne and her family, her husband and her 6 children, along with her extended family. The ache in my heart is so overwhelming that after I read the latest update on Dianne Saturday night, I've just been in tears daily and prayers. I KNOW that when the Lord calls her home, there will be peace in Dianne's soul. I also know that her husband and children will grieve so deeply and that she's a woman that simply can not ever be replaced. Join me in prayers that the Lord will give a miracle, that he'll allow her to have not just days or months, but years still. Her youngest is still just so young (under the age of 8), so the thought of him growing up without his momma just takes me to knee's in tears. To think of her girls getting ready for their wedding without their momma to help them slip into their dress, sit and pray with them, and give them words of wisdom on being a wife.

I pray for a miracle. I pray that the Lord will cure her of cancer, while on this earth and allow her to see her babies grow up, and allow her to rock her grandbabies and sing them to sleep.
That is my prayer for Dianne, whether it's God's will for her, I do not know, but I'm asking all of you to join me in praying for her and her family.