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Monday, June 13, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Lisa

Gosh, it's been a long time!  Sorry I have not written in so long.  Life...and Death happen.   I took some time to say goodbye to my dear friend Lisa who slipped the bonds of cancer on this earth to dance with Jesus.  Lisa was 51 years old.

Following is an article I wrote about Lisa in the paper in 2008.  She was a remarkable lady.  If you would like a copy of "Lisa's Lessons"  call Faith Family Resource Center at 618-539-3434.  We will be happy to send you a copy! 

Don’t Forget Lisa’s Lesson

___Don’t waste a day


___Look for God’s Blessings

___See the positive

___Don’t be a victim

___Don’t forget to say thanks

___Tell people you love them

___Spend time with God

Writer’s note: In Dec. 2008 I wrote the following article called “Lisa’s Lesson.” Last Wednesday, after several years of living in spite of cancer, Lisa left us.

I know she has just slipped away to a better place, because she told me in that first interview she trusted Jesus with her life. She knew He would take her to Heaven.

What a great and wonderful thing. My prayer is that everyone who reads this article has that same assurance of following Jesus to Heaven. When we give our lives to Him, we know we can truly say to Lisa, “See you later.”

Lisa's Lesson

I was speechless when I found out Lisa had cancer. It was one of those moments your mind is racing with an echoing, "WHY, WHY, WHY?"

God and Lisa settled my mind. It was useless to wrestle with anxious questions. It was better to move forward with a new perspective.

One blessed day, I sat with Lisa in her cozy kitchen. We prayed and talked. I began to understand this would be an important journey for Lisa. God also let me know, no matter what happened, Lisa would be OK at journey's end.

I had something to learn from my God and my friend. Today, I share what Lisa has taught me. Today, I share Lisa's Lesson.

I asked Lisa how her perspective on life has changed since her diagnosis.

"Things that once seemed important are not. It doesn't matter if the bed is made or supper's ready at the right time, or even if the laundry is done.

"My priority is getting that hug and kiss before the girls or my husband leave for the day. I also make sure I tell my family I love them.

"I thank them for the things they've done for me, those things I may have taken for granted in the past. My family has been a God send.

"I've learned not to sweat the little things. Each day is precious time God has given me, not to be wasted."

"We can't predict what will happen to us," Lisa said. We often can't control our circumstances, but we can control our response to those circumstances.

"I need to live my life to its fullest, not letting my illness control my life."

"God's blessings are found everywhere," Lisa told me. "We just need to open our eyes to them. Worrying does absolutely no good and wastes precious time."

I asked Lisa if her relationship with God has changed since her diagnosis.

"I feel much closer to God. I’m reminded God gave His only son so we could be forgiven and saved, and have eternal life," Lisa said. "I have more faith in Him and know He's been with me throughout this difficult time. He won't burden me with more than I can handle."

As Lisa spoke about her special closeness with her Savior, she reminded me not to take anything for granted.

"I pray more often," Lisa told me. I read the Bible more often. I see God's messages and signs everywhere and I thank God more often for the blessings He has given me."

Lisa went on to give this message to anyone who is struggling.

"Know that God is with you every step of the way," Lisa said. "He will not let you down. Don't let something like an illness define your life. God has His reasons, whether we understand them or not.

"Instead of the, 'Why me?' attitude, realize there is a reason God has chosen you take this path," Lisa said. "Take what may seem like a negative and find the positive."

Lisa said her eyes have been opened to many blessings since her illness.

"My eyes have been so much wider open to the daily blessings God provides,"she said.

"The support of this community has been amazing," Lisa said. "From dear friends and family to total strangers, the outpouring of support, love and prayers has been a true gift from God that has helped me through this new chapter in my life."

Thanks for the Life Lesson, my sweet, precious Lisa. Somehow, I feel I see you today.

You’re beside the sparkling River of Life. You’re hiking on the bright, Son-lit trail. You turn to face us with a smile that fills your face. Your eyes are sparkling with delight. You pause and wave, just there on the other side.

See you later, Lisa.

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