dear vicki,

i cannot fully express the impact you have had on my life and the lives of so many others. i remember  hanging out with you at the middle school laser tag event when madi was in seventh grade. it was the first event i attended with the middle school youth after being hired at church, and you were one of the first people to learn that i'd been hired.

i remember many many women's bible studies with you and cynthia. i remember how often you reminded us "it's a heart issue." i think of that all the time, even now. i remember many youth events at your house, and the blessing of your family as i got to work with your three youngest kids.

i remember how happy i was for you and mason when i found out you were moving to utah, and how sad i was for me. in a strange way i feel sort of that way now. i'm happy that you will soon get to live in the light of God's perfect glory. i'm sad for those of us whom you're leaving for now. i'm sad for your family whom i love so much, and for everyone else you loved so well - myself included.

you are such a gem, and my heart is full as i think of you walking into glory, made fully perfect and whole.

i've had hillsong's "you hold me now" stuck in my head since last night.

on that day when i see
all that you have for me
when i see you face to face
there surrounded by your grace
all my fears swept away
in the light of your embrace
where your love is all i need
and forever i am free

where the streets are made of gold
in your presence healed and whole
let the songs of heaven
rise to you alone

no weeping no hurt or pain
no suffering, you hold me now
you hold me now
no darkness no sick or lame
no hiding you hold me now
you hold me now

in this life i will stand
through my joy and my pain
knowing there's a greater day
there's a hope that never fails
where your name is lifted high
and forever praises rise
for the glory of your name
i'm believing for the day

where the wars and violence cease
all creation lives in peace
let the songs of heaven
rise to you alone

for eternity
all my heart will give
all the glory to your name

and i am so very thankful for the wholeness you will soon experience. i am so very thankful for the blessing you've been on my life. for the many things you've taught me about marriage and parenting and loving people well.

your love for jesus always showed through. your openness about your life was an example to me of courage and vulnerability.

this morning in yoga class my teacher talked about gripping so hard to things that weren't ours to begin with. she had no idea how much that struck me.

you belong to God. he created you, he has sustained you, and now he calls you home. we "grip" you because we love you and we want you to be here a while longer. but you're not ours to begin with - you are his. 

and so, all i can say is thank you. thank you for allowing yourself to be a conduit of God's hope and love to those around you. thank you for your willingness to speak truth. thank you for your boldness. thank you for your courage. thank you for your vulnerability. thank you for your friendship.

i am so thankful for you. so thankful for all of those things you taught me. and despite the sadness it brings for those of us still here, i am beyond thankful that you will soon be healed and whole.

so much love to you.



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