I never truly understood what people meant with they said the expression, “I have such a heavy heart for ....” Last night I found out not only what that really means, but also how it feels. I felt it to my very core as I heard the news about a dear friend. My sweet sister in Christ left us yesterday to enter the presence of our Precious Maker, our King of Kings, our Great Physician, our Everything!
When I first got the call, I was immediately thinking that there was a mistake and we all just need to calm down and pray. God can do anything and maybe this was not true. My friend is still in her 50’s and last time I talked to her, she seemed fine. Unfortunately, she was not fine, and did pass away leaving behind a devoted husband, two beautiful godly daughters, a handsome son, 4 sweet grandbabies and one on the way, and so many other family and friends who have loved and cherished her very presence.
I will miss most the way she spoke of the Lord to me. She knew immediately when I was struggling with an issue of trust or fear. She once called me out of the blue before Skip was going in for his first hip replacement. She said, “Susie, I know that right now you are scared. I know that you are worried about the outcome. Susie, God has given me a peace that I am to pass on to you about this situation. Everything is going to be okay. Skip will be fine. Do not fret or be anxious because God has assured me that this is going to go fine.” For some reason, I knew she and God had talked extensively over me, and her prayers were answered in my behalf. I finally felt that peace that I had been longing for when she spoke those words.
I will also miss that hunger she had for knowledge. She would dive into a bible study like it was a Christmas present. Knowing the Lord for years and years only increased her desire to know every single thing she could about His Word. When we decided to do the Beth Moore Daniel study over a year ago, she became speechless with excitement. That would be the last study I did with her, but she never stopped learning and absorbing up until her passing.
I can’t even get started about her love for her children and grandchildren without the tears pouring down. I was so jealous at times the way she attended every program, every school party, every field day, every oral book report given. Her daughters are some of my dearest friends, and she would never miss their children’s activities. I always wanted a mom nearby to come to these things for my own children. Actually my kids and her grandkids were often in the same classes, so in way, she was that for me too.
My friend was like a mom to me and to so many others. Besides always knowing the exact thing to say when we were unsettled about something, she never hesitated to say I love you whenever we said goodbye to her in person or on the phone. That is what moms do and my friend was that to so many ladies in her church, and in her bible studies.
The pain is so real and so strong at this moment, but our friend is literally at the feet of Jesus. She is dancing, singing, rejoicing, praising our Lord! How exciting and beautiful! She is exactly in the place she always longed for and knows all the things she longed to know. There is no more pain for her, and no more sadness. She is with God!
The days to follow will be unbearable for this tender family that has felt cut short of so many things. They have so many phone calls and so many arrangements to make. They have no sweet mother to keep it all flowing and to pause along the way for hugs and tickles. But …they do have church families, they have friends and family who are going to come in and take over to meet the needs. They will have peace that only comes from above. Most importantly, they have the reassurance that my dear friend is with her Heavenly Prince in paradise.
Please lift the family and friends of Jeannie De La Garza up in prayer. We will all miss her so much.
*Jeannie was also a member of a writing group and here is one of her devotionals she wrote.