This week my husband and I drove nine hours plus each way to attend Deb’s funeral. I knew I needed to be there and it was so good that I was. We laughed, we cried and celebrated a life lived to the fullest. Deb lived a life that was an example to each of us filled with love and joy.
As we travelled to LA Brad and I stopped in the middle of nowhere in Mississippi for him to soothe my heart. Marriage does that – y’all should try it (married folks). Deb’s husband sent me a text which said, “I thought it was, but just checked. I asked several times and all Deb would say is, just leave it there. Deb loved you dearly. Paul D.” (My dollar)
My heart exploded into a million pieces. She satisfied her end of our deal. In ministry many people start with you but often, once our humanity is exposed patience wears thin and friends are gone. Deb never allowed my stuff to interrupt her love. She kept my dollar and seven years later it still sat in her console. Ministry friends often feel the disappointment of friendships dying with time, distance or differences. She never allowed our friendship to expire.
Tonight I received this message from a new friend. She had interviewed Deb a few months ago and asked her who her hero is. ”The first name that popped into her head was you. I wanted you to know that. I’ll copy and paste what she said.”
Who is your hero? Deb responded, “That’s a tough one. There’s so many. Ordinary women who survive life’s difficulties with faith and strength. First name that popped into my mind is Kasey Ewing. She’s now the family minister at New Vision Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I’ve had the humble privilege to mentor her. Their son was killed but she and her husband Brad have fought to survive their loss. Kasey is honest and real. And raw. And still loves God and others even though her heart was crushed.”
Deb loved me and spurred me on to do what God has called me to do.
She has been gone for almost a week and my thoughts keep swirling – can I love like she did? Will I encourage women towards the Gospel like she did? What is my role? How do I fulfill it?
Her death instigated a chasm of feelings inside of me.
Her life inspired me more.
Tonight I ask myself, can I fulfill the perception she had of me?
I sure hope so.
Side note: I am thankful to Julie Woodruff who exchanged dollars with me this week. Our “dollar” people are out there – find yours and get to exchanging!