A precious soul and dear friend, Fay, left this earth today a little sooner than expected. Nothing prepared me for the news as her husband, Glenn, and daughter, Gillian, shared the details with me over FaceTime. Up to that point, Fay was still on life support and the decision was made to remove her from it. I struggled to understand it all. Only a couple of weeks prior, we shared over text, words of encouragement, and now she was preparing to step into eternity.
I met Fay and her family in the late 90’s through our church family. I sat under her many teachings and soaked up her Godly wisdom. Fay was unassuming and passionate with so much enthusiasm, and it was evident every time she spoke. Over the years, as I got to know Fay, I would call on her wisdom when I needed advice or direction. Fay was a person I trusted, because quite simply put, she only spoke truth and that’s what I longed for. Fay was the type of person that when she spoke, you had better listen because what she had to say was impacting.
Sometimes, all I wanted was to be in her presence!
As life went on and the miles separated us, we were able to reconnect through social media. Connecting with Fay was like a breath of fresh air! At the time, Fay was writing a lot and in fact, had published many books. As soon as I had the opportunity to get her books in my hands, I did so. Fay had a gift for writing, just as she did for teaching. I gravitated towards that because writing is one of my passions. I began sharing some of my writings with her that I had tucked away. Fay was quick to encourage me in that gift. She always did it with so much love and grace!
We sometimes spent hours sharing and sending words of encouragement to each other. Sometimes we’d get so excited that we hit the wrong keys and sent the wrong words with silly autocorrects – with a mutual understanding. Then there were times of desperation where I’d call on her for her wisdom, but more so for prayer.
Fay was a praying woman. If she told you she was praying for you, they were not empty words. She was a friend of God’s and you knew that simply by knowing her. Her words impacted me and left imprints on my heart. Her life was a living testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Everything about her I admired – a true woman after God’s own heart.
I will miss her tremendously.
Receiving the news on Sunday night left me feeling completely drained and exhausted. I cried and cried. As I drove to my parents house to share the news with them, I struggled to keep my eyes free from tears. At one point, I cried out and asked God….WHY? Why now? She hadn’t finished her race! She had so much more life to live! So much more to give! But, we all know…. death never comes at a good time. Although I felt she wasn’t finished, one thing I did know – Fay was ready. Fay lived her life ready! She had chosen her eternity a long time ago, and she was ready to run to the arms of her Father.
As I sat quietly in our living room, I felt prompted to pick up one of Fay’s last books she wrote, “25,000 Mornings”. It’s one of my favourites, because Fay being who Fay is, is so transparent in her writings that you feel that she’s almost sitting with you telling you the stories. For some reason, I decided to read the very last page in her book.
What I was about to read left me completely undone. Yet, I sat in awe at the goodness and faithfulness of God!
Marathons and Finish Lines
I watched him, fresh and hopeful, leave with the crowd as I headed off to Starbucks to sit and drink coffee while reading my brand new copy of Yours, Jack (a gift from my hubby who knows I’m a huge fan of C.S. Lewis).
Ninety minutes later, even though Glenn had told me that he wouldn’t be there for another hour, I headed back to the finish line, just in case. I was totally unprepared for my reaction upon seeing the runners come in.
Here they came, sometimes one by one, sometimes in small groups. Children hobbling with parents holding their hands, one girl bursting into tears just feet from the finish line, a senior gentleman flanked by two young men who encouraged him to keep going, and some – like my hubby- still powerful to the end.
I thought of how those who have gone before us to Heaven must peer with outstretched necks to see loved ones round that last bend. I thought of my father – weak when he left here at 90 after a good, strong life – and how he must have thrown back his head and laughed out loud with joy to see the beautiful shore.
And I thought of how precious in the eyes of the Lord the homecoming of his saints must be.
And I was undone.
Today, think about all that is to come.
“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:24)
Here she was about to cross the finish line, and in her last reading, right to the very last line, she was eternally focused. She was about to behold the glory of the Lord and experience a homecoming like she had never known on this earth. She was about to meet the One who walked with her through every trial… who was with her in the darkest valleys and stood with her on the highest mountains. She was about to behold the One who wrapped her daily in His love, mercy and grace. She was ready to meet her Maker face and face and behold His glory. She would see the face of God and live….FOREVER!
And this promise of eternity with Jesus gives my heart so much hope and joy because I know this isn’t the end!
And like Fay, I’ll live ready!
And I, too, expect to see her from Heaven “peering with an outstretched neck to see me round that last bend”.
“Go rest high on that mountain, your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’. Love for the Father and the Son” (Vince Gill)