Today . . . I will celebrate!

Oct 4, 2013

Today I will celebrate.  In God's goodness.  In His sovereignty.  I will sit at His feet and attempt to honor Him.  Today I will not walk in my flesh, but will concentrate on walking in His spirit.  Today I will rejoice.

A year ago today I witnessed for the first time in my life the expression of peace on a friend's face, a friend who had taken her last breath on earth and her first breath in heaven.  I'll be honest in saying that this was a shocking and traumatic event for me, not because I was concerned about her eternity, but because of the rawness and unexpectedness of the event.  There were things about her that I did not know, and frankly had I known, I would have treated her differently - gently, with caution . . . I would have mothered her . . . are you sure you should do this or that?  Maybe you should stay back and rest?  Oh, she would have HATED that.  Because this girl, THIS GIRL . . . she was full of life, full of living, full of vigor, full of passion, full of desire to live out plans that the Lord had placed on her heart (i.e. to be a missionary), full of boldness to share Christ with others.  This girl was unabashedly unashamed of her Savior.  This girl was living for Him, even if it was painful.  This girl was determined.

And there she was, vacated from the earth and whisked away to heaven, where I am certain that she is frolicking with Jesus, shouting praise songs loudly, riding a motorcycle on the streets of gold.  It may seem odd to say, but I was closer to her in her death than I was in her life - not because I didn't want to hang out with her, simply because of life mechanics and she hadn't been here in the D.R. for very long.  But God had plans for me and another friend to be close to her in her death.  And since that moment, I think that both my friend and I have grown in our knowledge of the character of God, through knowing Bethany and even through being with her shortly after her exit from this earth, and from getting to know and love her family, who is so FULL of the love of Christ that it is sweetly overwhelming to be in their presence - the aroma of Christ lingers long after they have left the room.

So . . .today . . .  I will celebrate in knowing that death does not have victory over the believer, that God knows what each of His children needs, that a life lived for Him has an impact far beyond these few moments on earth, that every breath is a gift from Him, that His children should be a reflection of His image - like Bethany was.  Thank you, Bethany.  Thank you, Brown Family.  Thank you, Jesus. Today, I will celebrate.


  1. Can't believe it has been a year. What an incredible impact she has made on SO MANY people. People who, like me, never even met her. I look forward to the day I can see her face to face.

  2. This was a beautiful beginning to this Saturday, Rachel :-). I rarely get on facebook - especially on Saturday mornings. Saturday mornings are my deep, re-filling times with God while Matthew and the kids sleep in. I was up early in my study with a cup of tea and Larry Crabb's book, The Real Church. I was moved by a chapter in the book and decided to post a portion of it on Facebook. I posted a comment on my facebook page (which you already liked!) and was going to exit, but felt that holy nudge to scroll down . . . after reading your blog I am ready to exit facebook for I have experienced the Real Church through your words and, I too, am celebrating!


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