On losing a friend….
My friend Angela died today. It became pretty clear a couple weeks ago that the healing we’ve been praying for on her behalf would likely come when God brought her home. It happened today, at 4:43pm. Breast Cancer sucks.
I’ve never lost someone close before. I’ve lost great aunts and and a few grandparents, but I was either young or had a more distant relationship with them. Angela was my friend, my good friend. Even though I’ve been thinking and processing this for weeks, the finality of today hits pretty hard. I won’t be getting coffee with her and dishing about life anymore. I won’t be able to text her anytime to check in. We won’t be able to dream about traveling and fix all the world’s problems over Caramel Macchiatos (her drink) and White Mochas (mine). We were really good at fixing the world’s problems, let me tell ya. And we laughed. We laughed a lot.
Some of you reading this probably knew Angela better than I did, and some of you never met her. But regardless, here are a few things I want you to know about my friend.
1. Angela loved Jesus: The number one thing about my friend that you should know is that she loved Jesus. She loved to worship Him and she loved to serve Him. She was always active in the local church. She sought out ways to glorify God no matter her circumstances. Throughout her three year fight with breast cancer she took advantage of every opportunity to shine for Jesus.
2. Angela was generous: Last year Angela was ending her second fight with breast cancer. We grabbed lunch to catch up and chat. This was a season of my life where I was in between jobs. I was stressed about money but didn’t say anything to Angela about how worried I was about even paying for my lunch. But despite any financial difficulties Angela may have been facing, she somehow knew that I could use someone to pay for my lunch. So, she did. She didn’t know the extent of my worries, but her generous spirit prevailed. It meant more to me than she probably knew.
3. Angela had great fashion sense: This may seem silly, but it’s something about my friend that will always make me smile. She gave me fashion advice and always knew the best way to accessorize. And she LOVED shoes. Angela had a great sense of style and it was just fun talking about shopping, clothes and shoes with her.
4. Angela was a servant: Angela thought about others consistently. She took coffee to chemo patients on a regular basis. She always served at her church. Angela truly put others before herself. Whether it was planning a conference, sorting donated clothing, volunteering at the church office, or stuffing shoeboxes full of goodies for kids halfway around the world, Angela was always looking for ways to serve others.
5. Angela was a matchmaker: This one is fun. My husband Brent and Angela were friends before she and I were. When Brent first starting noticing me, he went to Angela for advice and to just talk about how he liked me. At some point, Angela looked at him and said “Don’t talk to me about her anymore until you man up and ask her out!” or something along those lines. Well, the rest is history. We owe our relationship to Angela 🙂
6. Angela was joyful: She loved life and loved to laugh. Even during the tough days she had a smile. She was able to find joy in the midst of her trials. I’ll never forget her laugh, she loved to laugh. I can’t use words to adequately describe her beautiful laugh, so you’ll just have to trust me on this: her joy, and her laughter- they were contagious and inspiring.
7. Angela was a good friend: Angela never ceased to encourage her friends. She listened to me go on and on about life and stress and always had an encouraging word. She also wasn’t afraid to be bold and honest when needed. We would go a couple months without seeing each other, but would reconvene for coffee and pick up where we had left off. She was truly a good friend and her loss will be felt by many, many people who had the privilege to call her friend.
Angela is whole again. Cancer tried to ruin her, but she didn’t let it. She was bold and was a bright shining light for Jesus during her time on earth. And because of that bright shining light, she’s now whole and in the arms of her savior. I can picture Him telling her “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Maybe she’s sipping caramel macchiato’s while lounging in the sun, wearing flip flops. One of our friends put a hashtag out there for her: #bossingheaven, which is so hilariously fitting. Her classic “Come to Jesus Moments” are probably a bit easier to have since she can now drag the offender right over to Jesus’ feet. That’s probably not theologically accurate at all, but it makes me smile so I’m going with it right now.
My sweet friend, I’ll always miss you. But I know you’re happy again. I’m so grateful for the time we all had to know you here on this earth. I’m sorry we never got to have our classic movie marathon, I guess neither one of us thought this would actually happen. I wish we had spent more time together. I wish I hadn’t had that cold the last time you were in the hospital since I didn’t get to visit you that time. There are other things I wish, but I know you’d probably get on to me and tell me to stop regretting and move forward. I’ll do that, my friend. I’ll tell people about your story. I’ll use your obedience and faith to point people to Him. And if I need to, I’ll conduct some ‘Come to Jesus meetings’ for you too. I bought new shoes in your honor and I’ll wear them to your funeral. I think you would have liked them. I love you friend. I’m glad I never ceased to tell you that while you were here. Now go give Jesus a hug for me. I’ll see you again someday.
Check out Angela’s blog here.