GLEANINGS from Claudia: Encouragement

“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”   Thessalonians 5:10-11

Ever since Becky died I’ve looked for God sightings. I actively and eagerly look for evidence of His work in somehow turning this unacceptable loss into something good in someone’s life. Every so often I see this good with great clarity. Earlier today I once again got to see evidence of His ability to take something that seems unredeemable and use it for His good plans and purposes.  This glimpse of God came from one of Becky’s friends from high school, Angie Stirneman Blickenstaff Boyd. Angie was one of Becky’s best friends and I always thought of her as Becky’s cheerleader. She loved Becky and worked at getting Becky to know how really beautiful she was. Later on I had the privilege of mentoring Angie and grew to love and appreciate her sensitive heart for the Lord.

Angie wrote me recently to share what Becky’s death has meant in her life.  She’s given me
permission to share some of her story with you. By the way, Angie has recently married and is blessedly happy with her husband, Preston.

From Angie’s email to me:  “. . . A couple weeks ago now, I had a dream about Becky. I think I may have told you before, that when she died it really hit me hard even though we had not been in close friendship for years! I recommitted myself to Honor God & grow in my walk with the Lord & really challenge myself because of Becky’s Light in my life for Jesus (and because of your entire family’s touch in my life thru the years for God!). Anyway, I had lots of nights BEFORE the wedding where I just felt scared, fearful, anxious….the enemy or something. I have not experienced even one night of this since the wedding. Back to the dream: I was skateboarding or something random chasing after a bus! Willow was with me (so strange again as we have NO communication). After a chase I eventually hop on the bus to squeeze into a seat with You & Becky -like it was a perfectly normal event/moment. Becky smiled at me & you said hi. That was the end of my memory of the dream. When I woke up that morning & processed what it meant for me, I got this: You made it. You hopped on the bus for a 100% life living for Christ Jesus. Becky was so happy for me. I’m sure she must have prayed for me over the years or in the past. It’s like I carry her Christian sisterhood with me in my heart….I’m crying now as I think of her imprint on my life, your family, Suburban, my Great Grandmother & sitting in the front pew of your old church. Your family was the only Christian family I knew growing up, the only one I was exposed to honoring God’s name, prayer before meals, reading & studying the Bible & other books related to the Christian life, where TV was monitored, no Santa & other things a child notices. Becky & Jacob saved me from a huge doubt/rejection of Jesus & Christianity right before they moved away….Kristin’s friendship & influence after Becky was gone. The list goes on & on.”

Angie experienced a major challenge to her life when her first husband, Joe Blickenstaff, was killed on December 8, 2003 in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her story encourages me in so many ways. It encourages me to know that Becky’s death helped turn her back to a life devoted to the Lord. It gives me hope to see Angie so incredibly happy in her new marriage in spite of a season of grief and struggle not that many years ago. It encourages me to know that Becky’s love of Angie and her sharing Jesus with Angie left an indelible imprint ready to be revealed under the right light and circumstance. And it encourages me to know that my time spent with Angie in the presence of the Lord was important to her and remains important to her.

What Angie has gleaned both from Becky’s life and Becky’s death will last into eternity.  Praise God!

“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2nd Thessalonians 2:16, 17

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About Gleanings from Claudia

I am a wife, mother, grandmother,sister, and friend newly introduced to grief as I lost my 32 year old daughter in an auto accident in December 2010. I am a follower of Jesus and am journeying through grief while abiding in Christ.
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