Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home for Christmas

Today when I hear the song, "I'll be Home for Christmas," it takes on a new meaning. My precious friend, Kathy Shelby, lost her fight with bone cancer a couple weeks ago. Today she is Home with Jesus and I can hardly imagine how wonderful that is. For Kathy, it not only means the end of her pain and suffering, but knowing the joy of being in our Lord's presence forever. Her memorial service is tomorrow, December 21, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. at Sunrise Community Church, 8321 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks, CA.

Kathy was a member of the Fair Oaks Inspire Writer's group since its inception two years ago. Her first published story will be released March 2012 in Inspire’s anthology, Inspiring Stories of Trusting God. Hers is a heart moving story of her faith in a loving God through kidney disease and breast cancer.

Kathy’s writing expressed her great love and faith in our Lord Jesus. She brought a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye to every workshop and critique meeting. Her writing started during her college days and she came to Inspire to learn how to write her memoir. She wanted her story to show how she depended on God for everything. Her sense of humor kept us laughing, but her stories had a depth of faith that ministered to everyone in our group. Although she didn’t get to write her life story, her family and friends will say that her life is her legacy.

I knew I could depend on Kathy for last minute critiques and prayers before submitting my work for publication. She made herself available no matter what was going on in her life and I loved her for that.

As in any critique group, some manuscripts are harder to critique. Kathy was sensitive to how each person received comments. We all wanted to share our comments in a spirit of love and encouragement. I knew that Kathy and Leota prayed during the difficult meetings, and their prayers were answered. Because of their love and prayers, our Fair Oaks Inspire group is a safe place to grow our writing craft today.

Kathy also contributed at the larger workshops by praying for our speakers as well as working the library table. We will miss her cheerful service and beautiful smile. I’d like to think she is serving our Lord in His library upstairs or writing inspiring stories of faith to encourage the saints. Although we will miss Kathy, I am glad she is Home for Christmas.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for blessing my life with Kathy's love and friendship. It brings me peace knowing she is with You. But I miss her beautiful smile and her encouraging words. Amen.


Janice said...

When we lose a Christian friend or family member, especially around Christmas time, it is even more a recognition time of the beautiful gift of eternal life God gave through Jesus.

Thank you for sharing thoughts and remembrances about your friend. It is encouraging to know God made people like her to be encouragers for others.

Sue Tornai said...

Thank you, Janice, for you sweet words. May God bless this Christmas for you and your family.