It’s Better There

I lost a dear friend this week. When I saw this verse, it gave me such comfort. The pain and hardship of this life are behind her now. She had a childlike awe of God. When we talked about Him, she would soak it up like a sponge, always hungry for more. I can imagine her running into the arms of Jesus squealing with delight. It’s better here! 

 My friend Steph was a giver. We were neighbors for twelve years, and friends for almost twenty. When I was still working Steph came over everyday and took my dogs out. She loved animals and they loved her. When I had a problem she was always there trying to step in and offer a solution. She often scolded me for being too independent to accept help. 

But, Steph lived a troubled life. She suffered from mental illness and a history of drug abuse. I’m not sure which contributed to which, but she was tortured by both.

Knowing Steph changed my perception of people struggling with these issues. It’s easy to judge someone for their shortcomings, but I promise you, no one wants that life. Steph felt deep sorrow over the pain her addiction caused those she loved the most, especially her daughter Natera and her grandchildren. She wanted so much to make them proud of her. But too often, her demons were stronger than her desire to change.

I’m thankful Jesus knows our hearts. He came to set us free and give us an abundant life. Unfortunately, Steph didn’t understand how to fight spiritually for what He had already given her. Her fight is over now. Rest In Peace sweet friend. Thank you for the difference you made in my life.

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