Sunday, May 30, 2010

Goodbye...But Not Forever

Yesterday was the funeral of one of my very close friends, Stephanie Sykes. It was a time of mourning, but also a time of rejoicing.

Mourning, because she was loved by many, and we will all miss her very much. She was so young, only twenty, and it seems so unfair. She was getting ready to graduate from COTC (Central Ohio Technical College) on June 11 with an associates degree in Forensic Science. She had her whole life ahead of her, and it ended too soon, with no warning.

However, it was a time of rejoicing because we who are saved know that one day we will see her again. As was stated at her funeral yesterday, once we are reunited with Steph in heaven, the time that we'll be together will be so much longer than the time that we were apart. This brings comfort, as we know that this goodbye is not forever.

Since Steph's death, I have looked at so many Scripture passages and songs in a whole new light. For instance, the song Zion's Hill, which the ensemble at Ambassador sang so often, and which was sang at her funeral yesterday. The words are:

There waits for me a glad tomorrow,
Where gates of pearl swing open wide,
And when I've passed this vale of sorrow,
I'll dwell upon the other side.

Some day beyond the reach of mortal ken,
Some day God only knows just where and when
The wheels of mortal life shall all stand still
And I shall go to dwell on Zion's hill.

Some day I'll hear the angels singing,
Beyond the shadows of the tomb;
And all the bells of heaven ringing,
While saints are singing, "Home, sweet home."

Some day my labors will be ended,
And all my wand'rings will be o'er,
And all earth's broken ties be mended,
And I shall sigh and weep no more.

Some day the dark clouds will be rifted,
And all the night of gloom be past;
And all life's burdens will be lifted,
The day of rest shall dawn at last.

Stephanie is experiencing all of that right now!!! It makes all of the words so much more real when I think about that. She's seeing the streets of gold, and the mansions that have been prepared for us, and the pearly gates. Above all else, she's seeing God!! What an amazing thought!!

Not only is she seeing all the things that the Bible talks about, and that we sing about in so many songs, but she also no longer has to deal with the seizures and migraines. She no longer has to worry about taking medicine, having tests run, or any of the other things that came along with the seizures and migraines.

Although it is still hard for us left behind, and we don't understand why God only had her here on earth for such a short time, we will see her again. God has a reason for taking her home. As a friend reminded me last night, God knew before she was born that on May 25, 2010, He would take her home after only twenty years of life on this earth.

While I, along with many other people, am going to miss Stephanie, I know that I will see her again. So, Stephanie, goodbye...but not forever.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stephanie's Obituary

Obituary for Stephanie Marie Sykes

Stephanie M. Sykes, age 20, of Glenford, died unexpectedly Tuesday May 25, 2010 at her residence. Born October 7, 1989 in Westerville, she was a 2008 graduate of Licking Co. Christian Academy, and was an honors student at C.O.T.C. in Newark, where she would have received her Associates degree in June. She was a member of Maranatha Bible Church in Glenford.
Survived by her parents, Victor & Barbara Sykes; brothers, Victor Sykes, Jr. and Westley Sykes; “little sis”, Megan Sykes, all of Glenford; great-grandmother, Lois McCollum; great-uncle, Roger Davidson, and nieces, Victoria & Nicole Sykes.
Friends may visit 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. Friday at the DWAYNE R. SPENCE FUNERAL HOME, 650 W. Waterloo St., Canal Winchester. Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Maranatha Bible Church, 5376 St. Rt. 204, Glenford, with the Pastor Stephen Shaw officiating. Interment will follow at Lithopolis Cemetery. Friends who wish may contribute to a special fund in Stephanie’s name c/o the funeral home.


I find myself sleepless tonight. One of my close friends passed away late last night or early this morning, and I am unable to sleep. It was totally unexpected and I am in shock. I just saw this friend a little over a week ago at Holly's weddings,and we were making plans to get together sometime. Now she is gone. It seems so unbelievable, like it should be part of a dream or a movie or something.

As shocked and sad and hurting as I am right now, I take comfort in knowing that i will one day see Stephanie again. She knew the Lord as her personal Savior, and today she is in heaven with Him. Isn't that a wonderful thought? I am looking forward to the day when I will see her once again.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers for her family, as I can't even imagine what they're going through right now. To lose their daughter must be such a horrible thing for her parents to have to go through. A parent should never have to bury their child.

The verse that I've been dwelling on throughout this is "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;" (2 Cor. 1:3) . I know that however great my sorrow and pain, God will be there with me to comfort me and to help sustain my throughout this.

Please be in prayer for the funeral. I don't know yet when it will be, I'm still waiting to hear, but I do know that there will quite likely be several unsaved people there, as well as her older brother, who has strayed away from the Lord. Please pray that God will work mightily through Stephanie's death, and that He will receive all the glory.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saying Goodbyes...

I am now in my final week of school here at Ambassador Baptist College...while I am excited about finishing, I'm also sad about leaving all of my friends and "family." Today is my last Sunday at Emmanuel, and I am realizing just how much I'm going to miss this church. I've come to love the people at this church, and am having a really hard time leaving.

Tonight is the graduate's fellowship here at church, and I have to get up in front of everyone and tell them what my plans are after graduation. Those of you who know me know that I hate getting up in front of people. I'm praying that it goes well and is over with quickly!!!

Wednesday I have two finals, and then I am done with classes for good!!! Yay!! So exciting!!

Also, Wednesday will be my last service ehre at EBC, at least, my last one as a college student. I will definitely be coming back to visit everyone here when i visit Holly & Andrew.

Well, I'd better get going for now. I'll try to post more later, but no promises...