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.