O death, where is your victory? Where is your power to hurt? (1 Corinthians 15:55 ERV)
Thursday, October 17, 2013, the angels came to collect my friend, Tricia, and escort her home to Jesus. Her long and arduous fight with cancer was done. After years of praying for it, she was finally healed.
Todd & Tricia
Image Source: www.facebook.com/tricia.smith
But her fight has not been in vain. In her fight to live, I saw an extreme display of faith that has forever changed me. I watched as her family, her church, and her community rallied around her to offer her strength through prayer and an outpouring of love through deeds of kindness. The irony of it all is that while we were offering Tricia our strength, she was giving us hers.
Her husband Todd, and sons Carter, Aaron, and Nathan brought her such joy and she was the light of their world. Her parents, Nancy and Landon Edwards, raised Tricia in a Christian home, full of love and laughter. Todd and Tricia established the same kind of home for their family. She had a close, loving relationship with her brother and sisters, Mike Edwards, Pamela Edwards Pritchard, and Teresa Edwards Pritchard. Her nieces and nephews adored her.
Her friends were another source of joy to Tricia. A Facebook page, “Friends of Tricia,” was established so we could share with her our thoughts and prayers. Hundreds of messages were added each day. She was never far from my thoughts and when I had even the smallest bit of time, I would read each and every message (many of them prayers) and lift them up to God as well.
Never one to think of her own needs first, she was constantly looking out for the needs of others and it led her into healthcare. As a critical care nurse, she loved caring for others and she was good at her job. She worked well into her battle with cancer, refusing to let it keep her from the profession she was so obviously made for. It was not only her medical knowledge that she imparted to her patients — she shared the love of God and joy of serving the Great Physician. Even if you didn’t personally know Tricia, you could take one look at her and know that she was warm, giving, and selfless. She had a million-watt smile that could light up a room and she always had a kind word and a hug to share with everyone she met.
Image Source: http://www.klove.com/encouraging
Tricia’s greatest source of strength and joy was her relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s why, even in the last days when Hospice was called in, she wasn’t afraid. As others tried to comfort her, she sought to comfort them — to let them know that no matter the physical outcome, she was spiritually ready. She took satisfaction in the knowledge that this world was a temporary residence for her. She trusted completely that she was just biding time on earth, simply in transit to her true home — Heaven.
I love what her niece, Erica, shared: “I’m praising God for the life of my Aunt Tricia. So jealous of the angels today. Thank you for your many prayers. Our family appreciates each one. Please pray for continued strength as we go through this arm in arm and only through the grace of The Lord Jesus.“
I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, “Now God’s home is with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone.” (Revelation 21:3-4 ERV)
We will grieve mightily because we will miss her happy, humble presence — a woman with a gentle spirit and a heart as big as all outdoors! Her family will especially miss her. On special days to come — holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and the days her grandchildren are born — there will be a yearning for her physical presence. There will be an ache that cannot be soothed because those will be days when there would have been memories to be made with her — that she would have loved to make. But she leaves such a rich legacy behind that it will almost seem that she is here — and she will here, living in the hearts and accomplishments of those who loved her.
Today, Tricia is rejoicing because she is in Heaven, completely healed, and in the presence of our Lord. Tricia can finally say, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have served the Lord faithfully.” (2 Timothy 4:7 ERV)
I have seen glimpses of faith in my life, but life-altering portraits of faith have been few and far between. Faith has a new face for me now. Faith looks like Tricia Edwards Smith.
If you would like to make a contribution to the Tricia Smith Charitable Fund, send your donation to:
Fayetteville Community Church
2010 Middle Road Loop
“Celebrate Me Home” (The Perrys)
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