7/11/2007

You have today

A friend of mine died tragically on Tuesday. A plane crashed into her home. I saw her a week before the incident. I was to visit her this weekend. When I first confirmed that it was her name that I heard on the news, I went into a state of shock and disbelief. I called a mutual friend to tell her what happened and, as she began to weep, I explained to her the purpose of the tragic incident.

I first met Janice, the young lady who died, when she appeared at my bedside at the hospital as I recovered from a life-saving surgery. She just walked in, sat down, and began talking to me. I had no idea who she was. My husband introduced her to me as "Janice from his job." She worked with him in the past for a very short period of time. This 24 year old was so inspirational to him, that he spoke of her frequently and begged me to call her and become friends with her. I called her once or twice but it was slightly awkward and never led to anything more.

That night at the hospital I got to know her. She was pregnant at the time with her son, who also perished in the fire. She brought me a book, a card, an a gospel CD. She stayed and we talked for hours that night. When she realized that I did not have a CD player, she left the hospital and bought me one just before visiting hours were over.

A few weeks after my recovery, I visited her home. There she showed me pictures of of a retreat that she coordinated. She took 20-30 young underprivileged girls for a weekend of pampering and inspiration. The theme of the event was "The Princess Within." There they were pampered and "loved on" while staying at a castle themed resort at no cost to the parent(s). They were told that they were loved by God and that they were special because they were his princesses.

This year I had the opportunity to participate in the event. This one was "Facing the Giants." The girls created vision boards, they spoke of their personal struggles, and they were told about the love of God. When Janice and I met in the parking lot of a McDonalds about a week and a half ago, she thanked me for my service by providing me a plaque. On it was a picture of everyone who attended the retreat. She was not in the picture. She also told me that she incorporated her organization and planned to open up a home where young girls could turn to. Janice met a woman who currently had such a place and asked that woman to be her mentor. Her passion and excitement for the project was intense.

Now Janice is gone. When I think about it I have a great sense of peace inside. Why? Because I know that Janice is home now. I know that Janice lived her purpose. I know that Janice did exactly what she was placed here to do. So I ask myself....am I living as Janice did? Am I giving like Janice did?

I have today.

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