Yesterday was our 7th annual Women's Community Event. Tammy Trent was our featured guest for the day. She shared her story of love and loss when her husband was tragically killed in a diving accident on September 10, 2001 while in Jamaica. If you don't know much about Tammy and are interested, you should check out her web site.
Tammy was great, but I want to tell you about my sweet friend Debbie Daniel who shared a moment of testimony before Tammy's second session. Many of you know Debbie and her story of loss, and you know what a precious servant of God she is. She is truly an inspiration!
Debbie shared about her experience at last year's community event. You see, Debbie was barely functioning last year about this time as her daughter had been killed just 15 months before in a freak accident. Debbie's daughter, Christian, and her husband were strolling hand-in-hand walking their dogs on Mulliken Road early evening one summer night when a speeding vehicle struck Christian and snatched her from her husband's hand. They had been married only eight months. She was killed and life as Debbie knew it was over. It was Debbie's birthday, and on that day she began living a mother's worst nightmare.
Last year when Debbie came to the community event she was consumed by grief. But in the midst of it all, Debbie was clinging to God and His Word. She said these words yesterday … "Last year I laughed for the first time in 15 months at the Community Event, and I felt hope for the first time since the accident. God had personally invited me to come that day through His Word and He met me there. It was a first step in healing for me."
Debbie shared her story of pain, hope and love yesterday and God was glorified. I've never been more proud of anyone!! God is using you, Debbie, even in the midst of your pain. The thing I loved most about her story was the "even though" factor. Even though she lived a mother's worst nightmare, even though this has been a painful process, even though she could have chosen to live in anger with God and forever turned her back on Him, she chose to lean into Him, walk with Him, depend on Him more fully and love Him more deeply. She has chosen to live out the verse from Nehemiah 8:10 which says, "The joy of the Lord is my strength."
Debbie will tell you that every day is hard, every day she misses her sweet Christian, every day she grieves the loss of her daughter, but because of who God is and because of His presence in her life, she can find joy (not in her circumstances because joy is NOT a result of circumstances). She finds joy in the presence of Jesus. Psalm 16:11 says, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
You are an inspiration to me, my sweet friend and I love you! Thank you for being obedient to the Lord today! Thank you for being a courageous woman of God!