This morning my Great Aunt Thelda passed away at the age of 85. She had a beautiful life. She raised three sons and so many grandkids and great-grandkids that I could never keep up with the current number. She opened her arms and her heart to me as her granddaughter long before my own grandma (her sister) died, but even more so since then. She was instrumental in my own father's salvation when he was just a boy. Her spiritual legacy is one of an enduring faith in Christ even through some very serious storms in her long life. Anyone who lives 85 years will see his or her share of heartache in life– Aunt Thelda faced these trials with an eternal perspective.
She was eager for heaven, and now she is there. For quite some time she had been living with the physical pain of an aging body and the emotional pain of being the last living member of her family's generation. Her husband died decades ago, and she was the last living of five siblings. I expect she has quite a party going on in heaven right now worshiping Jesus with that crew.
I loved her deeply and I will miss her severely. Her funeral is Wednesday morning in Arkansas. On Wednesday I will be in Idaho taking care of my little family– but a big part of my heart will be in Arkansas with all those gathered to celebrate her life and the hope in Christ that this beautiful woman has now fully realized.