Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
I first met Trisha during my freshman year at Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw, Michigan. I had several classes with her, plus she was a cheerleader for my freshman basketball team. Where I really began to interact with her was in choir. After our freshman year we both joined Valley’s Golden Voice choir. For three years we sang together in numerous performances and went on three choir tours. What I remember most about her from those days was her jovial personality and happy-go-lucky attitude. Trisha always seemed to have a smile to share – especially with those of us who enjoyed to joke with her. She was an important member of our gang.
Years later and with the help of Facebook, I came to learn that Trisha was living in Charlottesville, Virginia. We chatted a few times – catching up and sharing where life had taken us. Later that summer I had the opportunity to travel to Delaware for a friend’s birthday. Having nowhere in particular to go, I tacked on a few days to my trip and drove down to Charlottesville to visit Trisha. I remember calling her when I arrived in town only to learn that she was moving into a house and wouldn’t be able to get together until after she was done. I hopped in my car and drove to her house and helped lug a few boxes for her before heading out for dinner and a walking tour of the city. As we walked through an outdoor shopping mall, she told me more about the struggles she faced as a result of her health problems. Like most of us would, she grew frustrated. But in spite of the problems, she maintained a tremendously strong faith that God was seeing her through, providing her with healing and restoration. Many people will say these things when they face obstacles, but the more we spoke the more I realized that Trisha really meant it. Her faith was the foundation upon which her life was built and absolutely nothing was going to tear that down. As the years passed, I continued to hear about her problems. But in every comment she posted, she always managed to give thanks to God – no matter how bad things were.
A few days ago, I was shocked to receive the news that Trisha’s health issues had finally caught up with her and she passed away. Many of her friends took to social media to share memories and remembrances of Trisha. What resonated over and over again in the comments was the strength of her faith in the face of adversity. I was amazed to see just how many people drew inspiration from her unflappable faith and to be honest, I was a bit sad to realize that her voice of encouragement had been silenced far too soon.
A day or two after hearing the news, one of Trisha’s friends named Tom went to her house to help clean up things and he shared a picture of a message Trisha had written on a chalkboard. It said…
In our lives we will often find ourselves going to God in prayer asking for something. Many of us feel guilty about doing so, wondering if our requests are petty or selfish. We certainly don’t want to be ungrateful for the many blessings God has given us by grousing about things we want or don’t have. But we also know that God has instructed and encouraged us to come to Him in prayer with the desires of our hearts.
All of them.
I have no doubt that Trisha prayed fervently to God for healing and relief. I would also go so far as to say that she even grew frustrated with her situation from time to time as pain and fatigue would enter into her mind and body. But Trisha knew that she had a God who loved her deeply. He never turned a blind eye to the needs of His dearly loved child. She could come to Him with anything and everything and He would provide to her exactly what she needed. And in those final moments of her life as she found rest in the arms of her Savior, Jesus kept His promise to her. She asked Him for one thing, but now, and for the rest of time, Trisha has received her everything!
Thank you for the sign my friend. Enjoy the dance…….