Although I will miss her, it's comforting to know that she's no longer in pain and can breathe easy. And I am so grateful for the impact that Georgia had on my life.
Sometimes people don't realize that a seemingly small act can have a ripple effect. This is what happened with Georgia.
But Georgia wasn't so fortunate. Her heart problem wasn't identified until after she was an adult and so the changes in her heart were much more challenging. She had surgery but the results weren't as good as had been hoped. She was evaluated at several medical centers and given experimental medications but eventually had to realistically acknowledge that her time was limited along with her activities.
I owe Georgia a debt of gratitude. She knew that I had begun to read my Bible and encouraged me to begin to attend Bible Study Fellowship. I had never even heard of this worldwide organization but Georgia thought this was the training that I needed to learn. She kept talking about homiletics and at that time, I didn't understand what she was talking about. But the very first time I attended, Georgia was sitting right beside me. And I was hooked. I had been so hungry to learn and this was just what I needed. Georgia was so right!
I think about all of the blessings I would have missed if Georgia hadn't taken the time to reach out and invite me to BSF.
I had the wonderful opportunity to become a children's leader for almost 8 years. Since I was unable to have children of my own, this was very special for me. The first time I told the children the Bible story, they ran up and gave me a big group hug. I remember feeling God's love like never before as I felt Him whisper that He never forgot my desire for children. And what better privilege than sharing God's Word with the little ones? It brings tears to my eyes when I think about that.I met so many of my lifelong friends at BSF. If you click on the link to BSF, there's a short video in the lower left corner titled "Experience a class". The teaching leader of that men's class is my friend Todd and he is my good friend Jamie's husband.
Although this family has since moved to San Antonio, we continue to remain good friends. I initially met them through their daughter Ellie, when I was her BSF children's leader. She was only two years old when she was in my class. Ellie is now 10 years old and very smart and mature. And she still attends BSF in Texas.
I think of my special group of 12 women. For several years now, we get together once a month for lunch, laughter and prayer. I met each one of these women in BSF. All of us at one point were in leadership. And a few continue to serve as teaching leaders or discussion leaders. These women are friends for life. We hold each other up when we're going through the challenges of life and we laugh through good times. Through it all, we pray for one another. And because of Georgia, I had the opportunity to be mentored by Susie, a woman I greatly admire.
If you ever feel like you can't make a difference ... remember Georgia. Here was a woman who had previously taught Bible studies but had to adapt to a more sedentary life. But in the midst of her challenging circumstances, she chose to be content. And I believe she was greatly used of God. Georgia was a prayer warrior for so many people. She and her prayer partner Lori continued to meet on a weekly basis.
Psalm 116:15 says "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
Georgia, I'm so glad to have the assurance that you're being welcomed into our Lord's arms. And one day I will see you again. Thank you for the gift of your precious friendship.