Today would have been the earthly birthday of my best friend, mentor, confidant, and sister in Christ, Joan. It’s been almost 6 years since she left us for her forever home. And I’ve missed her every single day. And I am sure that I am only one of oh so many who remember, miss, and think of her every single day. She had that kind of impact.
Joan’s first love was her love for Jesus. (I was once asked in a woman’s Bible study what it meant to be more like Jesus. My first thought, though not what I answered, was ” be more like Joan.”)
Joan’s second love was her love for children. She dedicated her life to reaching and teaching children. From back porch schooling, to teaching first grade and eventually becoming principal, to working with a Haiti mission and creating elementary curriculum, she lived and breathed children and their families. She named the curriculum, Mwen Kapab – creole for I Can.
Her life resonated I Can. And if she were here now and could add to this, she would say, I Can do all things through Christ. She touched the lives of all who came into contact with her. She was giving, caring, forgiving. But she also had a certain tenacity to hold on to what was right. She would hold you accountable if she saw you getting de-railed or going the wrong direction and pray with you and for you. She was always caring and never judgmental.
And oh, did she know how to laugh. What fun we had together. What stories we told over and over again. And laugh at herself, too. She was the most prideless, selfless person I’ve known.
Heaven will be fuller, thanks to this lady and her life. Happy birthday, dear friend. Know that your life counted – counted double – for the lives you touched and changed. You continue to be loved and missed. (And don’t forget, you promised to save me a seat.)