Amber’s best friend Amanda sent the following email out this week, and I thought it was so beautiful I asked permission to post it here on my blog so that those of you who are praying for them can have an update on how things have been and are going.
Personally, I have been moved by the large number of friends who have prayed for and offered to support this family, even though your only connection to them is through me or my blog. I love seeing the body of Christ doing its “thang.” Thanks for standing in the gap, friends. This is what being in God’s family is all about.
I want to thank all of you for all of your sweet notes of encouragement and all of your prayers over the past week. They are appreciated and coveted as this has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. Amber was such a dear friend (as I know she was to so many of you) and has proven to be one of the most influential people in my life. She has has always held me accountable and has been such an encouragement to me in my walk with the Lord. She was always asking me what the Lord was teaching me and then sharing with me how God has shown himself faithful in her life. She always had a way with such words that was just beautiful that could only come from the overflow of her heart. Besides the spiritual side of things (the most important), she was just a fun person to be around. She was always so silly and made me laugh. I continue to think about all the fun times that we had together and the many memories that I won’t ever forget.In the wake of Amber’s death, I am reflecting on so many things. God’s hand was all over this to be blunt about it. For those of you that weren’t able to come to the funeral, her Daily Light the morning of her death read this: O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.—The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.—You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.—For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.—The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
That morning when she woke up, the Lord was her portion and gave her just what she needed. He allowed her to spend so much time with friends and family the few weeks before her death and was intentional about it. She was coming from her cousin’s house that afternoon, on the 22nd of January, and missed her turn somewhere along the way and just happened to be at that specific place at that specific time. The Lord knew her days (and hours) were numbered and was fulfilling his purpose for her. In my flesh, I ask myself the question, “But why Amber?” The Lord is quietly revealing to me why…because she was such a woman of God that her impact would have ripples all over the world in the wake of her death. Does God receive the MOST glory from this? Of course it does or it wouldn’t have been part of his plan. Isn’t God good? I received a card in the mail yesterday from a friend and the front read this, “When we stand in eternity looking back on this earthly existence, we will know by sight, what we can only see now by faith: God makes no mistakes.” You know Amber is grinning right now at the truth of this.I have learned several lessons through all of this and have asked myself many questions reflecting on my own life which I am sure you have done as well. What if your days were numbered…how would you respond differently if you were to see a friend for the last time? How intentional are you in your friendships? Do you share with your friends what the Lord is doing in your life? Are you honest with people and truly share your struggles as well as your victories? Isn’t this why we are here…to share in this walk together so that we can be more like HIM? One thing I have learned is that God gets glory in every situation despite the heartaches it causes along the way. Dear friends, don’t let another day pass without being intentional in everything you do or say. You never know when it may be your last. Please continue to pray for Amber’s family. Life will always be hard without her but when everyone goes back to their normal routines is when reality sets in. Those sweet children will one day have hard questions about God and why this has happened to their mother. Anthony will have to make some difficult decisions about where God wants his family in the coming days, months and years. Also pray for Anthony’s work in Ethiopia because I am sure it is not finished. Please continue to devote yourselves to prayer as this is the Father’s pleasure.
Amanda Nason Lemonds