On December 31st at about 1 AM Rachel went home to be with the Lord. She is now in the presence of her Lord and Savior where she will no longer struggle or experience pain. And I look forward to the day when I will get to join her.
Over the past several days, I have been thinking a great deal about my sister's life and about who she was as a person. Compassion dominated my sister's life. Every time Rachel would ask for prayer for a friend or acquaintance, she would cry or tear up because she had a heart that genuinely hurt for other people. She could feel the pain of others and she carried it in her heart as if it were her own pain. My sister's soft heart taught me so much about the love and compassion of our Father God. Her life and behavior often challenged me to view people and their pain the way that God views them. Rather than being self-centered, Rachel exhibited a pattern of putting others before herself. Even during her battle with cancer this past year, she took time to pray for her friends because their struggles were important to her. In her final weeks, she frequently told me that she was worried. She was not worried about pain, death, suffering, or the loss of her physical abilities. She was worried about her friends and family and the pain we would experience
Because of her compassion, Rachel was a person of forgiveness. Since she cared so deeply about the hurt and feelings of others, Rachel was often able to forgive when anger and resentment would have been an expected reaction. She forgave those who mocked her, forgot her, ignored her, or used her. Regardless of how people treated her, she still cared about their well-being and expressed concern for them. I seriously cannot remember a time in which Rachel spoke about having a hard time forgiving someone. I remember once several years ago when Rachel was telling me about feeling left out with a specific group of people. My advise to her was to write off those people and find new friends. Of course, she ignored me, and began to tell me about all the problems these friends were dealing with. She told me she needed to be there to help them even if they only wanted her around when they had a problem. Her friendship was selfless.
Rachel was not the deepest thinker nor could she impress you with her knowledge of theological terms, but she had a heart like Christ. She loved people quickly and demonstrated that love in her words and actions.
I will deeply miss my sister. I will miss her encouragement and positive outlook. I will miss her smile and her devotion to others. I will miss watching her play with my daughter and niece. But I look forward to the day when I will get to join her in the presence of Christ. We had a common bond in our desire to serve our Lord. When the Lord allows me to finish my race, then I will be reunited with her in Heaven.
See you soon, Rachel.