Poet William Cowper (1731-1800) began his poem “Light Shining out of Darkness” with these words:
God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform, he plants his footprints on the sea
and rides upon the storm.
I too believe, and have experienced the fact, that “God works in mysterious ways”. I believe that most of you reading this would agree. I also believe that God worked his “mysterious ways’ through the passing of a friend of mine.
As I remember the light she shared with us, I have to tell you that I learned not only from her presence, but Yvonne’s passing.
At this time of year, 11 years ago, a “recovery friend” of mine passed away. “Yvonne T.” was 72 years old when she passed on to glory. She had also celebrated 39 years of sobriety. Yvonne and I hadn’t known each other all that long (three years). However, as with many friendships within my 12 Step program, Yvonne and I became friends quickly. She wanted to know about me and how long I had been sober. She wanted to know about how I had “worked the program”. She was at our 6:00 AM meeting almost every morning. When she was there, she always greeted everyone the same . . . with a smile and a hug. Her presence shined God’s light into our lives. As I remember the light she shared with us, I have to tell you that I learned not only from her presence, but Yvonne’s passing.
She even had us post a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order on our bulletin board.
Yvonne had been fighting cancer for a while. She finally reached a point in her treatment that the doctors told her that “it wasn’t working”. For a short while, many of us knew that her passing was coming. Yvonne had talked to several of us about the day when she would eventually no longer be able to be with us at our meetings. She even had us post a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order on our bulletin board. She wanted us to know that she was ready to go. I believe that God was working through Yvonne to show those of us around her that we don’t need to fear death. Yes, Yvonne had her moments when she questioned God about what was happening. However, she, with great strength of character and dignity, lived the last months of her life ready to make the final transition.
Yvonne firmly believed that “one day at a time”was more then just a cliché. For 39 years, she lived “one day at a time”. Yvonne believed that all we need God gives us for this day. Yvonne simply took one day at a time, one step at a time, and one moment at a time. She allowed us to see what this meant to her, and how we could do the same. I believe that God was working through Yvonne to teach us that eternity belongs to him, and that we have but a few moments that we call life. Moments he gives to us to live and love and hope and shine.
Yvonne’s light never stopped shining.
Yvonne’s light never stopped shining. When members of our 12 Step group would come to visit her, she would smile and say to her family “look my people are here”. God’s light shined through Yvonne with every visit, every hug, every tear, every laugh, every smile, every kiss, and every moment we were given with her. Even in her final days in hospice, Yvonne didn’t stop shining for us. I believe God was teaching all of us that no matter what we face in life our light can still shine into the lives of others . . . that darkness need not overcome us.
I thank you Yvonne for allowing God to work through you for our benefit.
I thank God for his “mysterious ways”. Through my friend Yvonne’s passing God reminded me of the importance of trusting him in all things, taking one day at a time, and letting his light shine through me. I thank you Yvonne for allowing God to work through you for our benefit. I thank you God for working through Yvonne to share your light.
In His Name, Scott