Hi Lily Marie!

I woke up today and my train of thought led me to you once again.

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Beautiful inside and out!

You see, I met this lovely girl, Marie, through a friend from college. They were once together and she was just always present everywhere, probably because she was friends with some of the people I was friends with too. Some people actually thought she goes to the same college haha! I wouldn’t say we were super close but back then, during parties and drunken nights we were definitely tight.. I guess because we’re just crazy like that! Eventually when I became serious with my walk with God, I decided to leave that kind of life behind.

In 2012 and almost 4 years of not seeing each other, I got a text from her informing people from her contact list of her new number. The Holy Spirit impressed in my heart to invite her to church or my Bible study group and since I was doing something at that time, the procrastinator in me said, “Ok, I’ll text her later.” But what do you know, she texted me again and asked where do I go for church service and if I have a Bible study saying “I want to know God more!”.

I couldn’t be more excited for her and so two days later we decided to meet! For the first time, we got to to talk over dinner with no alcohol in hand. She got to share with me where she was in her life at that moment and how chaotic things were in her relationship and I got to tell her how Jesus saved me from a destructive lifestyle & wrong relationships and how He turned my life around for the better. We talked for hours as if we were getting to know each other for the first time as friends!

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June 2012 (This was that day!)

Later on, she told me that she stays with her Christian uncle and that they were gonna meet up after his Bible class. She also wanted to introduce me so he’ll know she actually has good friends. She was kinda closely supervised by her family because of the things going on with her life during those days, you get the picture lol!

So after dessert, we met up with her uncle and well, guess who he was with? Yup, this tall, skinny guy who was wearing baggy clothes but undeniably good looking who is now my husband (and has an improved fashion sense)! That’s actually how I met him.. but that’s a whole different story I might write about next time.

In the days that followed, I became Marie’s accountability partner. I went with her to another church (which eventually became my church now) guiding her as she joins and tries different discipleship groups and Bible studies. It was really hard for me that time because I had a 9 to 5 job and all I wanted to do after is go home and rest! But she would tell me “Maybe I’ll just go out with some friends tonight. I don’t really want to go there without you..” So I would haha!

Months passed by and slowly but surely, I saw her growing in her walk with God. Her thirst & hunger for Him was so strong that she would go on her own even without me. Eventually, she found a lot of good friends too. Before the year ended, she surrendered her life to Jesus and even went through Baptism.

Early in 2013, I got a message from her saying she’s going to the states and that she was really happy that God gave her her dream job. I was really glad for her and though we wanted to meet before she left, we didn’t have the time to do so. We kept in touch on facebook from time to time instead.

In April of the same year, a close friend called me crying and asked me if the news was for real that our dear Marie passed away. I told her I will check on it. I wasn’t feeling anything, I couldn’t believe it — I can’t believe something like this! There’s no proof of it! “Wait a minute let’s not jump into conclusion, maybe she was just trippin!” So to clear things up, I called her uncle who of course turned out to be our good friend and he confirmed that it’s true ): Apparently, she, together with 3 other friends, were part of a really bad car accident in Miami.. Article of the accident HERE.

I was left speechless and couldn’t absorb it until we had the wake here with her ashes. It was really heart breaking and it makes me sad that I know we will never see her in this world again. I can’t help but think what was her last thoughts as they saw the other car crashing into them, how did she feel? Was she scared? Or was there peace in her heart? But I rejoice knowing where she is now is a place better than any beautiful place this earth can offer.

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Saw this in her IG account! She died knowing and now, I’m sure there’s no greater joy than to be with her Maker.

That time I met her for the first time after a long time, I was about to share my testimony in my church then. I told her about it and as she was listening intently and with her eyes twinkling she told me “Wow! I hope one day I can share my testimony too of how God has changed my life..” You know what? I believe she got that. Because even until now, everytime Secho and I talk about God’s story through our love story, we talk about hers too. We talk about how God used her to bring us together (she was the one pushing me to him anyway! Telling me we’re a match made in heaven and that she’s a good matchmaker lol) and how Jesus has transformed her life and favored her to be in His presence and spared her from the evil of this world.

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Her daughter Kate really looks like her!

Marie was a sister, a daughter, a mom, a niece, a partner, a best friend, a good friend to many. She might be different things to different people but she is dearly loved and missed by all of us.

It’s not her birthday, not her death anniversary, it’s just another day but she is remembered. So I am reminded, we don’t need special occasions to tell someone how much we love them, we don’t need special moments to honor them for who they are and tell them how much we appreciate them. I’m glad I got to do that with her. Life is indeed short, let’s make the most of it and live as if it’s our last.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

We miss you everyday girl! I know you’re having a blast over there!

*CUE MUSIC* “It’s been a long day without you my friend, and I’ll tell you all about when I see you again…. Let the light shine your way, hold every memory as you go, and every road you take will always lead you home...” You are home and there’s no place like it..  (:

 

 

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