I stared at the computer screen in disbelief. I must not understand. There has to be a mistake. She just e-mailed me a few days ago. A life so vibrant, vivacious and so admired couldn’t be suddenly gone.
But she was gone and whatever I’d gotten online to do, suddenly didn’t matter.
It’s strange to think that I received all the news of my friend Tracy‘s death on Facebook. In our social-media-infused lives her “wall” became a tribute to the amazing daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother she was. Friends and family shared stories, photos, memories and grief together. Funeral arrangements were announced, a memorial fund for her children was set up, a photo-book was created and everyone came together to reflect on this life that brought so much joy and did so much good.
Tracy loved being a mom. Send donations to the Tracy Alger Memorial Fund for Children’s Future: Harness Funeral Home, 351 N. Adams, Buffalo, WY 82834.
Although Tracy and I were just friendly acquaintances, I truly admired her and always looked forward to seeing her. We worked together one summer on the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and we were involved together in Wyoming CattleWomen. She was the person who always got things done. She was no nonsense when it was go time, and she was full of sharp wit and a big smile when it was time to play. We were pretty close in age (she was only 35) and had a lot of the same interests and a similar perspective on life. I had a lot of respect for her and thought we’d have fun getting to know each other better in years to come. Now we won’t have those opportunities.
The week after her death and before her funeral, I scrolled through Tracy’s wall daily. Reading the thoughts her loved ones posted helped console me. But as I read through all the lovely memories and comments, one question was left unanswered, “Is she a Christian?”
It was one of my first thoughts when I learned about her death and I’ve given it a lot of thought over the past two weeks. Was she saved? Will I get to see her again in heaven? I shed a lot of tears over the loss of such a wonderful woman and I shed a lot of those tears because I didn’t know if she knew Christ.
As I sat in that funeral surrounded by a lot of other young people who knew and loved Tracy, I felt such a heaviness in my heart. The heaviness of not knowing. The burden of wondering if God placed me in her life to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ and wondering if I ignored the opportunity.
Then the pastor’s words rang out. Tracy believed Jesus was her Lord and Savior. As the preacher explained the truth that Tracy knew, the tears flowed harder, but this time they were a mix of sadness and joy. Sadness at her loss. Joy for her new life in heaven.
Friends, here’s the thing. I don’t ever want to wonder again. I don’t want to read an obituary of a loved one and ask myself if they were saved. I don’t want to miss out on telling you the wonderful truth about Jesus.
So, I’d like to ask you; Do you know Jesus? Do you know what He did for you and what He offers you now? If you do, I praise God for that! If you don’t, will you please listen while I tell you?
It doesn’t take much for us to realize how broken the world is. Just turn on the news and you’ll hear heartbreak after devastating heartbreak. That’s because we live in a fallen world full of sin.
Heaven, on the other hand, is a completely perfect place. There is no sin, sickness, sorrow, hurt or turmoil. It is filled with joy, hope, peace and love. God couldn’t let sinful people (and I’m not judging; we are all sinful people) into this perfect, spotless place. But, God loves you and me so much and he wants us so badly to live in eternal glory with him.
So, he paid the ultimate price and sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to take on our sin. Jesus became flesh, lived a perfect life and taught us the right way to live. Even though he was guiltless, He willingly died for you and for me.
Then Jesus, being the Son of God, did the impossible. He conquered death. He rose again and ascended into heaven. God lives!
He paid this terrible price for us and He offers us forgiveness for our sins. We can’t earn forgiveness through good works, it’s a free gift only He can give. And He gives us this awesome gift if we believe in Him and ask for His grace and forgiveness. If we have faith that Jesus is the one, true, son of God, then we are assured salvation. We have the hope of eternity in heaven. We have power over death.
If you want to accept Jesus as your Savior, if you want to follow Him and have hope for tomorrow, you can simply ask Him for it. There aren’t any right or wrong words, but you can say something like this:
Whether you say a prayer of salvation right now, or not, you can learn more about God’s awesome gifts and promises here:
Or I’d be happy to talk to you about my personal journey with Jesus as my savior and pray with you about your decision. I’m not a theologian or a Biblical scholar. I’m not here to judge or condemn. I’m just a believer who messes up a lot. But, I believe and I have the blessed assurance that, through Jesus, I’ll make it home to heaven when my time comes.
Tracy left a big hole when she left because she lived a great life, but for me, she also left behind a lot of hope. She believed and now she is experiencing an indescribable, wondrous, amazing life in heaven.
Goodbye, for now, Tracy.
God Bless You & American Agriculture,
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)