Just a bit over a month ago, she moved on from the perishable to the imperishable, from sickness to health, from death to eternal life.
I am increasingly convinced that God took her to Him at the best time for her, and that this was mercy beyond anything I will ever comprehend in this life.
On Sunday, the sermon was about prayer, and Pastor Jenny Cleveland illustrated her points with examples from out of the huge bag of books on prayer that she carried up with her. One point that rather startled me was that we should, in prayer, be thankful for all things. This doesn't mean we have to like them, but we do have to be thankful. The example was from Corrie Ten Boom's biographical book about her imprisonment in a German prison camp. Her sister (who died in the camp) remonstrated with Corrie that she must always say thanksgiving in her prayers as well as petitioning, for everything that happened to them, because it all works to God's purposes eventually. She said, "I thank God even for the fleas" ... because their particular barracks was infested with fleas.
Some years later she found that their barracks was also the only one where the women prisoners were not accosted or raped by the guards, who couldn't stand it because of the fleas.
So, today I thank God for Penny, for thirty years of friendship with her, for twenty-four-almost-twenty-five years of fighting, making up, hugging, sharing, for all the good and bad times, and I thank God for the things I don't understand now, but which (given over to him many times) must certainly have been, in some unfathomed way, blessings. For the weakness of her body, for bad knees, for the cancer that took her away from me... but which also took her to Him.
I grieve, and I thank God for the pain, and ask Him to take it and use it, transform and sanctify it.