One thing I learned this week is that saying goodbye is never guaranteed in this life.
Mandy Kelly was my closest friend, my confidant, my sounding board.
In no way do I benefit financially or in any other way from this post. While I am an affiliate advertiser for Mandy and Worshipful Living, I did not use any affiliate links in this post. All links support the Kelly family alone.
While I never got to meet Mandy in person, our friendship defied the claim that Internet friendships aren’t real.
I felt as close to Mandy as if I had known her my whole life. We shared our hearts with one another, we turned to one another when we were grieving.
We cried with one another over Skype and Voxer, we prayed with one another, and we went to battle on our knees at times when one of us was in crisis.
But we were more than just friends, we were business buddies.
She collaborated with me on blogging courses, in blogger groups, and on so many other projects that have come to mind one-by-one the past couple of days until it just overwhelmed me how ready and willing she was to offer help to her friends.
Mandy and I first met when she joined original Good Morning Girls leadership team. We quickly became friends and blogging buddies.
Over the years our friendship grew and deepened until it was like our hearts beat as one.
I would often message her with an idea or project I was working on and she’d reply back excitedly that she was working on the same idea from a different perspective and we’d marvel at how our ideas complimented one another.
This happened so often that it became a running joke with us.
Mandy’s heart was as large as the universe
Mandy became a step mom to Bekah, Jared, and Lizzie when she married Scott, who had lost his wife to cancer. She mothered those children like they were her own, and they bonded with her as well.
Together, Scott and Mandy adopted Judah as newborn last year.
Early Tuesday morning the fire department was called to their house, but by the time they arrived it was too late. Mandy, her husband Scott and their two youngest children: Lizzie and Judah perished in the fire.
Their oldest two children, Bekah and Jared, escaped with their grandmother who sustained some injuries.
Please keep Bekah, Jared and the whole family in your prayers. Their church, Trinity Baptist Cacye is taking donations for the Kelly family.You can send your monetary support here. Just click on the green Give button and designate your donation for the Kelly family.
God is the God of all comfort
Mandy loved Jesus. She lived out Worshipful Living in 3D, technicolor….it shined through everything she did.
She was daily concerned that each of her children had a genuine and ongoing experience with Jesus Christ and that they would grow up to serve Him as passionately as she and Scott did.
I do not grieve for Mandy, I grieve for me.
But I rejoice for Scott, Mandy, Lizzie, and Judah. They are in the presence of Jesus. They are rejoicing around the throne. And they couldn’t come back if they could because they are right where they always wanted to be!
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Mandy isn’t’ gone, she’s just moved
As I sat here on Tuesday weeping in disbelief and horror at the story I was reading about the house fire. I’ll admit, I asked why.
Why the little children?
And I think God understood that I wasn’t questioning His judgement, I was grieving and I do believe that God has grace for us in those times of grief.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that I wouldn’t get any more daily messages or Voxes. I wouldn’t see her face on Skype anymore.
And then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Mandy isn’t gone, she’s just moved to another country. You wont hear from her for a while, but you’ll see her again.”
And this is true.
Mandy has moved to a country not made by hands. But it is a country as real as the country I’m in and you’re in! She’s not gone, she’s just moved.
Even in this God is glorified
God doesn’t have to ask for our permission to fulfill His sovereign plan.
We don’t know why He chose to take Scott, Mandy, Lizzie, and Judah home. We may never know this side of glory, but we can trust in the fact that He is God, His ways are perfect.
It isn’t up to us to know the details, it’s just up to us to give Him glory in all things.
Our worship is most sacrificial when we raise our hands in honor to Him when our world is falling apart and our emotions scream out that it’s not fair.
Our worship is most sacrificial when what we really want to do is curl up in a ball and weep.
Our worship is most sacrificial when our broken hearts want to throw out accusations.
But when we submit to the Holy Spirit and echo with Him that God is sovereign and that despite what we’re walking through, He deserves all honor, glory and praise, even in this….especially in this, we have lifted up a sacrifice of praise.
We are truly living worshipful!
So today I honor Mandy’s memory and I seek to glorify God with my heart.
Yes, I will still weep at times
Yes, my heart will still break at times
I still have yet to truly comprehend that she is not here with us any longer
My flesh grieves, but my spirit rejoices.
Dear friend, I know this isn’t goodbye. It is “See you later”. You will always hold a special place in my heart. Your friendship was too brief, but it left an indelible mark on my life. You inspired me. You challenged me. You pushed me to think deeper and reach higher. I am a better person today because of you. See you at the house.
~Best Friends Forever
I encourage you to assist the family financially during this time. You may make monetary donations to Trinity Baptist Cacye.
Mandy automated her Facebook page before she passed away, you can continue to follow her page where you will find so much encouragement, even after her passing. Worshipful Living on Facebook
I would also encourage you to visit her store. She has a number of Bible studies and products. Your purchase at Worshipful Living will also go to assist the family financially. Worshipful Living Store