Today we are mourning the loss of an amazing wife, mom, grandma, Bible teacher, worshipper, book lover, and friend...Judy VanderZwaag.
I was introduced to Judy and her best friend Mary Swierenga (my dear mentor I often mention) about 4 years ago. Judy's love for the Jesus, the Word, family, books, and teaching others about Jesus was contagious! :)
Judy was the director of Sunshine's Media Center, so my kids and I (especially Sarah) would visit often. While I was in the midst of writing my Red Hot Bible study, I'd stop by each week for new resources, commentaries and ideas. (What a huge blessing!)
And as often as she would, I'd ask Judy to share her testimony at our Monday Night Bible study. As a foster care mom, cancer survivor, and passionate teacher of Truth ~ we never tired of hearing of her journey and complete dependence on Christ.
This summer we learned the cancer had moved to not only her bones, but her liver. We were devestated. Judy's pic has been on our refrigerator for weeks as we prayed earnestly for healing.
This past Sunday, while I was in Kokomo, I received an e-mail from Mary. The tears started to flow as soon as I read the subject line, "October 9 - Absent from the Body"
Mary shared in her e-mail, "Today (this past Sunday), Judy was ushered into heaven by her family singing praise as she mouthed the words along with them. Suddenly she was in the presence of the Lord. She was mostly pain free and clear to the end....."
As I head now to Judy's celebration of life service, I am so thankful that although we all miss her deeply, we "sorrow not, even as others which have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
(Picture above is Judy worshipping at the Red Hot retreat this past February)
Praise the Lord for Judy who ran the race with steadfastness, enthusiasm, diligence and joy always keeping her eyes on Jesus! Gonna miss you like crazy, Judy, but we can't wait to see you again...!
With a sad heart ~