I "lost" a dear person this year. And, of course, SHE is not lost- she is in paradise with Jesus Christ, completely healed and whole. But, the LOSS we feel, those of us touched by her, is painful.

I didn't know Jamie long. I met her in the summer of 2007.

A pastor of our church, and friend, called and asked if Jamie could join my small group bible study. Usually a new member would not warrant a call from the pastor, but Jamie was different. I knew OF Jamie, but didn't know her personally. She was the young mother of triplets diagnosed with cancer. It had begun as breast cancer but moved into her brain.

Jamie and her family would need a small group to care for them through this hard time. According to the doctors, Jamie didn't have long to live.

So, Jamie came into our group and we began to pray.

She surprised us, I think, because she was so strong. I think I expected her to be weak or frail, but she was NOT. She was beautiful. She wore different hats each week.

Jamie had never been in a bible study before. This "relationship with Jesus" talk was a little different than what she had expected.

I watched Jamie over the next year and half grow in her faith, quietly taking notes, soaking it all in.

I remember one night, after Jamie had given us an update on her health, we laid hands on Jamie, praying for her healing. Each week we prayed for her, whether she was in attendance or not. Jamie was constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

I fought for Jamie. Many times I found myself praying in the Spirit for Jamie, shouting at the devil that he could not have her, had no power over her. The first time was back in the summer of 2007 when I first knew Jamie would be joining us. I knew that Jamie would not die.

Jamie was given a miracle of more than a year. It was time to spend with her babies. It was time to spend with her husband. It was time for to "get things in order."

When Jamie went home to Jesus on December 19th, I was so angry with God. I was mad that He would allow Jamie to leave her precious babies. We were all praying. We were all believing. We were all expecting....a miracle. I prayed in the name of Jesus. I reminded Jesus that He said, "I am willing" to healing. I asked and kept asking. I knocked and kept knocking. Why didn't He heal Jamie?

When I attended Jamie's funeral, I was amazed at this precious girl's faith.

When she went in for her last treatment, Pastor Jana went with her. Jamie and Jana talked about Jamie's wishes for her funeral. She gave Jana a list of passages to be read.

As I sat in amazement and listened, I realized that she was sharing Jesus with her unsaved family members. She shared Psalm 23 for encouragement, scriptures on how her body is now made perfect, not ravaged by cancer, and Truth about Jesus.

She wanted to tell her unsaved family that she is not dead, but alive forever, perfectly whole and healed, suffering no longer. She wanted to tell unsaved family and friends that through Jesus, we all have the promise of eternal life when we believe in Him. I sat in amazement as I listened to verses from John and Isaiah and Corinthians being read. Jamie was sharing the Truth of Jesus Christ with unbelievers that she loved.

Things I learned from Jamie:

What seems important is not always so important and what doesn't seem important is VERY important....like playing fireman with your children.

Like singing them asleep.

Like praying with them.

Living each day like it may be your last.....don't waste a precious moment.

I am reminded of the awesome Point of Grace Song, "How You Live- Turn Up the Music." Here are the lyrics:

"Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open

Don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken

Wear your red dress use your good dishes

Make a big mess and make lots of wishes

Have what you want, but want what you have

And don’t spend you life looking back

Turn up the music

Turn it up Loud

Take a few chances

Let it all out

Because you won’t regret it

Looking back from where you have been

Because it’s not who you knew and it’s not what you did

It’s how you Live

So go to the ballgames and go to the ballet

And go see your folks more than just on the holidays

Kiss all your children

Dance with your wife

Tell your husband you love him every night

Don’t run from the truth cause you can’t get away

Oh no

Just face it and you’ll be ok

Because it’s not who you knew and it’s not what you did

It’s how you Live

Where ever you are and wherever you’ve been

Now is a time to begin

So give to the needy and

Pray for the grieving

Even when you don’t think that you can

Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you

So think of your fellow man

And make peace with God and

Make peace with yourself

Oh yeah

Cause in the end there’s nobody else...."

Here is Jamie's obituary:

"Jamie Lynn Sell, 31, of Center Point, died at home, Friday, December 19, 2008, after a long illness.

Survivors include her husband Brian; children, Ava Rose, Connor James, and Skyler Pete, all at home; mother, Diana Brown of Alburnett; sisters, Lovey Brown of Alburnett and Morgan Lundgren of Florida; brothers, Adam Brown of Alburnett and Mason Lundgren of Florida; and grandmother, Betty Meaker of Cedar Rapids.

Jamie was preceded in death by her father, James Lundgren and surrogate grandfather, Glenn Temeyer.

Jamie was born January 5, 1977 in Cedar Rapids to James and Diana Meaker Lundgren. Jamie married Brian Sell at St. Marks Lutheran Church on August 17, 2002. She was a paralegal for Alliant Energy. Jaime was a past president of the Linn County Paralegal Support Group and had been named Paralegal of the year. She was a member of the Center Point Family Fire Auxiliary and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

Jamie will be remembered for her greatest achievement; the love and devotion she gave to Brian and her triplets. "

video tribute

4 thoughts shared....:

Chelle said...

Thank you for this post, and the one prior to it. Beautiful. God is so good, but with human, finite eyes, I think we tend to miss the beauty in some things.

Hope you and the family are all healed and feeling well now!

R.L.Scovens said...

It's so sad when people have to die, but it's wonderful to know that they are with Jesus!

lori said...

Wow...that is a life lived and her legacy will live on...It's amazing how much we can learn from those among us who simply understand what it means to truly LIVE...

peace Tracy...
you brought back such memories of my friend Mitzi who did very much the same thing...laid it all out before she passed away, even MOVED the family so that her husband could raise the girls in a GOOD town...I was and still am amazed.

Thank you for sharing.

lori said...

okay...whew, that tribute was amazing...and those precious babies..you are right, we won't understand, we can only PRAY for the PEACE that surpasses ALL understanding...what a beautiful girl...

prayers for her husband and babies...