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Death Has Lost Its Sting

In a few hours, my community will bid farewell to Madison.

Her funeral will be difficult to attend, still surreal is her sudden departure from our lives.

I want to share a few personal memories I have of Madison.

I don’t remember the circumstances surrounding my first introduction to her mom, but I remember that as soon as I told her that I was Chicky’s mother, Madison’s mom gushed about how much Madison loved my girl and looked up to her.  There’s a two-year age difference between the girls.  Madison and Chicky were active in my church’s youth group.

So forged the connection, and every time I ran into Madison’s mom, we discussed our girls.

I remember when Madison first tried out, and made, the Varsity cheerleader squad at school.

Chicky told me how hard Madison had worked…how much she had practiced…to prepare for tryouts.

Chicky was so proud of her.

Madison had shown how determined she was…how brave she was, too, to go after something she wanted.

I watched as Madison blossomed during her two years of performing for scores of crowds.

Her smile and enthusiasm were infectious.

During football games, the cheerleaders would line up on the track that circled the field.  The girls took turns doing tumbling runs down a short stretch.

Most of the girls were dancers and gymnasts.  They did back flips, back handsprings, and round-offs with ease.

Madison always stood in line, waiting her turn.

Then, she’d rev her engines, make like she was Mary Lou Retton about to attack the vault, and then slow down and do a somersault on the ground.


She loved having fun, and she made sure we were all having fun along with her.

As a substitute teacher, I encountered Madison a few times in my classes.

Lord help me, but that girl could not sit still or be quiet!

She wasn’t a whisperer, either.

Oh no…Madison had to make sure the entire class knew what she was talking about, when she wasn’t bouncing around the room visiting everyone.

She was very social.

I imagine she’s up in heaven right now talking off some angels’ ears.  Regardless of what she’s doing up there, I can bet that she’s having a grand old time!

Meanwhile we got left behind with a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.

I am praying for her family…that they will find a way to put one foot in front of another during what will be some difficult days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

I pray that they will find comfort in the fact that Madison has been made whole again…that joy floods her soul because she is in the presence of Jesus right now.

Yesterday, my mind kept hearing the following song.  I kept thinking that God is good, He is hope, love, and truth.  I kept imagining, when thinking about these lyrics, that at the moment of her death, real life began for Madison…that she ran to God’s arms, and that’s where she is now…where those who put their hope in God and faith in Jesus will be one day.

I cannot wait to see Madison’s huge smile again one day, watch as her eyes light up as she loudly shares a “secret” with someone standing close by, and maybe catch her performing somersaults down one of those golden streets I’ve read about so often.

Praise the Lord…death has lost its sting!

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