Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jessica JoLinn Collins

On 1 October, I (Cathy) was cleaning up after our normal Friday ministry night. The phone rang and it was my father. My dad told me that my niece, Jessica JoLinn Collins, had died. She was 18 years old, a recent high school graduate and my brother's only child.

I sat there numb as I began to realize that I won't see her until I leave this world; as I began to realize that my brother won't see his little girl get married; as I began to realize that we won't hear her laugh again. Is this really happening?

God was so gracious to us. Lou began to call people to see if we could get help with running our ministry. I called United to see if we could get a flight home ASAP. Within four hours, we had our ministry covered and a flight to Denver the very next morning. The tough part about living in Germany is being so far away from family. How I wanted to be right there giving my brother a hug and crying with the family as we began to grieve the loss of sweet Jessie. Fortunately, I was home within 24 hours.

It has been a tough week as we said good-bye to Jessica. She was a relational young lady, who was deeply loved. She never met anyone who didn't become her friend. She had a heart of gold, a smile that would brighten the room, and loved life. She was creative, loved to bake, enjoyed volleyball, singing in the car, loved animals and really brought joy to our lives.

Now, we begin to live without her. I know God will continue to bring comfort and peace as we deal with this tragedy. We are trusting in God's soverignity and that He is in control. Our prayers is that He will be glorified through the homecoming of Jessica. But, right now, our hearts ache, in time we will will be a long time.