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To die is gain

Although her time on earth was short, Jodi lived as an example of God’s love.

Jodi got the diagnosis the summer after her first year in college—it was cancer. She had always wanted to be a nurse. At 19, she had come home for the summer to work and stay with family.

Ovarian cancer was NOT in the plan, but her reaction was positive. “It will make me more able to relate to my patients and a better nurse.” After a year of surgery, chemo, and a hiatus from school, she returned to school and got her degree. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., even offered her a position. She had won numerous awards for her skill and dedication in school.

She made plans to move to Minnesota, but God had other plans. Shortly before graduation, the cancer returned. She got the news, and the next day her boyfriend proposed. Nothing would stand in their way—even cancer.

Jodi went through another surgery, chemo, and radiation. She put Mayo on hold. Five months after the diagnosis, the doctor told Jodi and her fiancé if they wanted to be married, they had better do it now. The families quickly organized a wedding. Jodi and her fiancé picked out her wig together. Jodi, too weak to dance, sat and watched as friends and family celebrated their love.

Four short weeks later, she went to the Savior’s wedding banquet. At her funeral, her wedding picture stood at the altar instead of a casket. She looked radiant. Her husband sent out wedding thank-you notes along with thank-you cards for the condolences.

Jodi fought to the very end. She had so much to live for and so much to do. But she also had Jesus as her Savior. When she died, it was the best day of her life. She didn’t have to worry about “dying with dignity.” Jesus had given her all the dignity she needed. Regardless of the ravages of her disease, when she entered heaven, God greeted her as his own chosen, beautiful, loved child.

Death is the devil’s short-term success. He brought death into this world when he turned our first parents against God. With death, he rips hearts and lives apart and brings sorrow and tears. But it is only a short-term success. God takes away the sorrow of death by giving his children eternal life. Those who fall asleep with his promises in their hearts set aside pain forever. Those who remain and have those promises in their own hearts find comfort and hope that they too will fall asleep only to awaken to a seat at the Lord’s banquet table.

Jodi knew that. Although her time on earth was short, she lived as an example of God’s love. Sometimes, I wish she was still here to remind me of that when I forget.

Author: Twila Fickel
Volume 107, Number 6
Issue: June 2020

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