Kinda weird that my first post was entitled 'Life' and now I am writing under 'Death'... believe me, that was not planned by any means.
Some of you know already that this past Friday, Nov. 27th, I lost a very close friend to suicide. Melissa Page Strange was my friend since the day that I met her a year ago this past April. She was outgoing, personable, friendly and had something about her that just drew you in and made you want to hang out with her. We instantly clicked and became good friends very quickly. she was my pastors daughter and that was another connection that we shared. We both knew what it was like to grow up as a ministers daughter.
Melissa never met a stranger. She could make anyone feel welcome and loved and would make an effort to be sure that no one felt left out. But Melissa also struggled. We all do. Everyone has different struggles and Melissa's were strong. She fought with the normal struggles that everyone does but she also went through alot of things that alot of people don't experience. Everyone goes through difficult times and everyone is tempted in everyday life, but it is in how we respond to those times and those temptations that makes us who we are. I guess Melissa just didnt feel like she could handle the problems that she was faced with anymore. And what she chose to do hurts. It hurts alot of people that she left behind. But she is now at peace and is not dealing with any of those problems anymore. So, if her mind and spirit are at ease, then I cannot help but somehow, in a strange way, feel happy for her that she is not fighting anymore. Would I have done something to stop it if I knew that she was going to do this? OF COURSE! But there was nothing that anyone could do. We all tried! We all loved her so much and so many people reached out to her. But God is still sovereign, He is still in total control and knew this was going to happen the day He created her. He still loved her through all of this and He is now giving everyone whom she left behind the strength and the grace to get through our daily lives.
Its not easy and it won't be easy for along time. Every holiday without Melissa, every birthday that goes by where there is no party for Melissa, every Sunday night eating Mexican food without Melissa ( that was a weekly tradition for those of you that don't know), every occasion with her family without Melissa.... everything will be hard and everything will remind us of Melissa for a very long time.
You are very missed! I loved you and I miss my friend! I don't understand and I never will but maybe that is not what God wants. Maybe He doesn't want me to understand. Maybe He just wants me to trust in Him even more through this. Just maybe He wants to prove that even in hard situations He is still sovereign. I don't know how and I don't know when but I do know that good will come out of this somehow. And one day, when I get to heaven, I expect a big hug like I always used to get every time I saw my friend!! I will have plenty ready for you and will look forward to seeing you again one day! Who knows, maybe we can be neighbors in heaven like you always wanted here on earth! You'll have to put that request in for me! I love you and already miss you!
Until we meet again..... your friend,