And I know that I’m not alone.
A dear friend of mine and of many in Cleveland, MS went to live with Jesus yesterday.
Cheryl Marchant, the friend I mentioned in this post, was like a mom to me. From the day we met, God melded our hearts and she took an interest in my life. Cheryl appointed herself my mother (as she called me her third daughter), my manager (she was always trying to get me “speaking invitations” ;-)), my adviser (she often began her conversations to me with “Here’s what you need to do…”), my connection-maker (as in, “Come over here. I want you to meet…”), my “fixer” of whatever she thought needed fixing, and lately, my employer. But most of all, Cheryl was my heart-friend. One of those people that God connects heart to heart in an instant, and one whose absence in my life leaves a hole in my heart.
But the precious thing about Cheryl is that most everyone who called her “friend” would also call her their own personal adviser, connection maker, and fixer. She was like that. Whatever she told us all to do, we all did it! She could get even the most stubborn adults to rally to her bidding. 😉 Her facebook page is already full of people pouring out their love and tributes to her, telling of the impact she had on their lives. Life here in the Delta will be different without Cheryl.
Cheryl loved Jesus, her family, her friends, and her community. She loved. Period. She gave. Period. And she is now well and dancing and laying down her beautifully gained crowns before our Wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.
For her, our hearts are light. We praise the Healer that Cheryl is whole and happy and healed! No more suffering. No more pain. She fought hard against cancer for over four years, and beat “the odds” many times already. She stayed positive until the very end, and even though we knew she was really sick, in the back of our minds, we kind of thought that she would pull through – just as she has so many other times. By Friday, though, we realized that Jesus was about to move her from this earth to Heaven. The family had some sweet time with her before she moved, and on Saturday, God completely healed her and took her home. We are so grateful for her gain.
But today, my heart is heavy as I weigh my own personal loss. But immeasurably more loss than mine is the loss of Cheryl’s family. She leaves behind a wonderful husband, Coach Bill Marchant – who has a miraculous “beat the odds” life story of his own, two adored children, Stacy and Brett, and four beautiful grandchildren. She also leaves behind several brothers that were extremely involved in her life, and cousins that were like sisters to her. And if I haven’t mentioned it before, she leaves behind about a million friends. 😉
I’ll probably be away from the blog for a few days. Cheryl’s memorial service is Tuesday at 6pm at FBC Cleveland, and visitation will be from 4-6pm in the fellowship hall. If you know Cheryl or her family, you are welcome to come celebrate with us. Because in the midst of our tears, we will be praising God that our beloved sister, mom, and friend is now where we all want to be… In the arms of Jesus.