I can't seem to get my niece Katie off of my mind. The first anniversary of her death has come and gone. Her high school graduation day has passed with her friends all graduating and planning for their upcoming college educations. Sometimes I go to her web page and I am stunned that so many people still post messages for her there. One girl wrote that she would never understand why God took Katie, of all people, home at such a young age. She had so many people who loved her. She had so much potential. She was involved in life and doing and being in ways that most of us never achieve.
I think of her with her big beautiful smile, her beautiful face. She was class president when she died. Her friends at first decided that for senior year they would just forgo that office, because it was HERS, and elect the vice and the others. But then a friend of hers filled the void. Just before school started last year, there was a flurry of messages about the bitter-sweetness of it all. Senior year. Rule the school. They were so happy, yet so sad. A member was missing. Apparantly, a very large member. They didn't see how they could do all the senior things without her. But they did. They remembered her on senior day, at the prom, at graduation. I'm thinking she will be on their minds as they enter the halls of their respective colleges in the fall. When they marry. When they have children.
I don't understand either. I still ache over the way Katie died. I still wonder if she was aware, even though I've been reassured by rescue personnel that she wasn't. I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that this young girl isn't here any longer.
I still have the pictures I was able to salvage from her car. I had to cut off all the burned places because, unfortunately, the smell of the smoke cannot be removed any other way. Katie had numerous Bibles in her car that day, and though the edges were seared, the books themselves did not burn. A pastor told me the Bible will not burn. I had the proof. Still, I had to throw out those precious pages I retrieved because, as I said, that smell is impossible to remove or cover up.
Why? I still find myself asking this question. I think there are just some things that we will never understand because we aren't meant to. Some of the questions we ask don't have answers.
This is where faith comes in. This is where we find our belief systems come into play. This is where we find out how strong our roots are. I have to believe, and I do, that God is in control of all things. I believe that God knew exactly what He was doing on that afternoon in March. I believe that God was with Katie, holding her firmly in His hands, as she transitioned from this life to the next. I don't believe He allowed her to suffer. I believe that it was a joyous homecoming for her.
The tree that her car struck will forever be marked. It is Katie's tree now, a shrine of sorts. This girl lived a full life. This girl died here, in this exact spot. By this tree. I wonder if the tree will eventually die from the damage from the fire?
Life does go on. It just goes on differently than we had planned, because our plans are not God's plans, just as His ways are not our ways.
I'm glad for that, since my plans are usually not quite up to par.
We all miss you Katie. But we'll be seeing you one day again. Life has changed for all of us, but most especially for you, for I have no doubt that you reached your goal. You are with Your King.
You set such a high example for us. Even us older ones. You were a fierce warrior. You wrote on your page that you would never follow along behind in someone else's path, you wanted to make a new path of your own, and little girl, did you ever!
God bless you, Katie. You will truly never be forgotten. See ya soon!
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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This is a very touching article about Katie. Her spirit lives on in her friends and her family. God's plan is always perfect. Her death may have touched even more lives than anyone knows and brought them to the Saviour. We will never know until we all get to heaven. I'm praying for you tonight, Beth. That He would give you His perfect peace in this situation. God bless. In Christ's Love,
Oh, Beth, this is so touching. You did well by writing about it, for not only did you share the testimony of this precious young lady with us, it was needed therapy for you. I have a story on my web site, www.dustonthebible.com, about my first hand witnessing of a Bible that would not burn. I once had it here on FW. God bless. Thomas