Got back late last night from my cousin Monica's funeral in Little Rock. Some of you know that because of a rare virus, she had been paralyzed from the neck down for five and a half years. Monica Keathley was an amazing person, and it's hard to stop thinking about her.
From her two tours as a missionary in Africa to her final work with the Arkansas State Baptist Association, her life was all about witnessing for God. Even when she was in intensive care, unable to move, she insisted on having a sign on the wall where everyone who passed by could see it: "I serve an awesome God."
The most touching part of her funeral service was watching the video of one of her solo performances in the quartet "One Accord," which she founded. Seeing her singing, moving, praising, was a blessing. I'm so happy that she's suffering no more.
The other part of Monica's story is her sister Leslie, who with husband Bob, gave up their 20-year business (a cross stitch and framing store) in Bolivar, their home, and their friends, to move to Little Rock to care for Monica. In all this time, Leslie had only left Monica's side to travel back to Bolivar for her mother's funeral. She will always be a hero in my eyes.
It's been an emotional few days. It's always difficult to understand how someone so good and so faithful can be inflicted with so much pain. For my adult life, Romans 8:28 has been my favorite Scripture. I've been repeating it over and over the past few days.