Sunday, February 3, 2013

Honoring one of God's Fantastic Super Fabulous Ladies

I had the honor of meeting Rev. Kathy Arbaugh-Patmon in 1995. I was a senior in high school about to embark on one of the most challenging years of my life to date. While I had only been baptized in the Holy Spirit for a small amount of time I was still very involved in my local Lutheran Church. Kathy came in as the new intern for that Lutheran church. She was finishing up her degree from seminary and I suppose you can say I was part of that assignment.

Though Kathy had her own daughter only a few years younger than I, Kathy and I struck up a very unique friendship. I was a bit of a spiritual misfit, that few knew at the time what to do with, and Kathy always believed in the calling and gifting of God on my life. She was sound wisdom in various points of my life. I was there when she graduated from seminary. The day she was ordained I traveled to her first church and sat there. I don’t know of too many Lutheran pastors who would have been open to getting a prophetic word on the day they were ordained but Kathy did. After the service she allowed me to prophesy what God had given me for her into her life, and was open for what God had to say.

Kathy’s first church was the first place I was ever invited to go and preach as a guest speaker. At that point I was finishing up my degree at OSU and she invited me to minister one day from her platform.

When Dan and I went to plan our wedding, Kathy was the one that I wanted to perform the ceremony. To which she did with gusto, and I am forever grateful she was part of that day and the reception three months later.

We have remained friends through various ups and downs in life. She never wavered in her belief that God was up to something big in my life. She was an encourager and prayer warrior. She often posted my blogs in her church bulletins, to where her church knew my name and never realized she actually knew me. Dan and I had prayed with her regarding her health, and given her council. This summer after meeting with her I knew her time on the earth was drawing to a close.

This December she requested I come and preach at her churches again (she had two in the Columbus, OH area). While I laughed and loved the idea of this charismatic coming back to preach in a Lutheran church, it was an honor to do it for her. We knew it was goodbye. I knew it was her final request of me. As I knelt before her and prayed with her, I remember saying to her, “I’m almost jealous. You get to go be with the Father soon.” I was trying to make light of a difficult situation, but she smiled at me and laughed. I had meant what I said. We all knew she was going home and soon she would no longer be in pain.

On Friday morning she went to go be with the Father. I know she is no longer bound to an earthly body that was failing her. I know she’s so much happier. I know she’s joined the great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) Her life was a life well lived for the Gospel. It was an honor to call her friend. It was an honor to know her.

Life is so short. I’ve watched now in the last 3 ½ years as I’ve lost 3 different pastors who have meant so much to me, leave this earth I believe way too soon. I will not focus on the why’s because there are so many things I may never understand. But I choose to focus on the imprint they’ve made on the earth. I choose to focus on living a life that would make them all including my heavenly Father God, proud. I choose to look forward. Please keep her family and church family in your prayers.

Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get Excited!

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