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A Dawn of Glory

I lost someone this week. For privacy’s sake, I will not share her name. But I will share what I called her: Dawn. 



Because she was so joyful. Because whenever I saw her, I couldn’t help but feel like I was basking in the sun’s morning rays. She was a true light of the Lord. 


Dealing with death is never an easy thing, especially when it is unexpected or too early. 


In my mind, Dawn had decades to go. She had young grandkids to play with and grown children to encourage and countless church friends to inspire. 


And honestly, Dawn was an inspiration. 


You know what I found out yesterday? How much hardship she was facing. 


I knew she was a widow, but I didn’t know that it was recent. And that she lost her mom months afterwards. And then her dad after that. 


And I knew she had been facing some health issues over the past months, but I didn’t know she’d been in and out of the hospital for the last few weeks. 


I simply knew her as Dawn, the woman with the permanent, warm glow. Who would raise her hands high during worship. Who would rave about how blessed she was. 


That was who I knew. 


If you read my post two weeks ago, you’ll probably remember the flickering flame analogy. How we are God’s lights of the world, and like flames, we will flicker and wither as storms of darkness enclose. But with God as our strength, we will never stop shining. 


I’m thinking about that again, but now with Dawn. 


Friends, she was facing trial after trial… but looking at her? Never would’ve known. Her joy was so radiant, her love of the Lord so evident, that no hint of darkness was around her. 


She was not a tiny little ember barely holding on; she was a strong, steady flame until that very last day. 


(And I’m not just saying that; her last texts were literally all about praising the Lord and praying for others.)


God was shining so brightly through Dawn, more so than I ever knew. 


Because that’s the thing… now that I know just a hint of what she went through?


Her devotion to the Lord is even more inspiring. 


In Romans (oh, there are so many powerful verses in Romans!), Paul talks about suffering. Trials. Hardships. The storms of this fallen world. 


And for once, I’m not going to directly quote Scripture; instead, I’m gonna give you a visual:


TRIALS → PERSEVERANCE → CHARACTER → HOPE


Friends, we do not like hard things. We do not like pain, whether it's physical or mental or whatever. But as my lovely friend Dawn so clearly reminds me...


Pain makes us stronger… in Him. 


I can’t imagine losing the three most important people in my life in a matter of three years. And I can’t fathom the pain of losing your health, losing your future, and knowing you will likely be leaving your loved ones behind. 


I also can’t imagine being imprisoned for my faith (Paul). 


Or thrown in a lions’ den (Daniel). 


Or shipwrecked (Paul again).


Or hunted by a raging, jealous king (David). 


Or plagued with barrenness (Abraham and Sarah). 


Or beheaded (John the Baptist). 


Or widowed and destitute (Ruth). 


Or socially shunned (Rahab). 


Or crucified upside down (Peter). 


Or hated for carrying the Son of God (Mary). 


But the thing that all of these heroes of faith have in common? 


In their pain, they turned towards their Healer, not away. They surrendered at His feet, pride abandoned, seeking and waiting. 


And like precious metals being purified and refined in the fire, they are prized. Renowned. Glorify God way beyond their last breaths. 


I know Dawn’s life has changed mine for the better. And that we will dance together with Jesus someday. 


But until then, I urge you with the same things I need to hear: 


Whatever has been hindering you - fear, shame, bitterness, rejection - don’t let it rule one more day of your life. Tomorrow is never guaranteed; shine boldly for the Lord today. 


Surrender to Him and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. He is refining and transforming you from the inside out. Embrace it; lean into the God who is trustworthy and true 


And never, ever stop singing His praise.


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