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These past twelve months have seen their share of trouble.

In the circles of my family and nearest my family we’ve endured several trials and losses, from serious illness diagnoses to organ transplants to multiple unexpected deaths. Tomorrow we bury another loved one, a beautiful soul who was like a fourth sister in our close family.

Wife, mother of three, daughter, sister, teacher, and aunt to my nephew and two other precious little ones, Louise Austin Towey died suddenly on August 10 after suffering an aortic dissection a week prior.

Oddly, of all the verses that are so appropriate for loss, grief, and hope during difficult times, what speaks to me instead is Luke 12:4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.”

While in the immediate and most practical context “those” refers to people, it struck me that the verse is also appropriate for those other things harmful, hateful, and fatal to the body: disease, injury, accidents, etc.

During loss, especially an unexpected loss, it’s tempting to be afraid of that which robbed us of a loved one. It’s also tempting to fear the unknown, and to grieve as those who have no hope.

But I’m reminded that no matter what is done to our temporary, fragile bodies, once it’s done it cannot be done again. The temporal has no power over the eternal, and our eternal souls–when we have put our hope in Jesus–cry out indeed “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

In my fourteen years as a believer, I can count on one hand (and have fingers left over) of women I’ve known personally who have a “gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” Louise was one of those people. And she will be greatly missed.

A memorial fund Love For Louise has been established to help with the medical costs and ongoing care for her family.

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.'” (Revelation 21:3-4)

To my God and Father be glory forever and ever.