A dear friend of mine, who was one of my very best friends in Jr. High and High School (we even went to college together) passed away on Saturday after a life-long battle with Cystic Fibrosis. She lived with this disease that has no cure her entire life. Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. It required Emily to do breathing treatments, have someone pound her back and sides every four hours to clear her lungs (some of my most fond memories with her when I got to do it), and take multiple antibiotics and vitamins everyday to ward off infection.
Even though this devastating disease dictated much of what she did, she never for a second felt defeated. Even these past 3 months that she was in the ICU at USC, she fought on until the very end. Her strength as a person, her incredible faith in God’s protection over her life and His timing, and her inspiring zeal for living life to its fullest are all parts of Em that I loved and cherished as one of her friends.
I feel so honored to have known her as well as I did, to have so many fun memories of time we spent together, and thankful I have learned so much from her as a person.
I am even more thankful for the fact that I had the chance to talk and catch up with her just days before she went into the hospital on Feb. 1. I had no clue it was going to be the last time, but our conversation was so rich and so great.
Beyond all of that, I am praising God that Emily can finally breath a deep breath for the first time in heaven with the love of her life…God himself. This is something she looked forward to and wrote about in her blog just a couple months ago…
“…the promise of NEW life, a new body and an eternity in complete peace with God–just as we were intended to be. We will have perfect bodies, no pain, no struggle. Thank you, Lord, that you have overcome death so that we don’t have to suffer any longer. I am encouraged to keep pressing on, standing firm, and trusting in the hope given through the Lord.”