We are over flowing with gratitude this year. So much so we’ve extended our giving of thanks past Thanksgiving and on into December.
There is one more person we wish to be thankful for; Mary Stryker.
Almost one year ago one of our more beloved sisters in Christ went to be with her Savior. Mary Stryker defeated death with her faith and was rewarded with glory last Christmas season. Cancer had nothing on her. By the grace of God she overcame cancer by trusting in the promises of God more than fearing illness in the face of death.
Mary was always a blessing to us. But never more so than in her final months with us. Mary exemplified a courage and sweetness of spirit that can only be ascribed to the work of the Holy Spirit in her life. The very evening Mary departed for heaven, her testimony (below) was played for hundreds at our Christmas Cantata. The gospel brought her life and the gospel followed her into eternity. Only God could orchestrate such circumstances.
I am thankful for faithful sisters and brothers in Christ that model for us what it means to truly trust in Jesus. Here is Mary’s testimony video played at Grace the day of her home going followed by one of the most viewed posts of the year and the song, “Mary Did You Know” that I changed the lyrics to in honor of Mary Stryker.
Mary Did You Know?
Mary did you know, that your life would someday touch so many?
Mary did you know, that your life would be used to give God such glory?
Did you know that your weakness strengthened the faith of others?
In this life you have blessed so many sisters and brothers
Mary did you know, that your life is not measured by the years
Mary did you know, that your life would be filled with so many tears
Did you know that heartache could actually heal the soul
And lead the lost to find their name on the scroll
A life too great, a spirit too strong, cannot be bound to this world
A song to sing, a praise to shout, until the world has heard
Mary did you know, that your life will so long out live you?
Mary did you know, that your life will speak a much louder truth?
Did you know that God chose you to display His grace
And then depart from us with joyous heaven gained
One of Mary’s great passions and joy was directing VBS here at Grace. This picture from 2005 with co-director Sue Underwood (right) is how I will remember her. Thank you Mary for investing yourself in so many others!