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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

A Smile from God

Please forgive my silence for these many weeks. Most of you understand why. On July 25, our daughter Lisa, took her last breath in a body that challenged her and every doctor she saw in her forty years. While you understand that this is an unfathomable loss to us as parents, we celebrate her freedom from the pain and suffering that she no longer experiences and we no longer have to watch.

If you would like to read about Lisa’s life and how God took us all into His care as we made this unwanted journey to the end, you can read more from our CariingBridge site here:

For a while, I will need my Quiet Circle to help me find my way through this major life re-orientation. I have used more than a third of my daily focus and creative energy to manage Lisa’s care and help her live the supported independence she valued. Some of my future posts will share how God helps me find how He takes the emptiness from so much change to bring a new life rhythm out of it.

For now, I would like to share the piece I wrote for Lisa’s 21st birthday that I adapted for her memorial service folder.

Our Smile from God

Before you were born

God decided that there weren’t enough smiles

And so He sent us yours.

From your very beginning

You brought sunshine into the world

with your smile.

Nothing lifted spirits

Or pushed away clouds better than your smile.

It tickled and comforted.

It celebrated and embraced.

All who fell within its half-moon reach

Were always better than before.

Like the couple who lived

In a shoebox house with drawn shades.

You brought life and beauty into their world

With not much more than your smile.

Perhaps that is why the hurts of your life

Distressed the people around you so.

They took away your smile

And when something took away your smile

It took away ours as well.

In your forty years there were miles of smiles.

That’s what we celebrate today:

That you were our smile from God

And always will be!

Know this: I believe in a God who restores. I believe in a God who comforts. I believe in a God who brings good out of the rough places when we give him our obedience. I believe that nothing this world destroys is a match for what God can create out of it. I am willing to give Him all the time He needs to do His best work.

May your journey through rough places or plain know the point of the Good Shepherd’s staff. And may you find His creative new where you need it most.


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