Dear Family, Friends, Teachers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By now, you have heard about the passing of our daughter, Candice. Candice is a very special individual; she will be surely missed. Over the last two months since the accident, Candice has made a slow but steady recovery. Many of you have been receiving daily or weekly reports of her recovery. Candice had progressed to the point of her starting rehabilitation on 2/17. She could communicate by shaking her head yes or no, typing out key words on a keyboard, by sign language, and to some degree, by speech. God was answering all prayers.
So now we ask, “Why now?” I hope that the story that I am about to tell, will answer your questions and help to give a sense of peace.
Last week, Candice told us that she wanted to go back to church. We arranged for her to attend a service there at the Sheppard Center this Sunday. Candice wanted more, so a dear friend of ours brought several bible studies to the hospital on Wednesday night and asked Candice to choose which one she wanted. She chose Ecclesiastes. Mandy said, “Are you sure? Ecclesiastes is hard reading.” Candice once again pointed to Ecclesiastes.
With that, Chandra, Mandy and Candice proceeded to cover the first two chapters. They were going to stop there; however, Candice pleaded for them to continue on and complete most of chapter three. After they finished Candice urged Mandy to come back again next week to finish. It was an hour after visiting time had ended, and Chandra and Mandy said their “good byes” and returned home. At about 1:00 AM we got the call that Candice’s heart had stopped and we returned to the hospital. We were told that Candice had been revived but they did not know how long she had been out or what to now expect. The doctors ran every test possible to try and find out why her heart stopped. They could find no reason; everything was normal. It is at this moment I asked God,” Why now?”
Part of the answer can be found in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 which I have attached:
1For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Many things transpired over the next three days, and I do not wish to discuss them at this time. Candice gave her final breath late on Saturday night. We knew that she was passing and it had been a long wait. Sunday, our family went to Brooks United Methodist Church to pray. It is obvious that God is in control. However, my heart keeps asking,”Why now”?
Finally, a “Sister in Christ” came to me and said she needed to talk to me in private. We got away from the crowd and this is what she told me. “You will think I’m crazy but God asked me to give you this message. God came to Candice and spoke with her for a long time. He gave her the choice of staying or coming home to him. Candice chose to go with him.” Finally, the answer to the question, “Why now?”
The ways of God are often hard to understand. I can only leave you with these final words. “Seek and you will find; knock and the doors will be opened unto you.”
For those of you want to know more about the funeral arrangements I have attached the times down below:
Visitation will be at Mowell’s funeral home in Fayetteville , GA on 3/5/2010 from 1:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00.
The body will lie in state at Brooks United Methodist Church on 3/6/2010 from 12:00-2:00.
The funeral will be at Brooks United Methodist Church on 3/6/2010 at 2:00.
Marion, Chandra, and Jason