Thursday, July 3, 2008

"And HOPE does not disappoint us..."

Last Saturday, 7-yr-old Hope Upton passed away.

She was a firecracker! That little girl was FULL of energy and was nicknamed Pickle because she loved pickles; and then there's the fact that when she was sweet, she was REALLY sweet, but when she was sour, BOY was she sour!

Such a fun girl, though, I had the privilege of teacher her in Sunday School for about a year. Her and her older sister, Andrea (or Faith, as some people called her) were always so genuine and eager to be at church.

But last Saturday, it was Hope's bounding energy that got in the way. Her parents and older sister were inside, cleaning up from the yard sale they had just finished, in order to raise money for their move to Oklahoma originally scheduled for a few week away, and Hope dashed outside to go see a friend. She jumped on her bike, and took off down the driveway, leaving her cares and a helmet behind.

Unfortunately, she didn't see a van coming down the street, and she pulled out of her driveway right as it passed. The driver had no time to react, and so... that's how it happened.

Andrea saw her through the window and yelled for her parents to call an ambulance - always a good big sister. But unfortunately, Hope didn't make it.

The driver stood seemingly paralyzed by what had happened, and through it all - Hope's father, Drew, comforted him, telling him he wasn't at fault and he'd pray for him to have peace. That's not something many parents could do.

This all happened on Saturday - and the hardest part? Hope and Andrea had been looking forward to their baptisms for weeks, and she died the day before it was scheduled to happen. So the next morning - her big sister Andrea was baptised, as planned, but carried with her something of Hope's. Today at her funeral, there sat a certificate of baptism with Hope's name on it.

Well, the funeral was today, and I missed it. Due to being out of town, and not getting word of the time until after it had started. But I did read somewhere that the parents requested the the guests not wear black - only bright colors. That's so awesome, to me.

She was only 7 years old. Too young for black. Instead - she deserved the brightest colors you can imagine. I didn't make it to the funeral, but I am dressed in bright red, today. And I would've gladly shown up as the only one in bright red, had I had the chance.

Be sure to tell the ones you love, and hug them every chance you get. Leave nothing unsettled, because you may never have the chance to settle it. And remember this verse:

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God, through out Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the HOPE of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, HOPE. And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given." Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

We love you, Hope, and we'll see you soon!



April E. :) said...

Nicely written Sarah. :) It was a very pleasant funeral and HEAVEN has another Angel now watching us every day! Good for her!