For Miss Ann

26 10 2010

“It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:13-18)

As many of you know, in college I was a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority at the University of Florida. This experience has changed me, grown me and made me a strong confident woman over the last 4 years. Many people and experiences had a part in this process, but one continual encouragement and inspiration was our house mother, Miss Ann.

Miss Ann has been since day one the most welcoming and embracing person in our house. She is always willing to help when needed, step up to take over duties not her own, affirm us with love, guide us with courage and be a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble. Her door is always open for any girl who needs an objective opinion, or just desires a listening ear. As I lived across the hall from Miss Ann and also worked with her one-on-one as house manager, we shared a lot of frustrations, joys, trials and stories.

What many people don’t know is that last January Miss Ann shared with me a personal story about giving up her first son Mark for adoption when she was very young. In a stunned and tearful moment that day, I shared with her that I was adopted as a baby, but had never looked for my birth mother. Through the conversation we had last semester and Miss Ann’s personal experience, I was encouraged to begin a search for my birth mother, knowing that if my situation was anything like Mark’s, my birth mother loved me and desired a relationship with me as well . This summer I was reunited with my birth mother, Tanya, and one of the first people I called was Miss Ann. Right after I told her on Facebook, she called me and we talked forever. I shared with her more about my experience and my deepest feelings, confusions, joys and fears. We continued to talk throughout the process between my initial conversation with Tanya and meeting her for the first time, an incredibly emotional few weeks. Miss Ann was one of the first to see pictures I received of Tanya even before we met. And tanya has mentioned multiple times how glad she is that I had Miss Ann in my life to help me through that time. Even though I had graduated, it was summer and Miss Ann was busy, she still took the time to talk with me and help me more than anyone else could in that situation. She is one of the only people who will ever understand what it was like.

When I found out a few weeks ago that Miss Ann was diagnosed with cancer and would not be at Delta Zeta this year, my first thought was to pray for her and her family during this trying time, but my second thought was to pray for my sisters still at DZ. Delta Zeta at UF without Miss Ann there is just weird. She is part of the glue that holds us together, one of our bonds that will never be broken. Miss Ann has seen 6 years of sisters come and go, and has loved each woman uniquely.

From what I gather, our chapter meeting last night in Gainesville was one of great emotion. As Miss Ann shared more about her diagnosis and what the future will hold for her, she also shared more about her strengthened relationship with Jesus. This encouraged me so much. I wish I could have been there in person to see the unmistakable joy and strength that comes only from Christ alone which was evident to each person in the room as well as through all of the recounts I have heard. Immediately, I thought of the verse above from 2 Corinthians chapter 4.

Thank you Miss Ann for not only your faith to believe in Jesus as your Savior but also for your courage to tell others. We know, as believers in the one and only true God and Savior, Jesus Christ, that we will indeed be together forever in Heaven. For what we have seen here and the love we have shared, although wonderful, is temporary. While this seems sad, we have hope that in the same way, the troubles and struggles of life are also temporary. And as sisters in Christ, we know with a deep and true sense that can only be from God, that what is eternal will be far greater, far more loving, far less painful, far more beautiful.

What is eternal is unfathomable. It is perfect. It is true community with God. It is Heaven.

“To those closer ones, love that is ever steadfast. Together Forever. <3”

In His love and with all of mine,

Stacey

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3 responses

26 10 2010
jess

Beautiful post, Stacey. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

27 10 2010
Ann Grenville

Thank you so much, Stacey…that was absolutely beautiful! I feel so blessed and honored that you chose to share my story. God has given me such a gift – it’s overwhelming!!! I love you…TOGETHER FOREVER!!!

27 10 2010
Stacy Dellone

That was so beautiful Stacey! My mom has enjoyed her time at Delta Zeta more then words could ever explain. The bond she has with her DZ daughters is amazing and I thank each and every DZ for making her time there so special. Thank you so much for this beautiful post….and please keep the prayers coming! Together Forever! ~Stacy

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