Hard to believe it’s been a year since God took home such a precious young lady named Allie Murdaugh. July 26th, 2013 marked the one year anniversary when many throughout Colleton County and beyond were forced to say goodbye to a young lady they will never forget. She was only 19 years of age, beloved by family and friends, and no one saw that day coming. After being involved in a single car accident, the hours seemed like days that night as we all waited for Allie to draw her last breath there at MUSC hospital. Many lives were touched then and her passing is still touching countless lives to this day. I believe in my heart that even if you didn’t know Allie personally God wants to use her story to touch your life.
I had the honor of being a part of her funeral service and would like to revisit what I shared that day. At that time, most were in shock and it was very hard to digest much of anything else at that point. This article is not intended to awaken anyone’s grief, but help all involved move forward in processing their faith and feelings.
By the way, it was Allie’s eternal transitioning that inspired me to start writing. I gained hundreds of new friends over the following months. I still run into people all over who knew Allie, loved her, and miss her very much. Maybe you are one of those people. Here is practically word for word, what I shared a year ago at Allie’s service, which still holds true this day.
3 QUESTIONS I STILL BELIEVE ARE BURNING IN THE HEARTS OF MANY:
Question #1: WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? To that I quickly confess, I don’t know, but God does! None of this makes sense from our perspective. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan.
“In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”– Proverbs 16:9
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: A time to be born and a time to die” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
You see, from our view things appear to be accidents. But, God only has APPOINTMENTS.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27
Question #2: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? I believe most of us are still in shock and the reality of this has not clearly set in. Right now, it’s more like a bad dream where you wish you could just wake up and it not be true.But, here is what we must do if we are to move forward…
A: RUN TO GOD – You can turn many directions…to drown your pain. But, only God can give you true help and healing.
(Psalm 121:1-8) I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm —he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
B: TRUST GOD’S PLANS –
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”– Proverbs 3:5-6
It is perfectly normal and human to ask ourselves, Why did this happen? But, ultimately we have to trust that God has a higher purpose than we can see at this time. Scripture says God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways.
C: WALK WITH GOD DAILY – God sent His son Jesus so that He could have a personal relationship with each one of us. Our feelings and circumstances will change like the weather. God is the only one who is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Alesa, one thing I have learned during our time of working together at hospice…is that you have a real and ongoing relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ. It was just the Friday before Allies’ death that you posted the following scripture on your facebook status (I think it’s worth reading).
“I place myself in your care. You will save me, LORD; you are a faithful God.” Psalm 31:5
Question #3: WHERE IS ALLIE NOW?
As some of us saw and others heard about, Allie was in a very bad car wreck late that Wednesday afternoon. Those who saw her last didn’t see the beautiful girl they once knew as Allie Murdaugh. But, let’s make this very clear: Allie is not only ok, but she is better than that.You see, when a believer in Jesus Christ dies we don’t grieve for them, we grieve for us. We miss them and want them to be around forever. When Allie drew her last breath on this earth…She did not die, but she transitioned to a real and unbelievable place called Heaven.
(Revelation 21:4) says this about Heaven… “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away, behold all things will become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)“If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come.”
Although Allie was not on this earth nearly as long as many would like, she is now forever in the safe arms of Jesus. She resides eternally in a place of complete peace, joy, and eternal happiness. Why? Because she received Gods’ grace and forgiveness and placed her faith in Jesus Christ.
(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(Romans 10:9) “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Many ask, but how can we know she’s in Heaven. (1 John 5:13) “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Earlier in the day of Allie’s burial, one of the men who work at Herndon’s Funeral home was getting the chapel ready for the service that day. For a few moments he sat that big picture of Allie you saw on your way in (Leaned up against the second to last pew) as he went to go get something. When he got back what he saw gave him chills and I believe will give us some confirmation.
*The sun was beaming through the Sunglass window. The only thing lit up was the face & the smile of Allie. He said, it was as if she was glowing, radiating with joy. It was such a sight that he ran and got some of the others to come and look at it themselves.
Today, we celebrate not for ourselves, but for Allie. The new life that she has because of God’s grace and through her faith in Jesus Christ goes beyond our wildest imagination. I sang at her funeral service, “I can only imagine” what it must be like where Allie Murdaugh lives today. I know that if she were here with us today….She would say, “If you could only See Me now.”
As we recognize a year since her passing my thoughts and prayers are with all of Allie Murdaugh’s family and friends who I know miss her daily. May God continue to give you all comfort, peace, and closure.