Dear Rhonda...

Dear Rhonda,

I'm still having a difficult time processing the face that you're really gone. I don't want to process it. I want to come home and know that you will be there. You have written me so many prayers, messages and letters over the years that I felt like it was only appropriate to acknowledge the depth of what you mean to me in my own letter. 

You saw a crazy Pastor's family at church and for some reason, you loved us. It probably started with my Dad and Mom because at that time, lets face it, I was a bit of a pain in the butt. But you loved us so much and so well. I didn't appreciate it then, I took you for granted. But now that I have my own crazy ministry family, I see how much of a risk you took in loving us. 

You meant so much to my Dad. I can't even find the right words to tell you that. Your constant support and love for him and his ministry means more to me now than I ever understood growing up. He knew that you got worship, you didn't just sing the notes on the page. You truly worshiped. And it blessed my Dad a million times over. You were one of the very few people who truly prayed for him and grieved with my him when he needed it. You were always always there for him. 

Your love for my siblings was so genuine and constant. You have been there for each one of us, and I'm confident that you have been praying for us. Your support for them and how deeply you were moved by what was happening in their lives - its truly amazing how you were able to be there for so many people at the same time. 

And my Mom. Man, I cannot begin to describe how deeply you touched her life. You were her prayer warrior. Her cheerleader. Her support. Her sounding board. Her encouragement. Her bosom friend. Her partner in crime. Her belief in friendship again. God's ministry to my Mom was sending you to her. A big part of how you impacted my life is because of how much you meant to her. It breaks my heart that I can't be there with her because I know she's so lost without you. 

Rhonda, she adored you. You were there for her at a time when no one understood and no one else was. You were truly her angel. How I wish I could have thanked you for your loyalty and love for her. You loved her so fiercely and I don't know if she'll ever find another friend like you. Thank you Rhonda. Thank you for loving my Mom. 

My husband has wonderful memories of your wonderful hugs that seemed to have said so much more than just 'hello'. Those hugs could bring me to tears because I knew what you meant with each one. As a non-hugger myself, I have never looked forward to anyone's hugs like I did yours. Your generosity throughout our marriage and pregnancies has ministered to him. He was able to see what it looked like to really love people, because he knew you. 

My Daffy girl will not know you the way I did. But I will tell her stories. Stories of Aunt Rhonda and how much she prayed for her. I know you did. I have countless messages from you that just say "Love you. Praying for you." But man, how I wish you were still here to love on her and meet our new baby. 

And me. Rhonda, you meant the world to me. There are very few people in and out of my life that have touched my soul - you did. I have prayer letters that you hid in my luggage when I left for mission trips, thoughtful and generous gifts from you over the years, countless acts of service both for me and my family, and this deep deep love for you that is tearing me up inside. You were honestly like my second Mother. And I know I'm not the only person who feels that way about you. Every time I came home you made sure to come and see me, if even for just a few minutes. You supported my music and prayed for me through every big decision and heartache I went through. You made me feel so loved. 

But I think what means the most to me about you, Rhonda, is that you loved my family so big. You loved all of us and I have no clue what we did to deserve it. But it changed me. 

I know you're stomping your bare feet and singing in that blissful, heavenly choir - I know you're home. You're with my Hope and my Mercy. You're with my Jesus. But my heart still aches for you here. I love you so much. I miss you so much. 

We'll see you again - save a hug for me. I love you.


  1. How beautifully said, Rachel. May our family never forget the precious gift God allowed us to enjoy in Rhonda. She is so missed already but her legacy will live on through us as we continue her ministry of prayer and compassion for others by investing our lives in the lives others the way she so joyfully did for us.
    Love, Dad


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