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.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
This scripture from Jeremiah was one of Melissa Boyett’s favorites. She knew it by heart. She lived it during her earthly life. Melissa did prosper. She prospered through her determination to make a difference in other people’s lives. She certainly made a difference in mine. She prospered through her unwavering faith. She strengthened mine. She prospered through a determination I have not witnessed in any other person in the 63 years I’ve been on this earth. In doing so, she made me more determined.
For any of you reading this who did not have the joy of meeting or knowing Melissa Boyett, you missed out on one of God’s rare children. I first met her when she was around 11 years old. I was seeing her in her home to get her started on some IV antibiotics. I was already a bit leary about this visit because my supervisor had informed me that Melissa had fired her previous nurse. It took less than one minute into that visit for me to fully realize who was in control. And it wasn’t me. It also took me less than two minutes to fall in love with this very special child.
Over the years I had the grand opportunity to share some moments with Melissa. I’m not sure she got much out of those visits but I certainly did. If I had to name just one thing I learned from her which changed my whole being, it would be this: No matter what is thrown at us in this life, we can do more than we are now doing. No matter how dark the thunderous clouds seem to us, we can still bring sunshine into the lives of others.
I have seen Melissa when it was a struggle to just take a breath. When I would try to talk to her about her physical problems, she would often move the conversation to other people and how she could help them. It wasn’t a form of denial. It was a genuine interest in others.
Melissa would often talk about her faith and her absolute trust in God. That’s why I know exactly where she is now. Melissa wasn’t perfect. She had her down moments. She had times times of despair and times of anger. But she also had times of immense joy and peace despite her physical hardships.
I often have thought about her. In fact; I was thinking of her yesterday, just about the time she left this earth. How strange. She had just shed that battered body and picked up a new one about that time. I didn’t know it; and when I got the word of her passing this morning, that’s the first thing that struck me. Even in death, she was having an influence on me.
When Christ died He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to Melissa and each of us He gave us the opportunity to rise above our failings, our frailties, and our shortcomings and dwell in eternal joy with Him!
The best way we can honor Melissa is to remember who we are and why we are on this earth. And give our lives as acceptable sacrifices to God. As Peter stated in 1 Peter 2:4-5 – “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. “