I met Natasha some 20 years ago when she, as a 21 year-old, recently-graduated teacher, spent a year teaching in our church's Christian school. She was 10 or so years younger than me, and enjoyed my young children at the time. I saw her next when my son, Tim, started college at her alma mater, Calvin College, where she worked in admissions. She developed breast cancer. After a short time, it recurred, and I saw her to have a cup of tea when she came visiting in New Mexico. And then, just as I was finishing my radiation after my first breast cancer and while she was continuing to battle the disease, she braved a day of deluging rainfall on the morning of my son's wedding in Grand Rapids to pop in and visit for a few minutes. It was a real joy to see her walking into the lounge at Calvin Seminary in her rubber boots and slicker, and to slip away to the chapel with her for a few minutes of talking. We didn't talk about anything earth-shattering. We talked about getting up every day, and about learning how trustworthy Jesus is. She told me about her daughter, Zoe, and I told her about my boys and my new daughters-in-law.
And other than that, there was the praying. Dave and I have prayed together for Natasha and her family daily for years now, and I have remembered her often in-between. We have kept in touch via her blog (see link above). And I heard from her as well, from time to time, to say she was praying for me.
I will miss Natasha's caring, creative voice, speaking truth and beauty in this broken world. As her blog said this morning,
“Don’t ever say that I lost my battle with cancer,” Tasha once said. And she didn’t. The gospel is true. The cancer is dead. Natasha lives. And we will see her again.Until that time, dance in joy, my sister. I look forward to the day when we can dance together before the throne.