24 Mar

Sharon, Me, Susan

I met Susan Foster Hunt when we were in the third grade. Her father had passed away, and her family had just moved to Abilene. She was visiting my home church, and I introduced myself to her and sat with her in the service. Her family eventually joined that church. We became friends.

We were actively involved with all things offered at church – Girls Auxillary (GAs; Girls in Action – a totally Southern Baptist thing!), Sunday School, choir, youth studies. We went to the same high school and carpooled together. Our summers were filled with youth choir fundraisers and youth choir trips – such wonderful experiences, funny memories, big curlers in our hair, hot school bus rides all over the U.S., laughter, singing of our Lord at various churches. We would occasionally duet together on these trips, and went so far as to do an assembly program at one of the junior highs (middle school now) in our home town. I’m sure I had visions of being the next great singing duo, but alas, it was not meant to be! It was always a treat to hear her sing a solo. She knew how to communicate through music as it came from genuine love for the Lord and people.

Susan was much more popular than I was in high school, married in college, started having children, and stayed in Abilene. She went through a divorce and eventually married a man we grew up with in church, Mark. She remained a kind, loving friend, even when our paths went separate ways and frequent contact began to wane. We often kept updated with one another through our gal pal, Sharon. My family gave me a trip to Abilene for my 60th birthday to see these two beloved friends. Just this past year I was able to see her twice, along with other precious childhood friends.

Growing up Susan would patiently lend a listening ear to my laments on boys, life, whatever trauma I was dealing with at the time, and offer advice or enthusiastic support. She was one of those people who could tell you where you messed up, yet you never felt rejected, only loved. I was not an easy person to have as a friend, particularly in those years, so to have someone like this in my life was a blessing. Proverbs 27:6a says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” and Susan exhibited this kind of faithfulness to me when needed.

Susan lost her battle with cancer early this morning. I cried buckets of tears the day I learned she was not long for this earth a few months ago. I still tear up every time I give my husband an update on her. I’m tearing up now typing this.

Her deep, abiding faith in Christ was always on display, particularly as she battled cancer. As long as she was able, she continued to teach a children’s Sunday School class. She clung to the promises in God’s Word. Recently she told Sharon that she hoped she was doing this right – giving glory to God through it all. I know for a fact that her life “shouted the gospel” – a phrase I’ve recently heard that truly describes her. She is leaving a godly legacy for Mark, her children, grandchildren, and extended family. Her many friends through the years are better for having known her.  I know I am.



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