Just a couple of weeks after Judy Newton had been diagnosed with brain cancer, she looked right into my eyes and told me, “Allan, I want to spend whatever time I have left getting closer and closer to God. I want to spend all my time with God. I want to talk to him and hear him. I want to see him. I want to be more present with him and more available to him. I want to understand him and know him better. I want to get closer to God. I want to see God.”
About nine months into the trial, this sweet sister I had only met about a month before she was diagnosed confirmed that it was happening. She told me she was hearing God and seeing God in ways she never had before. She felt closer to our Lord than she ever had. She was filled with an inexpressible peace — and even joy! — that she had never before experienced.
This afternoon Judy Newton, a loving wife, a fabulous mother of two, a beloved third grade teacher at Bivins Elementary, and a valuable member of our praise team here at Central, passed from this life to the next. Surrounded by her family, forgiven by her Savior, and wrapped in the loving arms of her God.
I can confidently say today that all of us who have known Judy through this trial have also seen God. We’ve seen God through Judy. We’ve all seen God in Judy. We’ve heard his voice. We’ve felt his presence. We’ve experienced his peace and joy through our sister, Judy. God has revealed himself to us in powerful ways through his precious daughter, Judy. He showed us.
Of course, we’ve witnessed it and participated in it by walking through this with their whole family. We’ve seen God’s glory in the great faithfulness of her husband, Lanny. We’ve seen God’s glory in their daughter Aleisha’s sacrificial service to her mother. We’ve seen God’s glory in the compassion and tenderness shown by their son, Zach. Judy’s faith never wavered. Her commitment to her God never waned. Her determination to trust her Lord, to see his work in everything and everyone around her, was astonishing.
Judy wanted so badly to see God. She wound up showing God to all of us.
“Where, o death, is your victory? Where, o death, is your sting? Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! ~1 Corinthians 15:55-57.