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Kathy 2 1

A Tribute to Kathy Jones

One of God’s good gifts to us in the church is the deep fellowship that we have with each other. In Titus 2:3-5, Paul instructs the older women to teach and encourage the younger women as they strive to live out their God-given priorities. The specifics of how those mentoring relationships look in everyday life depend on the individuals. We learn from other women through casual conversations in the foyer at church, through serving alongside each other in various ministries, and through more formal discipleship relationships such as the Partners ministry.

Although we deeply love the women in our lives, most relationships are given by God for a season. Thank you to Vanessa Florez for allowing us to share this heartfelt tribute to her mentor, Kathy Jones. Kathy was a precious part of our church and touched so many of our lives before she went home to her Savior earlier this year. We truly do not know the number of our days, but the Lord does. And while we’re on earth, we are all older to someone and younger to someone! Let’s seek to steward the time we are given well, always looking for ways to serve and encourage others.

A Tribute to Kathy Jones

I met Kathy through our church’s Partners ministry. This is a ministry where a leader takes someone through a 10-chapter book study over salvation, the attributes of God, prayer, service, and other spiritual matters. As a mother of three young kids having just moved to DFW and getting settled in a new church body, I felt rather lonely. I signed up for the program with a desire to receive counsel and fellowship from an older, wiser woman.

Boy did I hit the jackpot with Kathy!

She arrived at my doorstep every week during my kid’s nap time. She stayed 2-3 hours each meeting. I ate up every word she said. As a prize for finishing the book in 11 weeks, Kathy bought my ticket to the women’s Christmas banquet. She even picked me up so we could ride together. On our way home she told me that our time together wasn’t over. She said she was in it for the long haul with me. She kept her word!

When I first heard of her cancer diagnosis, I had a myriad of emotions.

First, I longed for heaven – the true believer’s home where neither moth nor rust destroy, where every tear will be wiped away, and, quite frankly, where cancer didn’t exist.

Secondly, I mourned for Doug and the girls. I knew this would be a time they would need to cling to Christ as Kathy would make her way home to heaven.

Thirdly, and most selfishly, I mourned for myself. You see, I needed Kathy. I had her for years, but it wasn’t enough! I needed her for more stages of my life. I needed her to walk me through my oldest son’s high school graduation, my daughter’s dating years (if my husband ever allows her to date). I needed her to tell me how to “let go” as my youngest grows and matures. I still had so much to learn from her, and I felt orphaned.

But, just as I soon as I felt sorry for myself, her words came flooding back into my memory. I remember this like it was yesterday. She was sitting on my couch and she read to me 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

God had opened my eyes to my sin and His glory, I had seen Jesus as God and His work on the cross, He had given me the Holy Spirit, and left His words in the Bible.

How kind of God not to leave me helplessly in this troubled world, but instead He gave me everything I needed for life and godliness, and Kathy Jones to point me to that truth.

I am who I am because of the Lord’s work in her life that overflowed into mine. She taught me by word and deed how to love my husband, how to give grace to my children, how to respond to sin, injustice and pain, and how to pray. She taught me how to study for my role as a Titus 2 leader. She’d often say, “Read as much Scripture as possible in a meeting. People will forget what we say, but God’s Word will pierce where it needs to.”

The illustrations and jokes she used to help me better understand my standing in Christ, the worship songs we sing, the work of the Holy Spirit, the sanctification process - I now use the same ones as I explain God’s truths to others.

I was on my way to my first meeting with a young lady I would have the pleasure of taking through the Partners program and I prayed on the way, “Lord, please allow me to be to this young lady just an ounce of what Kathy was to me.” That continues to be my prayer when meeting with younger women.

Kathy has been one of the BIGGEST and BEST gifts God has given to me.

Kathy lived a life where she could say “follow me” because she was following Christ. Kathy’s legacy will live on because she built it to glorify God and not herself. Kathy’s words sit on my right shoulder guiding me to cling to Christ, cling to the Scriptures, trust it well, know it, and teach others.

She was my mentor, my shoulder to cry on, my example, and my friend.

She entered into rest with our good and gracious God.

She passed the torch. I hope to bear it well.