When the respected author/Christian counselor team of Dr. Gary and Carrie Oliver moved to Northwest Arkansas several years ago to head up the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University, I was thrilled to learn that they had joined the Saturday night congregation at my church. We had the privilege of hearing Gary speak several times a year, and quite often sat behind this amazingly gifted couple.
Many were heartbroken last year when Carrie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We watched this vibrant, beautiful woman of God fight valiantly. She blogged about her journey (http://www.carrieshealth.com/) and the amazing lessons she learned along the way. We her readers and fellow church members rejoiced with them in the victories and wept with them in the struggles.
Yesterday afternoon at home surrounded by her family, God ended Carrie's struggle and took her home to be with Him. Though our hearts break over the loss of this incredible woman, we can rejoice that her fight is over and she is now receiving what must surely be a substantial reward.
Please pray for comfort for her husband Gary and sons Nathan and Andrew. This dear family (who lost their middle son Matt just two short months ago) has experienced unbelievable suffering since Carrie's diagnosis a year ago.
At times like this, it is difficult to imagine what our Heavenly Father is up to. It's hard not to think about how much MORE the impact of Carrie's ministry could have been had she been given more years in this life. How many more college students would she have impacted? How many more marriages brought back to life? I am reminded once again of God's statement in Isaiah 55:9, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Translation: We don't have to understand God to be able to trust Him.
Goodbye for now, precious Carrie. Thank you for the wonderful legacy you left in your 48 years on this earth. You were a beautiful example to so many women who saw in you a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend worth emulating. May that legacy live on in a powerful way. You will be deeply missed.