Almost 3 years ago, I met a wonderful girl. Teressa Harp was 10 at that time. She was vivacious and had a smile that would light up a room like it was the 4th of July. At the time I met her she had recently been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. For most people this would have been devastating and in fact for the family it was. I must say I can’t image what it would be like to have my child diagnosed with a terminal condition. I watch as the family learned a new way to live their life. I watched as Teressa underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and yet never lost her zeal and love for people. Whether she was in the hospital for treatments, hanging with her friends or spending time with family she had an amazing gift for putting people at ease. There was an incredible peace that surrounded her, you couldn’t help but be engulfed in it if you were with her.
Teressa got the opportunity to meet celebrities, athletes, and many ordinary people. Everyone of them had their life changed after their interaction with her. She was involved in the “Make A Wish” foundation and got the opportunity to experience some wonderful things. She made some wonderful memories for her family to hold the rest of their lives.
A few months ago, after a period of remission, Teressa found out the cancer had returned. She boldly made the decision not to seek any more treatment. This seems like a huge decision for a 12 year old. However, whenever I talked to the family about it they always indicated that she was confident in her decision. How can a 12 year old be confident in the decision not to seek further treatment? One reason, she was more confident in her relationship with Jesus Christ and the promise He made her of heaven. Teressa knew this decision would probably end her life her on earth and in fact it did. On July 26, 2012 Teressa left this world to meet Jesus in Heaven. For most people this would have been unbearable, but for anyone who knew Teressa, there was a comfort that most had never experienced concerning this transition. You see for that last few months she spent a great deal of her time telling people about her upcoming trip to Heaven. She insisted that she not have a funeral but instead a party. She made everyone promise….no black, only bright colored, comfortable clothes and tons of balloons. After all, we were celebrating her entrance in Heaven and what girl doesn’t want to make an entrance with that kind of style.
So back to today. I joined many of the people from my Small Group went to Teressa’s Party. It was indeed filled with balloons of every color, bright flowers and yes no black. The room was filled with people from all walks of life like myself who came to the party of a little girl who changed their life. The party ended with a wonderful release of hundreds of balloons So for me, I just want to take the time to say thank you to Teressa for sharing her faith in Jesus Christ and for her incredible ability to help other people see what she saw. She totally got it. As Christians we spend our lives living with faith in the promise of Heaven. Yet, often we forget that when a Christian moves their home to Heaven this is indeed cause for a party. Yes there is a loss in hearts and lives that no one else can fill, but this loss is temporary and we have an eternity to spend together with the Christians who have gone before us. So one last time I just want to say “She Got it.” Teressa really got what being a Christian is all about. So for now I will say, Teresa, enjoy the party and I’ll see you soon.