Where were you when???
That question is asked a lot. Whether it was when Kennedy was shot, the Challenger exploded. or 9/11, people always remember where they were when significant things happened.
I was getting ready for the 3rd grade Land Run when I found out about the OKC bombing. I was in 10th grade drama with the 2nd plane hit the towers. I was getting home from the most perfect first day of summer vacation when the phone rang about my dad.
When I heard that Debbie Lipscomb had passed on, I was in the middle of our church foyer. I was registering campers for MAX camp, fielding questions, and serving alongside my husband, 3 week old, and friends.
My brain and my heart were sad, but my spirit was rejoicing. I was thankful for the life she lived, and that she was finally at home with Jesus and free from the cancer.
In the middle of the Children’s ministry summertime chaos I was in, I thought, “Would I even be doing this if it weren’t for Debbie?”
Bob and Deb Lipscomb are easily 2 of the 5 most influential people in my life. I started NSU as a selfish, immature baby Christian, and left a completely different person. I served with them on leadership teams, as an intern, I lived at the BCM for a while, and after college I was their Intern Associate for two years. I gained so much from that time in my life and much of it I use EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Deb always thought I connected with Bob more. Not having a great relationship with my father, he was a great role model and leader in my life. I did share a lot with him over my years, but it was through Deb I always learned the most.
I did learn a lot through her talks, whether it was to encourage, direct, lead, or correct, her advice was always Godly and her discernment wise. It was through her actions, service, and leadership, I learned more.
Deb was always behind the scenes, planning, organizing, and praying. Before her, I always thought leaders had to be loud. She was the first servant leader I saw, and I learned so much from that. I can’t ever leave an event now without making sure everything is done. Anytime I’m tired, I remember she always served, not just when she was well-rested or it was convenient. She truly lived her life as a sacrifice to others.
She loved the Nations! Through her influence, my love for the Nations was fostered. I was able to go on several mission trips with her, as well as learning how to plan and execute a trip for 50 college students. Those skills come in handy more than I could have imagined. I was encouraged to spend my summers travelling around telling people about Jesus. I was able to go overseas and learn how big God’s love for the world really is. I also learned missions is a lifestyle. My husband and I are both in secular jobs, but we know that wherever God has placed us is our Mission. I love going to my job teaching because I know it’s my mission field right now.
She loved her family. I saw a great example of marriage and family. When looking for a husband, I didn’t settle for a”nice Christian guy.” I watched her and Bob work as a team for years, and not a day went by where I didn’t see them act with love and respect towards one another. I knew Anthony was the one because he challenged me spiritually, showed love and respect in everything he did, and always worked as a team with me. Now that we have a daughter, we plan to take her alongside in all we do, teaching her to Love god and others above all else.
She taught me to pray. Pray was at the heart of all she did. I learned when to pray, how to pray,and to pray without ceasing. Every time we gathered, it was at the center of all we did. I was able to see her prayer porch last week, and was humbled to think of all the prayers sent up from that spot.
One of my dearest memories of Deb is was during my last year as an associate. We were sent to OKC without Bob, and went to a training. I was preparing for what came next after my time as an associate, and was considering taking a church job. She suggested we take a detour. We first went to Sonic happy hour and then drove to the church I was considering. We drove around and physically prayed. Since that day, this has been a practice in my life, whether I journal the prayers, or physically go to a place and pray over it. I won’t ever forget that day.
Last week, Anthony, Elise and I gotta go say goodbye to Deb. She was frustrated because she couldn’t speak hardly at all. Once again, her actions spoke to me louder than words. I watched her eyes fill with pride and joy as she looked our baby over. I watched her look lovingly at Bob as he stood beside her. I watched as she listened intently as we told her about life. As she held my hands as we were praying over her, I felt her saying “Amen,”
Those actions I will remember forever, way longer than her words.
To Bob: I am so sorry for your loss. You and Deb have been the picture of unconditional love, teamwork and service to others. Watching your love and care for her in the last days of her life was a beautiful thing to witness. I love you and will be praying for you. Your love and legacy is inspiring,
To BJ, Micah, Casey, and the family: Your mother was SO important so many. I pray that God is your comfort and strength. Thank you so much for sharing your mom and Nana with all of us, and loving all the BCM kids like your family. You are all in my prayers.
To the NSU BCM, FBC-Tahlequah: and all of the rest influenced by Deb: I pray that you remember what you learned from Deb, live by the example Jesus set in her, and live in a way that is honoring to Christ and her legacy through Him. May you serve and love with more abandon. May you live each day to the fullest, working for the Lord. May you let your light shine bright and continue to reach the ends of the Earth to make the name of Jesus known.
We have all had a great loss,but we are left with a great example, and a charge to Love God, love others, and serve them both, until our last breath.
While my heart is sad, it is also filled with Joy, as I know Deb is safely in the arms of Jesus, hearing, “Well done, my faithful servant.