I was reading Oswald Chambers’ devotion this morning, The Far-Reaching Rivers of Life. He based the devotion on John 7:38, “He who believes in me, as the scripture said, ‘From his utmost being will flow rivers of living water.'” The opening line of his writing captured my attention immediately, “A river reaches places which its source never knows.” My mind automatically began thinking about how much Mrs. Carolyn Proctor’s life was just like a river. She didn’t lead a flashy life, but everywhere she went she touched lives. Just like a river meanders, flows, and carves it’s impression along the banks, so did Mrs. Carolyn as she went about her everyday affairs. It was just a way of life for her to express the love of Christ to anyone who spent more than just a few minutes in her presence.
I had the privilege of meeting Mrs. Carolyn at a women’s retreat in 2002. We were in the same small group and we started chatting. By the end of the weekend we had exchanged phone numbers and made plans for me to come by her house after my night class in Live Oak and have supper with her. It’s been 12 years, we have regularly kept in touch with one another, and God has used her so many times to speak truth into my life.
Everyone who knew her spoke of her quiet, gentle spirit. She loved God’s Word and always seemed to know what passage of scripture would best speak to the situation you were in. When I think of humility, I picture this precious lady. When I think of what a modern day Proverbs 31 woman looks like, Mrs. Carolyn comes to mind. She always took time to talk anytime I stopped by. We had so many encouraging conversations in her living room, even when I knew she was in pain or struggling physically; she never let it hinder the encouraging spirit within. And she ALWAYS seemed to have a smile on her face.
The river of Mrs. Carolyn’s life is far-reaching and we may never the full extent of where the waters may have reached-but Jesus does. As a result of her daily obedience, Jesus used this precious woman to touch innumerable lives for the Kingdom’s sake. What a testimony of a life well lived.
I have shed many tears this week as I have tried to imagine Mrs. Carolyn no longer gracing us with her presence on this earth. But I know she isn’t sad-not one bit. She is living pain-free, being reunited with loved ones, but most of all worshiping our King, Jesus Christ. What a glorious reunion it must have been to finally have met the Lord, the one who has governed her life and lived in her heart, face to face. Unspeakable joy!