Friday, December 11, 2009

Goodbye, Mrs. Betty Young. I love you.

Betty Iris Young (1 June 1922 - 8 December 2009)

Orchids were her favourite...

Mrs. Betty Young, the wife of our dearest Reverend Peter John Young, was a godly woman who had been called by God and was committed to Him totally. Her joy in serving the Lord was contagious. She was a person who lived her life for others: family, friends and strangers; not to mention the birds, dogs and flowers. A person who welcomed poor and rich; a friend of all and sundry whatever their social status, race, culture or station in life. A person who in any and all circumstances invariably found her place and role in life because her life's purpose was the service of God and whoever He had sent to her. A person whose heart had been with people in need.

Mrs. Young
who launched her book 'Before I Fall Asleep: The Life and Times of Betty Young' last yearwas a woman of honesty, humility and frankness. In her book, she shared her experiences as a missionary, a wife and a mother; as well as her wonderful childhood memories, coping with loss and challenges, living as a missionary in China and Malaysia, and much more. In Mrs. Young's most difficult times, she found comfort and hope from God's "whispers" -- His lovingkindness and faithfulness. Her book gives me encouragement and hope, especially when I experience problems in my life's journey.

Have you ever wondered what marks our time here? If one life can really make an impact on the world, or if the choices we make matter? I believe they do. And I believe that one person can change many lives. How many people had Mrs. Young helped? How many lives had
Mrs. Young's books, stories, sharings, food, kind thoughts, acts of mercy, cheerful disposition and welcoming smile changed? No one but God can tell. Dear Mrs. Young had certainly changed my life.

She was a grandmother figure to me and I will always remember and miss her warm smile... her kind heart... her gentle, caring, soothing and encouraging demeanour... her loving, vibrant and giving spirit... and her sweet singing voice. Sometimes, after leading a Spirit-filled worship at the main service, she would come up to me and compliment my choice of songs and I would say, "Thank you, Mrs. Young. All glory to God!" And she would give me that warm smile that could light up a room.

My dear Mrs. Betty Young went home to the Lord on Tuesday afternoon, leaving behind husband Reverend Young, daughter Joanna Ferris, son-in-law Mark Ferris and grandsons Paul and Matthew Ferris. She fell asleep and woke up in the arms of Jesus, free at last. She had lived a full, purposeful life. And she will never be forgotten by those who knew her, loved her and impacted by her.

The last time I saw her alive was two weeks ago. She had been bedridden for months as she was battling cancer. My mom (who was like a daughter to
Mrs. Young) and I visited her at her home and I remember how cheerful she was, despite that she was physically weak. Before I left her room, I kissed her hand and said, "Goodbye, Mrs. Young. You rest well. God bless." She smiled at me lovingly and said, "Thank you so much, dear. Goodbye." Then she squeezed my hand tightly and gave me a final look. I didn't realise then that she was saying her last goodbye to me. Thinking back now, her expression was a mixture of love, joy, peace and sadness.

At her wake service last night, I saw how the absence of this wonderful English woman has affected the people who knew her... so I know that she mattered to them. And I know she was loved.

She mattered to me. And I loved her.

People say Betty Young was a woman after God's own heart; a graceful, loving, giving and inspiring angel. They say, on a good night, it almost seemed as though she could fly.

Now she can.

Like what Jeffrey Low (a fellow churchmate) said, "You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race and you have kept the faith. For all heaven shall be much greater now that you grace its shores. Till we meet again..."

Till we meet again in heaven,
Mrs. Young.

Rest well, my dear
Grandma Young, and enjoy to the fullest measure the presence of the Lord.

I miss you. We all do.

P.S. - I'm sorry I cried so hard last night.


Theen Soon said...

Thank you, Michelle, you wrote on behalf of many whose lives were blessed by God through Betty. Jacob Theen-Soon Ng, Perth, Aust.

michsue said...

God bless you, brother... =)

Cheong Boon said...

I just read about your wonderful
account of Betty. I have only met
Reverend Peter John Young who help
me when my mother was
stricken by cancer and I seek his
counsel. The wonderful
news is that my mother accepted Christ before passing on.

Reverend Peter John Young is one
of the persons I highly regarded.

God Bless

Soh Cheong Boon