A few months after Kim’s death, I was talking to Leigh Ann Fort. Gordon said it best at the funeral. “Our families have been inextricably connected through these events.” Kim helped Leigh Ann the year before as Leigh Ann faced a life-threatening health problem. After five surgeries, Leigh Ann has done well. Then Gordon, Leigh Ann, and I were thrust into this experience of loss together. We’ve had to talk, process, rehearse, and remember.
One day, Leigh Ann looked at me and reflected, “I don’t know why, D. Ray, but Kim chose me to be her friend.” Kim chose Leigh Ann as her closest friend and confidant. Leigh Ann went on to say that Kim was more like a sister than a friend. But any would-be friend of Leigh Ann’s knows why Kim would choose her. Gordon knows why. He chose Leigh Ann, too. Leigh Ann is a selfless, loving friend. She’s also quite funny with an engaging laugh.
I want to go on record here and say some things I’ve already said to Leigh Ann. She was a dear friend to Kim. Kim was a dear friend to Leigh Ann. Kim served Leigh Ann through her illness out of love and not out of duty. After all, they were like sisters. Knit together.
“…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1
And Leigh Ann served Kim, me, and my family in Kim’s death. Leigh Ann was expecting Kim for a lunch date. When Kim didn’t show up, Leigh Ann went to our house and, after entering, she found Kim where she had collapsed. Leigh Ann spared me the shock of that life-altering moment. Kim wouldn’t have had it any other way. Honestly, Kim was a planner. If she could have planned the circumstances surrounding her death, she would have planned for Leigh Ann to find her before I did.
So, it’s true. Kim chose Leigh Ann.
However, Kim chose me, too. And I told Leigh Ann as much.
I was privileged to be Kim’s husband. I stand in awe of that previous sentence. We chose each other in a wedding ceremony on July 30, 1983. Really, we chose each other before that date, but we made our commitment before God, family, and friends on our wedding day. I chose Kim, and she chose me.
Leigh Ann said with a sparkle of gratitude that Kim chose her. She was blessed and grateful to be Kim’s friend. But I’m overwhelmed to have spent thirty-five-and-a-half years as Kim’s choice as her life companion. Pure grace.
If you’re married, take this opportunity to consider the blessing, privilege, honor, and responsibility bestowed upon you by the choice made by you and your spouse. A covenant.
As I jogged one morning mulling over this blessing, I realized something profound: God chose us. He chose to redeem us. God actually chose us.
“…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world…” Ephesians 1:4
Kim chose me, yes, and lavished her love upon me. But she could not redeem me. She could not provide forgiveness. God has blessed us with those profound gifts. He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Let that sentence sink in.
Kim chose me on July 30, 1983. God chose you and me before the foundation of the world.
I’m taking this passage at face value. He chose us before the foundation of the world and predestined us for adoption. We are sons and daughters through Jesus Christ. His own possession.
He chose us.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession…” 1 Peter 2:9