It was a special honor to celebrate and speak at Kyra's funeral today. Thank you for continued prayers and support for their family. She continues to change and save lives daily...

I met Kyra freshman year of college at UGA, and our lives grew together through every major milestone we hit. We lived together, dated our husbands together, found a church together, and traveled together.  Because Kyra called a lot of places home after college, I feel unbelievably blessed that I was given many precious days alone with her before she went to her true home because she was my best friend.

Speaking of friends, Kyra never got a Facebook account (unless she just didn’t want to friend me because she knew I’d post too many personal questions). Kyra also never shopped at expensive stores. She told me she had one dress that she could wear on Sundays to their Italian church, and when she missed a recent family trip to old navy to come help me with my boys, she lamented over the fact that she was mad about it. She said, "I should be happy my mom is shopping for my girls, not upset for myself. Why do I need any more clothes?" She really never was from this world. Kyra always belonged in heaven. She just didn’t seem to care or get distracted by the stuff of this life. I have never known anyone like Kyra. Yet, I know she wasn’t perfect either. She and Reid had become food and coffee snobs since moving to Italy. Kyra told me that her sister Sydney prepared a great meal for her and Reid recently, but she couldn’t help but be disgusted by the cheese she served with it. She said it was some sort of white cheese that was actually pre-shredded and came in a reusable Ziploc bag! I told her that I wanted her to pick up dinner that night because everything in my fridge would disgust her.

I know I’m not the only one that learned something from Kyra, but I’m probably one of the few people that has had to be reminded that Kyra is not God. I think my own husband, while he adores Kyra, would get sick of hearing “well Kyra tried it, and she said it was great so we should try it.” Kyra some how had the ability to convince me that ridiculous ideas were actually really smart. She convinced me to take a natural birthing class and forgo an epidural with my first pregnancy. She convinced me that using cloth diapers on my children was a great idea. She even convinced Reid to join a cohort and buy a cow for their raw milk supply, and I was almost ready to buy a cow myself, but then she moved to Italy, and my husband convinced me otherwise.

Kyra also imparted a lot of wisdom. She knew early on that she was called to be a wife and a mother. We talked just last week about how God had been growing her heart these last couple of years to embrace her calling even more to the point that she found pure joy in the mundane, daily rituals that most of us see as routine.
She knew that creating a home of peace and love and truth would enable her husband, who she loved more than anyone, to spread the message of Christ with true joy and peace, and she strived to show her daughters the joy of living out Christ's love every day so that they would acknowledge, love, and give their lives to Him one day.

If Kyra were here right now, she’d be telling me not to worship or idolize her because she was a sinner just like the rest of us, and the only worshiping that should be taking place is to the one that made her.  

Kyra loved her Savior like no one I’ve known. Her hunger to grow as a daughter of Christ affected everyone she met, and it enabled her to move closer and closer towards Heaven.

While we selfishly ache to have our Kyra here longer, while some painful and confusing questions remain unanswered and while waves of heartache feel debilitating at times, I am privileged to have been a part of Kyra’s life, and I trust without a doubt that God is working mightily through her death. Not only did she change my life, but I can also stand here today saying that because of Kyra, my own mother finally accepted Christ after hearing what happened to her. The day before she died, Kyra said she would be praying for my mom and my whole family. She showed me a video called “Falling Plates” that I later showed my mom, and with bittersweet joy, I am rejoicing with Kyra in Heaven over another sister in Christ, who she pointed to the cross.

Joe, Karen, Chelsea, Sydney, Reid, Nolyn, Ellie, and Livia, we love you more than you know, and Kyra loves you more than you know. When only the Holy Spirit can minister to you through groans that words cannot express, remember Lamentations 3, which continues to give me hope in all my trials:

“He has made me chew on gravel.
He has rolled me in the dust.
Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”