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By Andrea Johnson

I was stunned by the words I heard over the radio: “Jackie Moore, age 14, from Brighton, Iowa, was killed in a car accident….” I was traveling with family friends back home to Iowa after visiting an older brother in Wyoming. My best friend gone? It couldn’t be. When we got closer to home, I kept wanting to catch sight of her, hoping it was all a mistake. But when I saw my mom’s face, I knew.

With short, dark hair and dark eyes, Jackie was the one the boys liked. Actually, everyone liked Jackie. Many of us called her our best friend. I was reserved and timid. She pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Ever since we met in second grade, Jackie had always been there. When a group of us were riding our bikes on a gravel road and I biffed it going down a hill, she was the first one there to make sure I was ok and to clean up my scrapes (including rocks in my knees). Another time when I was spending the night, we short-sheeted her sister’s bed. The joke ended up being on us. Her sister instead spent the night elsewhere, and because her sister’s bed was bigger, her parents had us sleep in it. Once on a 4-H trip, we roasted – and ate – a whole bag of marshmallows.

No one could make me laugh like Jackie – over the silliest things. Once we were in the middle of a Bible study at my uncle’s house trying to act adult-like (mostly because there were some older boys there), when she had difficulty getting the cap off a pop bottle. When it finally came free, the cap flew several feet in the air. We could not stop the subsequent giggles. She made even a 4-H trip to a furniture store fun.

I didn’t know how to deal with her death. It should have been me. So many people depended on her, including her baby brother whom she adored. For a long time afterward I didn’t get close to people. No one compared to Jackie, and besides, who wanted to go through that pain again? I still miss her.

God did not intend to give us the gifts of a friend like Jackie or a son like Ransom (see article) and then take them from us. He didn’t intend for us to lose family members to addictions (see article). He created us for life. Thankfully, because of His Son’s sacrifice, the pain of loss is only temporary. One day “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). No more goodbyes!

About The Author

Andrea Johnson
Managing Editor

In her spare time you will most likely find Andrea Johnson with family or friends, or outdoors hiking. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with four children and five grandchildren.