Posted on : Thursday July 26, 2018

By Sharon Mager

SEYMOUR, Tenn.—Carolyn Chavez died on Jan. 4, 2018. The wife of Dick Chavez, who pastored Burtonsville Church for 25 years, Carolyn was prepared to meet Jesus and ministered to those around her even as she was nearing death. Dick recently shared a video of his and Carolyn’s testimony at Seymour First Baptist Church, Tenn., shortly before her death.

Carolyn Chavez shared words of hope prior to her imminent death.

He recalled the many acts of love church members had shown the couple during Carolyn’s illness and read from John 13:34-35, A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

“God has given us the gift of Himself, His Son, His Spirit, and we cannot forget he’s given us the gift of love,” he said.

Dick explained the way we show the love of Jesus is by helping when it’s not convenient and by giving when it hurts and by getting a “get-up-and-go” attitude by going.

“God’s Spirit will give you the strength to complete his mission. We must absorb the hurts from others without complaining or fighting. That kind of love is hard to do and really hard to find,” he said.

Dick thanked the church for their godly love and faithfulness.

Carolyn, knowing her time on earth was nearing the end, told the congregation, “There are three members in my household that are going through this: me; my husband, Dick, of 54 years; and Christ. He’s in my home and He’s in my heart…

“When God is present in your life you can do anything. It really is true. I am doing things that I never thought I could do and discussing things I thought I never would either,” she said.

She shared about being sick as a child, not expected to live. Her photo was in the newspaper, and her whole community was praying for her at that time.

Reflecting on those prayers from long ago, she said, “We don’t know how far and long those prayers go.”

Her joyful spirit in the midst of the imminent death shined brightly as she joked, laughed, and shared hope and encouragement.

It’s nice not to have to worry, she said. “I don’t have to worry about things, like being politically correct,  who wins what, and I don’t even have to worry about going to the dentist anymore,” she smiled.

Looking ahead, Carolyn said, “Someone gave me a card that said, ‘Welcome to your new home.’ I’m going to the new home.”