Stephanie Payne was my friend. She was my sister in Christ and she was a glowing beacon of light and a fierce warrior to those of us that have been affected by tragic loss. She gave this hurting world hell and she did it with grace and one heck of a sense of humor.

After I learned of her passing, I took a minute to go through some of our old messages and listened again to her testimony from start to finish. Her common denominator in all of it was always joy. Stephanie could make me laugh like no other. I imagined her wasting no time in blasting straight through the pearly gates, right past God to get to Savannah, only to then sheepishly turn around with that thousand watt smile to receive her “well done.”

While I was sitting there listening to her recorded voice, I saw hundreds of dragonflies darting around outside my window. I think they had been there all morning but I was just then seeing them. Every single one of them, golden in color. I’ve seen them before. Swarms of them, just like this and right after I learned of another dear friends passing. I remembered their spiritual significance.

The dragonfly represents growth. It is strongest when it stays close to its source of strength—the sunlight. She absorbs it’s warmth and reflects light back onto the world through her wings.

The dragonfly is said to be the keeper of dreams. They symbolise understanding of the deeper meaning of life. In some legends, the dragonfly is a symbol of resurrection and renewal after hardship.

Stephanie was like a dragonfly to me. She truly declared the deeper meaning of life by using her wings for purpose and duty. She understood that she was created to grow and develop into all God had planned for her and with a heart wide open, willingly shared the wisdom learned from her travels. Like a dragonfly, she absorbed the light of Jesus and drew so many hurting souls to Him by simply being golden.

Freedom in Christ was her lead. Love was her sidekick. Time was her energy and loyal friendship was what she offered with destiny in her heart. She walked through the deepest pain a mother could ever know yet refused the hardening. Her heart stayed soft to the dawning of peace that brings a quiet knowing of true strength, courage, and laughter.

Stephanie changed my life for the better. She taught me how to find joy in the face of death and to channel that energy into something meaningful. Thank you, Father for the precious gift of Stephanie. The world is and forever will be a better place because of her. Her legacy of delight will live in our hearts until the day we get to meet again. ‘Til then, rest easy my once in a lifetime gift of a friend. Fly high, dragonfly.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6

***Please keep Stephanie’s family in your prayers, especially her Tim and Isabella. I pray that God will sustain them as He holds them close and that the stories of how deeply Stephanie touched other lives will bless them in the hard days ahead.