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Her father reflects on August 25th 2007 at her memorial service

Thank you all for coming and thereby demonstrating your love for our Lisa.

Let's pray.  Heavenly Father, I am totally helpless and totally inadequate to be able to speak at a time of such extreme grieving.  Lord Jesus, I am not sure if this is "theologically correct", but would you please give Lisa a big hug from me.  Would you now please send your Holy Spirit to calm and empower me to do this talk.  In the authority of Jesus I request this.  Amen

I found out this week from my daughter Sonya that Lisa had mentioned that should she die, she would want Sonya and me to speak at her funeral.  So here I am totally ungifted as a public speaker and a verbal loose cannon to boot.

Lisa was a beautiful child and I recall getting a request from Derek Johnnson asking for her hand in marriage.  They were both 5 years old.  I told Derek that it was nice of him but that Lisa was too old for him but that one day Sonya might work out.  That is the only request I ever got for Lisa's hand in marriage.  When Lisa was in a good mood she would refer to me as Dadio or say "See you later alligator".  Lisa loved the outdoors and sports.   She cycled to church with us numerous times and loved hiking and walking and swimming at Shawnigan Lake.  I had some great hikes with her, such as to the base of Black Tusk.  She loved God's creation.  She hiked the West Coast Trail and went with her Grade 12 class on a missions trip to Mexico.  This trip gave her a heart for the poor and down trodden.

Lisa embodied the definition of "love".
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  Lisa's ability to love had a big impact on me.

The reason I believe Lisa and I had a special relationship (Michelle and Sonya, you know I love you very much too) is because in my youth I was also addicted.   So I realized Lisa's battle was more than just physical but also spiritual.  Her e-mails to me meant a great deal.  Here are a few exerts:

Dec 26 2006
Thanks for your comment dad.  When I'm tempted to read various books that I know won't be helpful, I will pray so that I won't.  I want my thoughts and actions to be totally God-centered in everything I do.

The following are all in 2007:
Feb 18th , after she was helped to escape by well meaning Vegans from the hospital in Victoria and we did not know where she was she wrote:
Please be assured I am in a safe place.
I look forward to seeing you when I return.
No matter where I am, I love you Dad, and I always will.

April 9th she wrote:
Thank you for your support and for not abandoning me as many people's parents tend to do !!!
Love Lisa

May 21 from her hospital bed in Vancouver General after having been helped back to Canada from Costa Rica by her sister Sonya, she says:
Right now I have more of a hunger for God's word and His will then I ever have - but to me it still is weak.  I will pray that God strengthens this day by day because I truly desire to experience the true and living God fully.

I guess I'm a little hesitant to tell other people right now what the Lord has done for me because I want people to see me well physically too.  I had told others in the past what God had done for me and I didn't get past anorexia.  I think that others won't believe what I tell them now because I didn't get well before.  I think others will only believe me now when they physically see me well too - am I making sense???
[My comment: She did not want to come across as a hypocrite]

May 27th - here she recognizes her identity as a child of God and not as an anorexic:
WOW!! I'm close to tears right now so I really don't know what to say except that this email means more to me then you will ever know. Because of the book you lent me [the book was Classic Christianity], I now know that God does not see me as an anorexic but as His child.  However, sometimes it is hard for me to remember this when other people still treat me like one. I know that I shouldn't let others words/actions change the way that I know I'm a child of God.  So what would you suggest I do when others still treat me as if I'm still the same old anorexic???  I really need help in this one.  I really trust your advice and look forward to hearing from you on this one.
Love Lisa
[My comment: Her medical condition was anorexia nervosa but her identity was that of a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ]

June 3rd when asked by me what she thought led to her addiction:
I think a lot of errors led to my addiction - both things that I did and believed.  For instance, I didn't understand God's complete grace and acceptance before but I do now.  What error (s) do you think led to anorexia?

July 27 When asked by me about writing out her story:
Right now my main priority is getting everything ready to go to Mercy Ministries.
[Mercy Ministries is a ministry to young women with eating disorders and other addictions.]

August 8th
P.S. I've missed you and mom so much that I am very grateful to have you 2 back in my life. I am truly blessed.

August 9th
I'm thankful for everyone's concern and help because it shows me I'm loved a lot.  I love you tons too dad!!  If you died, it would be the biggest devastation of my life!!!!!
All my love, Lisa

August 14th - the very Last E-mail exchange with Lisa the night in which she slipped into a comma:
LISA: 8:35 PM Michelle gave me a DVD and I'm enjoying watching it on my computer screen too.
Have a good night.....

I replied "What's the movie called?"
LISA 9:14 PM "you are special" by max lucado

One can get a good idea of a person's beliefs from the Bible verses they have highlighted.  We just found Lisa's Bible on Sunday.  Lisa highlighted many passages and I will just quote one because for some reason she perceived that she may be headed home to Jesus if her physical condition did not improve.
Philippians 1: 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  Any verse Lisa highlighted in her Bible was in yellow except for this one: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  It was highlighted in blue!

Lisa was found unconscious in her condo at 4:00 pm on Wednesday August 15th.  Sometime after going to sleep the blood sugar level in her blood went to zero.  This resulted in unconsciousness.  By the time I got an ambulance for her by 4:00 pm her brain had already been damaged too much.  She thus departed for heaven on August 16th at 8:31 PM at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.  Ever since Lisa's restoration from her unconsciousness in Costa Rica, Lisa has NOT had an anorexic mind set.  What I mean by this is that persons with anorexia view themselves as fat even though they are slim.  They also do not recognize they have a problem and they will be very restrictive of the type of food they eat.  None of these characteristics were displayed by Lisa since the end of April after nearly dying in Costa Rica.  Her mind set was no longer anorexic but her body was still at a very low weight.  She had also jettisoned her Vegan and strict Vegetarian tangents.  Because of this I believe her doctors and I gave her more slack regarding her low weight.  She even went out with Marie and I for supper recently to Sub-way to have a chicken sub.  I was very hopeful that she would finally get victory over this.  Lisa had her next doctor's appointment for Thursday, the day she died.  She had promised to put herself into the hospital should she not have gained at least one pound that week.

I sometimes have to ask myself, "do I exhibit anorexic behaviour"?  Probably.  Allow me to explain.  When I first experienced being set free from my addiction in my youth after getting to know the Lord, I had an unsatiable appetite for our manufacture's manual, the Bible.  Over time I read it less and less because I thought I knew it all or because I had read it before.  I noticed that I have been slowly starving myself from spiritual food over time.  This event is reminding me to take the Lord's commandments in Matthew 22:36 more seriously.  Here Jesus says "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

We received a phone call from Irene Robinson, the wife of Central Baptist's previous pastor, all the way from South Africa, offering her condolences.   Marie and I thank our friend Pastor Marvin Croswell for his graveside service.  Many thanks to Pastor Steve Vaughan who stayed with us at Lisa's bedside through her last night on earth and to Arnie Toews for his counseling.  We also thank all the pastors and people at Central Baptist Church who tried to help Lisa over the years and all our brothers and sisters at our home church, Shawnigan Alliance Church, for their helpful attempts.  We thank her Aunts, Ingrid and Angelika and some cousins who made a great effort to reach out to her and Marie's sister Edda, for her emotional support.  We also thank her doctors, Dr. Colegrave, Dr. Derocher and Dr. Duncalf who battled her anorexic mindset.  We thank all family and friends who have flooded us with their prayers and acts of kindness.   Finally, we want to thank two very special people, Lisa Nelson and Leila Nelson who were her roommates at different times.  The first time Lisa became unconscious Lisa Nelson found her just in time.

In closing, to get a handle on the tsunami waves of grief I experience.  I found the story behind the writing of a well known hymn very helpful.   This hymn was written after two major traumas in Horatio Spafford's life.  The first was the great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a wealthy businessman).  Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford's daughters died in a collision with another ship.   Spafford's wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone."  Several weeks later, as Spaford's own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, the Holy Spirit inspired these words.  They speak to the eternal hope that all Christian believers have, no matter what pain and grief befall them on earth.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

But, Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

My precious Lisa, "see you later alligator".

Those wishing to make a memorial donation can do so to:
Mercy Ministries of Canada
6788 152 Street
Surrey BC V3S 3L4

For donations by phone Mercy Ministries of Canada please call 604.596.2422 and let the person know it is in memory of Lisa Adam.

Lisa and Dad
Lisa and her dad

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