Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. ~ Psalm 119:111
Joyia Evangeline Paul 12.05.84 – 08.23.14
Saturday, 08.23.14 close friends and family were invited by Joyia to celebrate her ceremonial Baptism. Joyia had already been baptized but wanted to have her friends and family visually witness her statement of faith by participating with her in a Baptismal ceremony.
Her Baptism was scheduled for 1:00pm. We had received word early Saturday morning that the ceremony was cancelled due to Joyia’s failing condition. We were then invited to come visit Joyia bringing our love, memories, favorite songs and passages to share.
12:00 pm Joyia closed her eyes for the last time an hour before her guests were scheduled to arrive.
Joyia’s parents shared that Joyia had a smile on her face after she took her last breath.
Friends and family arrived as scheduled in steady streams with hugs, words of comfort and platters of food.
Although some would say that 29 years old was a short life, it was a life that brought an abundance of joy to hundreds of people.
The evidence reflected in the throngs of crowds that gathered at the funeral home to pay their respects. The lines were long and the tears were shed by the bucket.
The Memorial Service at Trinity Fellowship Church unearthed even more how Joyia’s life influenced and left so many impressions of joy and strong faith.
The eulogy was given by Joyia’s cousin and brother who presented so many sides of Joyia. Joy, strength, hope, kindness, gratitude, love and faith she bestowed on so many.
The Pastors opened up the microphone for any who wanted to share a memory.
The microphone was passed like a baton. Speaker after speaker conveying so many memories but the same message:
her own person
strong in her convictions
loyal friend to so many
loved her family
loved ham ( YES I said Ham)
Joyia’s brother James and her parent’s message to all is that although Joyia is not present in the body with us here on earth; her Joy lives on in each one of us that she touched with her love and faith.
We can keep Joyia’s testimony alive by sharing joy, love, hope, gratitude and faith with all that our lives touch in thought, word and deed.
There is no question that Joyia’s 29 years here on earth made indelible marks on so many lives which in turn will live on eternally for generations to come.
Joyia’s mother shared a journal on Caring Bridge to keep all family and friends updated of her journey battling liver disease.
“In 2006 it became necessary for our daughter Joyia to have a liver transplant. The fact that she received one was itself a miracle as God alone orchestrated the details…and He continues to sovereignly and providentially reveal Himself to us in the myriad details of our lives today!” ~ Stephanie Paul @ Joyia Evangeline Story / CaringBridge.org
Author’s Note: Joyia’s mother Stephanie Paul has been my friend for over 35 years. Our family has been deeply touched and affected by Stephanie, Sesky, Joyia and James as well as the Paul’s extended family and friends. We are grateful to have had the blessing of knowing Joyia and the impact she has left on the world.
Please join us sharing messages of joy, love, hope, gratitude and faith.