April 29, 1948 – April 26, 2022
Eulogy For Patricia Kathleen Givens
Kathy was my sister in law, but as it was with the rest of the family, I never felt like an in-law. Her sudden loss has been like an earthquake in this family – unexpected, it has shaken all of us. Her very important role as the oldest sibling in the family made her a dynamic and dependable force. Exhibiting the spirit of her mother, she was fiercely committed to her marriage, children, grandchildren, and the Lord. She befriended so many over the years that I know hundreds of people are mourning her loss at this time. Her presence in our lives was unmistakable. Part of the experience of a funeral is to recognize just how real this loss is, to express our pain and lament as we cry out before God, and after a time to move forward with her influence continuing to be a part of us.
I tried to think of the perfect word to describe Kathy, and many impressive words came to mind. But one just kept returning to my mind, and the was the word ‘Devoted’. And that word reminded me of so many great women of the Bible – a book that Kathy loved and lived by.
Like the industrious woman of Proverbs 31, she was devoted to her work and spent many years earning and blessing her family and others by the jobs she performed. She worked for Delta State University for 20 years.
Like decisive and supportive Ruth, she was devoted to her family and nothing could keep her from her love for them all. No one can question her devotion to you, Galen, and nothing could separate her from her commitment to your marriage. This love extended to her parents, brother and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, and so many more.
Like Mary Magdalene, who was always in the life and ministry of Jesus, all the way to the end and to the empty tomb, Kathy was devoted to Jesus. Her life was guided and shaped by her careful desire to follow Him all of her days.
Like Phoebe, whom Apostle Paul recognized as a servant of the church, Kathy was devoted to the church. On the day that she passed from this life she spent time in worship, Bible study, and fellowship with brothers and sisters. She was prepared to teach Bible class for children that very morning. The church could count on Kathy, and Kathy counted on the church.
Like that influential judge Deborah, she could be counted on to speak up for what was right, as she understood it. She was committed to following God and was a spiritual leader in her home as well as among all of us.
Like Hannah, God gave her and Galen one son. She admired you and your family, Chad. She loved your wife and children deeply. I know that she could not have imagined her life without all of you.
Like Esther, she was here among us for such a time as this. Today we are recognizing the important place she had in each of our lives.
That’s an exalted list of women in Scripture, but I don’t think anyone would disagree! None of those women were perfect. All of them had to lean on the Lord in their lives. Kathy wasn’t perfect, never claimed to be, and understood the power of God’s saving grace in her own life.
It was painful to see her in that hospital bed in Oxford, but it did give us some time to reflect and remember and contemplate how much we love her. During part of that time I sat with her and quietly spoke inspired words of Scripture to her.
One of those Scriptures included the Shepherd Psalm.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness, For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Another contained the wonderful promise of Jesus.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself… “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
I reminded her of the comfort of Jesus
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
And I prayed over her the precious prayer of Jesus.
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Then I started over again. Maybe those Scriptures were as much for me as they were for her. We are assured that because of her faith in the Risen Savior Jesus Christ, she is in a better place with loved ones who have gone on before. I plan to join her one day, trusting in the God who keeps his promises.