A Farewell

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Hi friends!

It’s been awhile.  A long while. A few years to be exact. 

A lot has happened in that time.  

I wanted to tell you well before now, but I couldn’t find the words.  I couldn’t find the initiative to do it. I couldn’t find the strength to put words to screen. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long, but here I am, without the other. Without your friend, too. 

Raye went home to Jesus, June 5, 2020. 

Her world was rocked with a diagnosis of ALS in August of 2019. She fought a valiant fight—you should have seen her. She was determined to make the most of whatever time God had left for her.  And she did so, mightily!  Our girl went into superdrive to share the Hope of Jesus.  She still had “work to do”, as she often told me.  

Raye’s illness quickly robbed her of muscle use throughout her body.  She first lost walking, then the use of her arms, and then her hands. And if you knew anything about Raye—her hands were her thing.  She often joked she couldn’t say a sentence without them.  And that was one of the biggest losses from her disease—the inability to type and write letters of encouragement to you.  But, she could still speak, and that she did!  She chose to go on stage (Arise-view here) and tell others about the greatness of the King she served.  And when that became limited, she used the venue of videos to say even more (The Faith Side–view here).  And when that was limited, yet still desirous to share, those closest around her became privy to Raye’s insights and love of the very faith that sustained her through it all.

Raye’s intention of ministry, and from the beginning of The Hope Filled Road, was to build a community that encouraged all who would listen, to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  So much so that the Hope in Christ should easily spill out of us; to overflow with the grace, and love, and mercies that Jesus gives.  I can unequivocally tell you, Raye walked the walk of what she preached…to her very last minute. 

I want to go on for pages and pages to tell you all about my friend.  To tell you everything we talked about and planned to do and Raye’s ministry endeavors–but I know I can’t.  I want to give you detail upon detail of how she battled, and endured, and accepted daily–but I know I can’t. What I can say, is that I cherish every moment I had with her; there are so many in my heart.  In true Raye fashion, as she often gave others, she gave me an incredible gift of her words.  In one of her darkest days, with limited speech, she looked towards me and softly said, “best friends forever.” In my tears and broken smile, I agreed wholeheartedly, and will forever cling to those precious words.

We developed our roots together and developed this ministry together.  We worked side by side in everything for HFR, but this was Raye’s.  It was her creation, her endeavor, and her creative forces all over it.  That is why I feel I can’t continue in it without her.  For me, and maybe even you, there is a hole that can’t be filled in the HFR without Raye. It wouldn’t be the same. I am sad that this chapter is ending, it represents a finalization of many more things than weekly posts. But knowing Raye, she would want me to keep working. And in fact, ministry still calls and I’ve begun anew in SoultoSeed.

Raye’s family has decided to keep the HFR website open and active. Who knows what the future may bring, right? A day may come that it is retired or even renewed. But, for now, we agree that the words written here in posts, as well as the creations by Raye, are still valuable and useful to us all. She designed the site to let readers search for topics or titles that were familiar.  I encourage you to look around and see if there are posts from the past that may still speak to you today.  You’re welcome to print or forward or simply save them for the future.  Raye would have absolutely loved it, if you tuck a piece of HFR into your forever journal for those times you need it the most. 

Finally, I want to say thank you.  Thank you for joining Raye and I on the journey with The Hope Filled Road. Your loyalty and friendships sustained us through it all.  We felt the community—I hope you did, too.  Please, never stop searching for more encouragement in your walk of faith. Continue to seek Him above all else. And as we did our best to remind each other in The Hope Filled Road, may I say one last time—live passionately in Hope, as you…

Trust God—Be Filled—Overflow.   

Blessings to you all!


10 Replies

  1. Lori Perez

    she was a beautiful person. I was proud to call her my sister. Thank you for sharing these words. I think of her often especially on November 17th. Her birthday. I have saved all the Hope Filled Road messages and go back often to read them. Thanks again Renae and Raye for always sharing the right words at the right time.

    1. She was a beautiful person–inside and out!
      Thank you for your kind words of our ministry, and thank you for always supporting, and being with this community along the way. xoxoxo

  2. Janice Hostler

    Hi Renae,
    I recently bumped into you and it was a blessing on my day. I also remembered a time when I bumped into you with Raye at Swami’s earlier in her illness and it always gave me joy every time I saw you two together and the two of you together were always a favorite of mine. I loved your teaching / speaking together and I am glad that some of those are still accessible online for your impact on those you touch can live on forever. I know God is not finished with you yet and hope to be able to witness you touching more people for Christ in the future. Thank you for sharing your heart. I will continue to pray for you, your healing and your future.
    I so look forward to that great reunion party when some day we too can join Raye in Heaven with Jesus
    Blessings to you, my sister in Christ,

    1. Hi Janice!
      I remember those bump-ins, too. It is always nice seeing you. Thank you for your kind words and your journey with us through this ministry. Raye’s impact on all of us is lifelong. I shake my head how incredibly blessed we have been just knowing her, and even more, receiving her teachings and insights. God gave us a very special gift.
      I am sooooo looking forward to that reunion party–see you there!! Blessings to you friend.

  3. Laura Mc Coy

    Wow. Prayers for all.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! Blessings to you.

  4. Danielle

    Thank you for this recap on who Raye will forever be in our lives and closure for the days without HFR. This site has made an impact always at the right moment. Thank you for being a part of it! ♥️

    1. Such kind words Danielle! Thank you for being a part of this community. It’s heartwarming to hear how Raye’s memory will live on, and how this website impacted others in their journey. Blessings to you!

  5. Holly Keegan

    Thank you Renae for sharing your heart and for this lovely tribute to Raye. I miss her so very much… Her hugs, her wisdom, her friendship, and her beautiful smile.

    1. Hi Holly–thank you! Those attributes were some of her absolute greatest. Her hugs! My goodness weren’t they the best?!
      I think you share what many feel, we miss her so very, very much. She had such an impact in this world, and on all of us who were graced by knowing her.
      Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.