Born: October 11, 1963, in Iraq
Departed to be with the Lord: January 7th, 2024 (In the Year of New Beginnings)
Reta, a devoted mother, lovingly embraced her faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior throughout her extraordinary journey of life. She passed away at the age of 60, having fought the good fight of faith as a good soldier of Christ.
Reta's early life unfolded against the backdrop of being an orphan child who was abandoned by her family to be raised with nuns from a nearby church. As a young adult, war in Iraq started to break out at the same time when she had gotten married. Her and her husband were both filled with determination to provide a better life for themselves and their growing family, so they left their homeland finding refuge and opportunity in Canada.
Years after arriving to Canada, Reta gave birth to 2 boys which were her crown and joy. Her marriage struggled until it ended in divorce when her children were at the tender ages of 4 and 6. Eventually her 2 boys left their father's home and went to live under the custody of their mother Reta. As a single mother, with 2 rebellious teenagers to raise and guide, Reta's Enduring faith in Jesus became the cornerstone of her life. She navigated the challenges of raising her children with resilience and unwavering grace and love. Her unyielding desire to win her boys to Christ was a testament to the Enduring spirit that characterized her every step until they too, made Jesus Christ the Chief Cornerstone of their lives.
But her battles were not over, she would then Endure another 20 years of struggles with mental illness, depression, weight challenges, suicidal ideations and attempts, loneliness, joblessness, and other chronic pain and health struggles that challenged and tested her faith in God. However, no matter what hardships and challenges came her way, she kept her hope in God and Endured patiently; waiting for the day she would see her King face to face. When He will make every wrong, right, and when every unanswered "Why God?" would be finally answered in full.
If you knew Reta personally, you would know that she always thought that the "E" in her name was a nuisance to her life because everyone would always either spell it OR pronounce it wrong. This frustration and annoyance caused her to believe that she was less than the other "Rita's". No matter how many times we told her that it was untrue, she would still believe that she was maliciously "picked on" by the individual who spelled it with an "E" when she arrived in Canada.
Not true, but God did allow it still, but why?
I strongly believe that God in His infinite wisdom, allowed that "E" to be in her name for a reason and here is why:
Reta's name, spelled with an 'E,' stands for the Endurance she exemplified through a life marked by sacrifice, love, and dedication to her family and to her God despite the pain, heart aches, and struggles that filled her life. Her devotion to God's providence guided her to Endure through every trial, and her unwavering faith, although not perfect, served as an inspiration to all who knew her. That "E" in her name now serves as a beam of light which points to God's provision and sustaining power for all those who would Endure their own race whom Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, has marked out before us, so that, we too can be Encouraged by Reta’s life to believe in God’s sustaining power and provision in our own lives. God knew how her life would unfold and how He would be glorified one last time through her departure, as the purpose of the unwanted and annoying “E” in her name is now finally discovered!
Hebrews 12:1-3 puts it this way:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with Endurance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he Endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who Endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
At the age of 60, Reta has now completed her earthly race and has found eternal peace in the loving arms of her Lord and Savior. In Heaven, she now experiences the fullness of joy and pleasures forever more, reaping the rewards of a life lived Enduring in the faith of her Lord’s finished work.
Reta leaves behind cherished memories and a legacy of Endurance for us all to look up to and be Encouraged by. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends, but her spirit will forever live on in the hearts of those who were touched by her remarkable life.
Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen"
2 Corinthians 5:8 “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
Enjoy your New Beginning, mom-E, we look forward to seeing you again soon.