I know many of you knew Diane Hubbard (Diane Orchard before she married Rob Hubbard). Some of you did not, but prayed for her all the same. Today, as we traveled to visit her and her family, she lost her battle to cancer while winning her war against spiritual death. This moment is very difficult for me. In 1993 Diane and I decided to go to college at Southeastern College in Lakeland, FL. During our first semester there God led us to commit to each other as brother and sister. I made a pledge to her that I would never leave her. You see, she never knew her father and the rest of her family did not care for her or take any kind of interest in her.
She has been a sister to me, and I a brother to her. Her husband Rob and I are close friends. God gave Diane a good life once she met Rob. She had a husband and with that a family. That made up for the one she missed out on earlier in her life. She was blessed to have been a part of a Christian family in foster care. That is where I met her. She graduated from Southeastern College with a Bachelor’s Degree and worked for the Department of Children and Families in Lakeland and Brooksville. She was a devoted wife and mother. She has a wonderful son, Gabriel, who is four and a beautiful daughter, Charisma, who is one and a half.
Diane walked her faith. She was urged by several doctors to have an abortion and undergo chemotherapy when they found out she had breast cancer. However, her love for her unborn baby would not allow her to make such a sacrifice. She underwent chemotherapy while pregnant, but she also chose to allow Charisma to live. Afterward, she was found to have cancer in several areas of her body and finally, in her brain. She was able to fight until Thanksgiving, but she finally chose to be with her Savior, Jesus. We miss her, we grieve. It is mainly because she is not with us here on earth. However, she is finally free of the pain and heartbreak this world offered. She had the family she wanted. She had the children she wanted. She had a brother who will never forget her or stop missing her until we are reunited in heaven.
Now Diane is living the words to the song “I Can Only Imagine”: “Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still? Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine! I can only imagine!” I only wish I was able to see her now.
May the God of Peace bring healing to the hearts of those close to Diane. May her testimony live on as she lives on with our Savior, Jesus, in His presence. Thank You Jesus for allowing me to be a part of her life. I pray that I was at least half the blessing she was to me.
In the Memory of my Sister and Friend,
For more on Diane's Story, go to the Vero Beach Press Journal article about her and her ballte with breast cancer.