In Memory of Diane Smalley: A Courageous Leader
On yesterday, we lost a woman of faith, a courageous warrior, mother, grandmother (Big Mama), advocate, friend, trailblazer, leader, and visionary. She had big dreams and the ability to convince others to dream big with her, as she pursued her passion of helping others.
by Donna Thompson
On yesterday, we lost a woman of faith, a courageous warrior, mother, grandmother (Big Mama), advocate, friend, trailblazer, leader, and visionary. She had big dreams and the ability to convince others to dream big with her, as she pursued her passion of helping others. Her dreams always included taking others along while giving them an opportunity to shine as they showed their potential, while she stood aside as their biggest cheerleader. What a WOMAN! But not just any woman, a woman who believed GOD!!!
In spite of what was happening to her body and what the medical professionals said, her brilliant mind was always sharp and she was always planning for the future, even for our 2017 and 2018 events. She realized that she was unable to accomplish the work alone and in our conversations, she would talk about the cohesiveness of our team and what we had been blessed to accomplish. Ms. Smalley understood that great leaders, were first servants (servant-leaders) and didn’t she serve us extraordinarily? In sickness, she persevered, pushing herself to her physical limits, but she was driven by purpose. She understood that in order to accomplish what she had been called to do by God, it required sacrifice, a love for people, and most importantly a love for GOD. What an EXAMPLE!
I am thankful to God that He allowed me the opportunity to meet, work with, and love Diane Smalley. What a GIFT! Micah 6:8b (ESV) says…what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. When we do this, we also honor Ms. Smalley's memory and the work she has done.
I pray that the God of all comfort will continue to strengthen each of us as we walk through this season and I thank each of you for your personal commitment to ending gender based violence and for serving our Dear Diane Smalley.
NOTE: For Diane's friends and colleagues, in lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up for her family: https://www.gofundme.com/Diane-Smalley