My friend Megan died on Monday. She was 29. She had NF.

This week, Evonne, her mom, Courtney and Becki, her sisters, have been trying to explain to the little ones in the family, Megan’s nieces and nephews, where Megan is now.

Evonne, her mom told me that she found herself telling little Bella, and Bailey, Megan’s nieces, “Megan’s body is here, but her soul is in heaven.”

So the little ones tried to repeat it back, and get it right. They are really little, and really, really funny.

So they said, “ Oh, we get it. Her body goes in the ground, and her head goes to heaven.”

But then the other one argued. “No, no, her body goes to heaven, and her head stays in the ground.”

It’s still not clear. Where’s Megan?

Then there was another conversation went with the little ones:

They asked: “Is Auntie Meagan in her room?”

Evonne: “No, she’s gone to heaven.”

Response: “Can I have her room?”

It can be hard to know what to think, especially after you lose your Auntie.

Psalm 121 was one of Megan’s favorites.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life

the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

We adults are much like the little ones, we have trouble figuring it out.

Did Megan have NF? Yes. Was she protected by God? Yes.

God protected Megan. She believed that. He was her shade. He watched over her coming and going.

Protection isn’t getting everything we want; its having our souls, the core of our being, preserved no matter what our bodies are going through.

NF didn’t keep Megan from being Megan, from being social, cute, fun, tough, funny, free, herself, everywhere, always, Meganized, Meganista, Megatron, full and running over with Meganisms!

NF didn’t mean she wasn’t protected. We don’t hang our faith in God on our bodies, or on circumstances; we hang our faith in God, on God. Everything God allows, terrible or beautiful, unwanted or wanted, metastasized or normal — God surrounds it all and through it all he preserves the person he made for the time he want them to be them.

It isn’t that NF is good, or wanted, by God or us, but whole, healthy psyches can exist in unwhole, unhealthy bodies. We are all, or will someday all, be proof of that.

Divine protection, “the sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night,” means that God never lets the core of the core within the very quintessential core of us get lost during NF or cancer or divorce or death.

I sat in Megan’s room with her over the last week, her unconscious, my hand on her arm, time making it’s inexorably fast-slow slog toward infinity, life slowly leaking out of her, and I couldn’t help but noticed all the positive things on her bedroom wall.

There are little stars all over the ceiling in Megan’s room. She knew where to look, when things were hard, for protection. It was up.

One poster in her room asks, “Got heaven?”

She does!

Protected?

She is!

No part of Megan’s core, was lost, that hasn’t now been found, and treasured, and still protected, in another place by God.

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