“Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord.The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.” James 5:14-16
Right now, in Cartersville GA, several people are gathered to celebrate the life of Rhetta Watts. I unfortunately can not be there because I am here, in Berea, finishing classes. I can though let you in on this amazing woman’s life.
Rhetta Watts was an amazing wife, mother, and leader. She had two beautiful daughters Hannah and Tiffany. Rhetta was on staff with Oak Leaf Church when I first met her.
Prior to meeting Rhetta I had been emailing her for weeks about serving in the church. I remember going back and forth about where I would like to serve , what service I did in the past, what was needed, and the bottom line was I wanted to do whatever was needed. I finally met Rhetta in the lobby of the movie theater. I remember that day like no other. I was with Nikki, I laid eyes on this woman who had vibrant red hair, cute black glasses, a jean jacket on, and her green Oak Leaf shirt. Jesus radiated through her. As we began to chat I knew that this women loved Jesus with her whole being.
It was then I started serving and got closer to Rhetta. We would chat here and there about different things, I would talk to her about what was going on at home, we would pray, she became a mentor to me, someone I looked up to, someone I loved. I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way, Rhetta made everyone feel special. I loved walking into the theater and see her with her glow stick directing people here and there. I always stopped and got a hug.
I remember when we found out that Rhetta was sick. She didn’t want to stop serving, but the pain was becoming to unbearable. Rhetta served up until she could, and then she worked on fighting the cancer. She was such a fighter. I remember getting the updates and making sure always to pray for Rhetta. Once when I was home for some break, I saw Rhetta in Target. She had been doing better and could finally get out. Those who know me know that typically the one thing I love about being home is going to church and seeing everyone there, but this time was different. My visit home was summed up in that one moment, that one hug.
Rhetta was inspiration, she was strong, she was bold, she was caring, she made you feel like you were the only one when you talked to her. She was an amazing part of this world and now she has taken her place in Heaven and I can not wait until I walk up to Jesus, get my name tag for Heaven, and then have Rhetta direct me to my place… and I know countless others who feel this way. Thank you Rhetta for your service, your love, your inspiration to serve, your caring heart and your whatever it takes attitude. We miss you and love you but we know that now you are out of pain, you are beside Jesus, and you have your vibrant red hair back. I love you Rhetta and you will never leave my heart nor the heart of Oak Leaf.