Amy Beth Stephens (48) stepped into Glory on February 9, 2021 after a 24 year battle with chronic lung disease and is now celebrating her new life in the presence of Jesus. Amy was born on June 20, 1972 in San Bernardino, CA to Roy and Wendy Stephens. The oldest of three children, Amy is survived by her parents, brother Jeremy, sister Amanda, brother-in-law David, nephew Patrick and many aunts, uncles and cousins in addition to a host of extended “framily” (friends who are family).
In her younger years, Amy excelled academically, was an avid reader, and had a love of crafting that started while helping her mom make ribbon roses for the Renaissance Faire. Along with her family, she enjoyed the arts and regularly attended musical and theatrical performances. She also loved helping care for her younger siblings and shared a special bond, esp. with her sister Amanda.
As a young adult, Amy’s pursuit of excellence extended to Junior College where she briefly studied nursing until her declining health forced her to stop. However, during the same time frame she worked as a unit secretary at CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) where her heart was touched by many who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. A number of the relationships she formed then continue to this day, as did her support of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. She was also a vocal advocate of patients’ rights and dreamed of one day becoming an advocate herself.
It was during that same period of time that Amy surrendered her life to Jesus and began her lifelong pursuit of God and all that He had for her. She served God faithfully and served in various capacities at several different churches. She had the voice of an angel and loved her time singing on the worship team. She joyfully volunteered in children’s ministry and fed the working poor as a volunteer for local outreaches as well as missions trips to Mexico. Amy was a dedicated prayer warrior and intercessor who served faithfully as a team member of the Orange County Healing Rooms for 5 yrs. She also served briefly as Asst. Director of OCHR, praying fervently for the healing of many, even in spite of her own health struggles. Amy was ordained thru Third Day Churches and helped lead a house church in La Habra, CA until moving to Charlotte, NC in 2009. Since then, she has served in various capacities at her local church, helping with women’s ministry and prayer. Even as her declining health prohibited her from attending in person, she faithfully supported the church thru online worship and prayed for people thru Social Media prayer groups, impacting many who she never had the pleasure to meet in person.
Since Amy wore O2 that was visible on her face, it would often frustrate her when people would see her disease before they’d actually see HER. But Amy was SO much more than her disease. She was kind, loving, sweet-spirited and generous to a fault, often pouring out resources and energy she didn’t have to spare! She was a fierce friend, supporting those she held dear, and she sought after justice and truth often speaking the hard things even when it wasn’t easy or popular. She was always dependable and served with grace and a smile on her face, even when she was in pain and pressing past her own physical limitations. She persevered thru variouis challenges and her life was an inspiration to many.
Amy never married nor had children of her own, though she was an adopted “auntie” to many. For the past 20 years, she shared this adventure called life with her close friend and sister in Christ, Cheryl Hart. Together they supported one another as they pursued God’s purposes for their lives. But it wasn’t all seriousness – Amy loved movies and was especially a fan of Elizabethan era dramas, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and all the Superhero movies (basically anything where evil is defeated by good). She was extremely creative and expressed herself thru wreath making, handcrafted greeting cards, beautiful custom jewelry which she sold on her Etsy business (Rosegirl Creations) and a myriad of unique touches she added to make everything a little more special. And she LOVED to cook and create in the kitchen, often feeding large groups of people. When her health made that a challenge, she coached others on how to make the perfect dishes. She was a fur mom to 2 spirited Chihuahua mixes, Sasha and Sadie, and they were her joy, esp. Sadie who always managed to sense when Amy needed extra love and comfort.
Amy was diagnosed with COPD 24 years ago and spent half those years in and out of the hospital every 3-4 months. But she always bounced back and was doing life again in no time. After relocating to Charlotte, her final 12 years were spent in somewhat better health. However, the past year took its toll after a 3-month hospital stay sent her home with a tracheotomy and she had to learn a “new normal”. But despite the challenges, Amy remained strong and positive and she continued to pray, support and impact everyone who was blessed to know her, including her nurses, even if they just crossed her path for a moment. She may be gone far too soon from this earthly life but she is more alive now than ever as she joyfully celebrates Jesus with her new body, pain free and without limitations. Dance on, sweet sister … until we meet again!!
There will be a Memorial Service in Amy’s honor at Joy Church, 11516 Idlewild Road, Matthews, NC. It will be held on Sat, Feb 20th at 2PM in the main sanctuary. We ask that everyone wear RED in honor of “Rosegirl” and her vibrant personality! Due to COVID, we are still working out details regarding a possible reception to follow. For those who are unable to join us in person, the service will be live streamed and can be found on YouTube at Joy Church Matthews or via the church Facebook page or website at www.joychurch.org.