Lacey Brooke Travis Madden passed away on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, after a 4-year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer. She was 39 years old. Though we grieve that her time here with us seemed far too short, we do not grieve as those without hope. Lacey spent her life proclaiming God’s goodness and faithfulness, and we rejoice in the knowledge that she is now finally in the presence of her Savior and Redeemer whom she loved so fiercely.

Lacey was born on August 16, 1981 and was raised in Ridgeland, Mississippi by her parents, John and Marguerite Luke Travis. She was the oldest (and loudest!) of three daughters, and from a young age always had her own distinct style, flair, and viewpoint. She was born an artist, and her mother often joked that the best way to buy clothes for Lacey was to just choose the craziest item on the rack –the crazier the better– because little Lacey was sure to love it. It was no surprise that after graduating from Jackson Academy in 1999, she went on to study graphic design at Mississippi College. Over the years, Lacey dabbled in many artistic pursuits such as fashion design, wedding planning, floral arranging, and more, creating amazing masterpieces in all of them. However, she always came back to the canvas. She especially loved painting, and even at the end, she could be found at the easel as long as she had the ability to hold a paintbrush in her hand.

But the thing Lacey loved to create most was community. She did it intentionally everywhere she went. She loved connecting people with one another, and she loved helping others feel connected. She did this on a big scale by organizing large events with thoughtfulness down to the last detail, or in groups by hosting gatherings in her home with a wide cross-section of people in order to help build friendships (her karaoke costume parties were the best!). She strove to create community in more intimate, individual contexts as well in ways such as inviting foreign exchange students to live in their home for a year at a time and helping them to discover some new version of “family” in Mississippi. She loved others, and she loved them well, pointing them to Jesus and encouraging them to live their lives for Him. She was passionate about seeing the spread of the gospel, whether through foreign missions or local outreach, and she could often be found working in a volunteer capacity to serve families and organizations in her community, as well as her beloved church family at Highlands Presbyterian Church. When she found out that one of her favorite organizations, MadCAAP, was seeking ways to offer much-needed counseling for its clients, Lacey went back to school (while simultaneously juggling young motherhood) to earn her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy so that she could offer free Christ-centered counseling to impoverished families who were looking for hope. Over the next several years, she counseled and led support groups for women struggling through the day-to-day hardships brought on by poverty. Her family often teased her that her favorite motto was, “Go big or go home,” and it was true. Everything she did, she did with purpose, with passion, and with her whole heart.

Her own marriage and family were no exception. Lacey loved Brad completely, and she often commented that he was her perfect match and just the balance she needed. They married on October 4, 2003, and her express desire was that God be glorified in their marriage. God blessed their union with 4 beautiful children, and Lacey mothered them with the same joy, attentiveness, and creative spirit with which she did everything else. It wasn’t uncommon to pull up at the Madden house and find an elaborate chalk hopscotch design covering the entire driveway, or the living room turned into a Winter Wonderland with paper snowflakes, or some sort of baking extravaganza happening in the kitchen. She took seriously her job of loving them well and making sure they knew they were loved. She treasured her children; she delighted in their differences and found such joy in watching them grow.

After being diagnosed with cancer on April 5, 2017, Lacey lived out her last 4 years with the same intentionality and wholeheartedness for Christ that she had always proclaimed. Her unwavering trust in God’s goodness in the face of intense trials, “even here,” as she said so many times, was a testimony of truth to all of us who had the privilege to know her. Lacey’s favorite hymn was “In Christ Alone,” particularly the last verse:

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the pow’r of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand!

Truly, until He called her home, Lacey stood in the power of Christ. And now we rejoice with her that the faith that she so boldly lived out has finally become sight. As she taught us to say, “To God be the glory, even here.”