Thursday, September 20, 2012

I've parked here for many days over the last few weeks, trying to think what to share.

The slate remained empty until now.

Seven years ago, you began your final week of being physically present with us. We had reason to be optimistic. We believed you were going to overcome this illness, and do mighty things for your King.

The reality is, He overcame your death, and used your surrendered life to impact others around the world. He still is.

Your writings, your wisdom, and your devotion,  have impacted generations. Your mom and I continue to hear from people around the world who have read your story, and have seen the Lord do a mighty work in their lives.

We are most thankful!

There are times that I find myself thankful that you are not here to see your friends fail. Many struggle to learn to rely upon Him the way you did. The way you sought to show them, abides with them; but without a friend like you calling them to obedience, they are making choices unbecoming of the Savior.

You were not perfect. You struggled with sin as well. However, you responded quickly to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, to correct poor choices.

Things have changed here.

I'd tell you that Papaw died, but I imagine you were there to greet him.

Lauren is married to Weston Dearman. You would love him Beej. He takes such good care of her, and is just who the Lord set aside for her. They partner together in youth ministry here in Tulsa, and they are employed in local schools, instructing, molding and interacting in the lives of young men and women. Saturday is his birthday.

Whitney and Jared Law married before Lauren met Weston. They now have a son, Tucker. The same name that we planned to give Whitney, had she been a boy. Jared is a youth pastor. Whitney, inspired partially by her experiences alongside of you in the hospital, is a nurse. She works with newborns in the hospital in Denton, Texas, where they live and pastor. Oh how I wish I could see you love on Tucker!

You would be so proud of both of your sisters. They are both so proud of you.

Your Mom. She is just amazing! She is taking care of me (big job)! She misses you so much! She is still teaching music. This year, she has 15 first grade classes and I believe, six second grade classes. She is so good with these children. They adore her! She is also working in Awanas at church. She was my partner again this past summer in Peru. We had our best trip and team, yet.

Tito and Marco still speak of you there.

I've been working for Awe Star for 6 1/2 of the 7 years you've been gone. I've ministered in Mexico (where you told me I was called to go and I've served there nearly a dozen times), North Africa (where you told Lauren she was going with you. Not only did she go, but all of us went with that team you were called to serve with. 3 years after we served there, and left your ashes high on a mountainside overlooking the primary village we worked in as a symbol of hope for Christ to reign, three underground churches have sprung up where there were none!), Peru (a half dozen times), Ecuador, Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, Venezuela, Panama and more.

I am so thankful to be able to be used by our God. Because of how you lived and died, I am privileged to speak around the country, both in sharing your story, and preaching from the Word. I have several opportunities coming up. I am so fulfilled in Him when I get to speak on His behalf!

I am so very proud of you son! I miss you desperately. One day soon, we look forward to joining you there. Your view and opportunities must be just incredible...but so are ours, until that time.

I do not like these anniversaries. They are difficult.

We are blessed to be preaching on this upcoming seventh.

You have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me. You did it right. You did it well. You are a great example of "daily dying."

Many seeking to follow Jesus are looking at your example.

You have blessed us deeply.

We miss you intensely.

Until then,