Though I know there is no better place for you to be than with your Savior, I have to be honest and say that it's hard for me not to want you back here by my side. My life would be easier. Sweeter. Filled. But, I know deep in my heart that wishing you back here is selfish and unloving because there's no better or sweeter place for any believer than at the feet of Jesus, worshiping for eternity.
But, there are so many things I've wanted to share with you over the last three weeks (funny Ethan stories, how little we've done school, Suits will be back on this summer, West Wing quotes, and, of course, I dropped and smashed my phone screen today.) I've reached for my phone to text you more times than I can count. I've called Ethan Kevin almost every time I've tried to say his name. Oh, Kevin, if you could see how this amazing church family is loving on us and taking care of us, you would be so proud. I know that the paranoia of addiction made you feel like an outcast. Like your church family disowned you and wanted nothing to do with you. But what I knew has been proven in the last three weeks. Oh, my sweet Kevin, how they loved you and wanted only the best for you. They loved your servant's heart. They loved to hear your beautiful worship on the guitar. They loved your smile. Your heart. Your laughter. They loved YOU. I wish you could have seen that, as I did, these last three years. I will always hate addiction for stealing that truth from you.
I wish you could see how respected and loved you were by your high school and college friends, too. So many times just in the month before you passed away, you talked about how insignificant you were. How little you impacted people. How little those around you felt about you, for as long as you can remember. My love, that is simply not true. The cards, notes, and FaceBook messages I have received in the last three weeks scream of people who were deeply and forever changed because of your life lived for your Savior.
Oh, my Kevin, I wish you could see how people, some we don't even know, have stepped up to love us well. They have cooked meals, washed laundry, loved on our kids, encouraged with scripture,given financial gifts, and so much more. Kevin, an entire army of women put together the perfect party for sweet Sophie's 10th birthday. All I did was show up. They just did it! Kevin, there is a whole team of men and women at our home right now painting, laying flooring, fixing trim, redoing ceilings, and I don't even know what else. There are just no words to truly say thank you for the love that has been poured over us. All I can do is sit and cry (which isn't all that new) and be thankful that the Spirit can speak praise to God on my behalf because the words just won't come! We are surrounded by people who love God and love others. Who love us and loved you, baby. I know you had a hard time seeing it and feeling it these last few years, but they did. They loved you and they miss you! We all miss you. But, oh, how grateful we are for your salvation and your eternal destination (and I say that so much because sometimes, I just need the reminder!)
May your love for Christ continue to influence our children and be a beautiful part of their salvation story. May the Lord take our broken hearts and broken lives and make something beautiful and God-honoring for generations to come. "So let my deeds outrun my words, and let my life outweigh my songs. Unbroken praise be Yours." (Lyrics from Matt Redman's Unbroken Praise.)