While this is written with specific mentions of my friend, I am sure many of us have felt similar feelings of grief and loss. I hope you can connect with my words.
I miss you, friend. I miss reliving our memories and retelling our inside jokes. I miss studying God’s word with you. I miss seeing your smile from across the room. I miss your warm hugs. I miss your voice and your sweet songs that still bring me to tears.
I haven't forgotten you. I think of you every day, and when I remember how much you loved the Lord, I am grateful for your influence on my life. I wish things were different, but I know that our time together changed me.
In our time together, you taught me that Jesus is the greatest thing we can discover in this life. You taught me to never be afraid to take chances. You taught me to love unconditionally and to take others in without hesitation.
Then you showed me that by walking through grief, we could find healing. You showed me that our words of His goodness could ring true even after we're gone.
And now, you remind me to live and keep living to the fullest. You remind me that this life is short, but we can do great things with it when we try. You remind me to choose joy and to keep choosing joy when things are scary or hard.
I know my life would have been very different without you in it. I wouldn’t have loved as well, or sang as loudly, or laughed as hard.
I’m better for knowing you. I’m better for loving you and learning from you. And I miss you, but I think I’m better for that too. Now I know that pain may stay for the night, but His joy comes in the morning.
PS - There is a tree that I drive by on my way home from work each day, and in the wintertime, when all the leaves are gone, there's one branch that looks like a heart if you look at just the right time. I'd driven past this tree for more than six months before I noticed that little heart tucked away. It was a particularly hard day – cold and dreary, with a million things to do. I was questioning the purpose of this season, but there it was. That heart. I knew it from the second I spotted it. That was your heart, tucked away in the Lord’s beautiful creation. Thank you for showing me the beauty in this world, even now.
STAY IN TOUCH!