During the time I was absent we walked through sorrow and loss. The worship leader from our church passed away after battling brain cancer for eight weeks. A week later, my bowling partner lost her dad of the same cancer from the same amount of time. One month later I lost a good friend from liver cancer.
I am done with cancer. I am done with death. I am done with sadness. I wish those statements meant that cancer, death and sadness would cease. Only God himself is capable of such power.
Our worship leader was a good friend. He loved kids. He inspired my son to play guitar and stick with it. He loved to hear my daughter sing. He was a good husband and father. His life echoed the standards God set before him. He left a hole in everyone's heart, but we are confident of his salvation. He is HOME walking with the Lord.
Steven was a father, brother, husband, friend. He raised children that weren't his own, as his own. He protected his family, worked hard and left an example that should be followed. His family will feel his absence forever, but will never doubt where he spend eternity.
Nora, what can I say about her other than I love her still. She was a woman with crazy curly hair that inspired me to accept my own head of hair! Her appetite for life only grew larger and more adventurous when she surrendered her life to Christ. She loved everyone no matter how long you knew her. You never left her without something in your hand and your heart full. Her hugs were warm and loving with arms wrapped fully around you!
There have been others who have experienced losses as well. Natural disasters have brought sorrow for many families. Accidents, illness, unexplained. All within God's control and provision even though we don't understand the purpose.
The holes left in our heart from their absence is only filled by the peace God brings. He never tells us why he choses who stays and who goes, but we can trust that it is for HIS glory and our best that they do. Many blessings come from the losses, even through the pain. God's design is perfect and planned. Our loved ones are gone, but they are NOT FORGOTTEN.