"Thank you for being my friend!"

by | Aug 22, 2009 | God, grieving, Steve

Everyone is asleep in our home at this hour…that is, everyone but me. I am wide awake…but I should be sleeping…

I can’t stop thinking about our friend Steve. His funeral was yesterday. I can’t stop thinking about the life he lived here on this earth. I can’t stop thinking about how God intertwined his and our family’s lives. I can’t stop thinking about how I’m going to miss him. I can’t stop thinking about his family and how special he was to them…especially his mom and his three children.

I drove past the nursing home he stayed at on the way to a doctor appointment today…I fought back the tears. I remembered learning in BSF a few years ago why death is so painful for us who are left behind. God did not design us to die, nor to experience death. He originally designed us to live forever in fellowship with Him. Adam and Eve got to walk with God in the Garden of Eden…until they ate the forbidden fruit from the tree that God told them not to eat from. Once they ate it, sin entered the world and so did death. God did not intend it to be that way…that is why death is so painful, and that is why we go through such a grieving process when someone close to us dies. Did you know the word ‘grieve’ is derived from the word ‘grave’?

I was trying to remember how in the world Steve and our family connected the way we did. I can remember meeting him at the Mission years ago in our old building. But I don’t remember how our friendship transpired so quickly. I do know, however, that God had His hand in it. Steve lived with us for a few months to get his feet back on the ground after he was released from a drug treatment center. Our family learned a lot from Steve. He taught Ali and Zach things about life that most kids don’t learn until they learn it on their own and it’s too late…stay away from drugs! I hope his example with carry them through their lifetimes.

He cared so much about Ali and Zach. He shared a book with me last fall that he thought Ali should read. It’s called The Ishbane Conspiracy by Randy Alcorn. It was one of those books that changed my life, and I made sure I told him so. Ali hasn’t read it yet, but I know in time she will. He would bring gifts over for the kids. He would just stop out every now and then to say hi before he got sick. He was able to meet Mom, and they enjoyed each other’s company. It’s comforting to know they are together in heaven today. 🙂 I wonder if Mom was a part of Steve’s welcoming party?

The service yesterday was beautiful. Pastor Barb did a wonderful job of honoring Steve’s life. Many people were able to share memories of Steve during the service, including me. I wanted to make sure his family knew how very special Steve was to our family. I wanted to make sure they knew that Steve knew where he was going after his life was over on this earth. I broke down as I talked, but I’m glad I was able to reach out to them in some small way like that.

Steve taught me so many lessons about life, about living and about dying. He used to say each time I would leave his presence, whether it was at church, at our home, at the hospital, at the nursing home, etc…”Julie, thank you for being my friend!” And I used to thank him back, “Steve, thank YOU for being my friend!”

Steve was special, and I will surely miss him!
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