They got the call last Wednesday in the middle of the night and by 10 am on Thursday the whole family was flying back to America.
You remember these friends- The same ones we walked the lice road with. We watch each other’s dogs, take care of each other’s kids, they were among the first to visit Ella in the hospital… you get the point… When you live overseas friends morph into your family.
I woke up Thursday at 6am and had over 40 missed calls from our sweet friends. As I called back and said, “What’s wrong”, David answered through broken breaths, “”My dad died.”
We were at their house moments later in pjs and with bad breath, because in those moments things that matter everyday don’t matter much at all. We hugged and cried and prayed.
These friends were actually at our house the night before having a fun cook out. They had no idea how life on earth was about to change; the pain that was only a few hours away.
Today is the viewing for Chuck Shrader. A man we never met, but have come to love his family so much. We find ourselves praying constantly for our friends and yet fear tries to creep in. The “what ifs” are strong and real thoughts that must be captured daily in my own heart.
Stevie and I have mourned grandparents and friends’ deaths from here, but never a parent, sibling, or God forbid spouse or child. It’s almost unthinkable. I don’t think I could handle that. And then He whispers sweetly and we FaceTime our mourning friends and see their faces and hear their tears, but also hear them praise The One who carries them through. Because we are ‘but dust’. Life is fragile and I am certainly not promised to live a long enjoyable life here on earth, but the scary part is that my parents, siblings, husband and children are not promised that either. So where does that leave us?
It leaves me on my knees, refusing to live in fear. Standing against the “what ifs” and walking forward in abundant eternal living that is now.
As you go about your day please pray for our friends, David, Emily, Mae, Wesley, and Miriam -and also live today in light of eternity, not these fleeting moments we have on earth. Don’t be afraid of what might happen (Speaking to myself). Friends, we walk in freedom and abundant joy.