Yesterday I washed your hand-prints off the ceiling in your bedroom from when your loft bed was there. I guess it was time. I cried a little bit, but I also knew the truth. You aren't coming back. Instead, some day we will join you. It made me sad knowing that we are separated for an unknown amount of time, but also reminded me again of reality. The reality is, nothing in this world will last forever. The only thing we have for certain is eternity...and we only have that if we have Jesus. I can't imagine bearing this grief without the hope that the Bible says is ours if we belong to God.
"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep,
or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.
We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God
will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive,
who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede
those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,
with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel
and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Therefore encourage each other with these words." (1 Thess. 4:13-18)
I am encouraged by those words. I am thankful that God continues to remind (and reveal) to us how very much He loves us.
Your sisters, Matt, moved out of your bedroom last week to make room for David, a Brazilian foreign exchange student that I'm sure you saw God drop right in our laps. :) David is most certainly not a replacement or a substitute for you, but a new life and a new beginning that the LORD undoubtedly led us to. I think you would like him. He's quiet like you. But unlike you, he smiles a lot and doesn't mind getting his picture taken. :)
My heart continues to ache, Matt, longing for you. But I am encouraged and comforted with the truth. I love you, my son.