Monthly Archives: October 2013

On the eve of 2 months…

Tomorrow at Noon will mark 2 months since our precious son Trey went to be with Jesus. At noon, we will stop and pray and do our best to keep setting our minds on eternity.

I go to bed thinking about Trey, often wake up in the night thinking about him, and wake up with my first thoughts being of him too. It seems he stays on my mind at all times. We’ve had some really good days the past couple of months and some not so great ones too. Our kids have done well, but it’s extremely hard seeing them struggle when they do. They all miss their brother very much.

There is a sense of dread we feel with all the holidays approaching, but know we have to endure. I usually absolutely love this time of the year, but really want it to pass quickly now. Trey loved dressing up for Halloween…he was at home for a special Thanksgiving last year, and was able to celebrate Christmas early with us before we had to take him to Dallas to get ready for his transplant last year. So…these coming months will be challenge.

The good news is…God is with us! He has not forgotten us and will not forsake us. So…we don’t walk alone! I’m grateful to be with Emily in Boston for a couple of days and looking forward to preaching on heaven again this Sunday. Since I have no joy on my own, I’m really asking for the “joy of the Lord to be my strength.”

We love you friends and family and are grateful for you journeying with us. Today…each breath…gets us one step and moment closer to eternity with our Savior.

Even so…come Lord Jesus!!!

Perspective

My wife and I are reading everything we can get our hands on by Randy Alcorn. His writings have encouraged us more than anything else we have read.

My wife is currently reading Safely Home by him and below is a picture of who the book is dedicated to. It really puts things in perspective:

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Toy Aisle

When I’m at the store, sometimes I just walk through the toy aisle and think about what Trey would want. I can still see his face when he would look at action figures. I can see him talking to his brothers telling them all about what cool stuff the store had. He misses nothing now, but oh how I miss him.

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Something Heavenly

In light of my post this morning, I just heard this song by Sanctus Real…powerful lyrics that I am living right now:

Whatever You’re Doing (Something Heavenly) – Sanctus Real

It’s time for healing time to move on
It’s time to fix what’s been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It’s time to find my way to where I belong
There’s a wave that’s crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

[Chorus]
Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
but I’m giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Revaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender…
To…

[Chorus]

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I’ve wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You’re up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It’s time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out

Learning to Surrender

I am trying to put together some special things that remind me of Trey. Below are a few pictures and things I love…things like the last card he gave me for Father’s Day; the picture he gave me in the frame that says, “My dad is my hero,” the last picture he colored for me; etc. All these things hold a very special place in my heart and just remind me how much of a blessing Trey was to me.

This has been a very hard week for me though. I’m trying desperately to do normal things and be like I once was, but behind everything, there is just such a different feeling. I’m discovering that somewhere along the way, Trey became probably a little too important to me, and I don’t think I really ever surrendered him fully to the Lord. There is a fine line between loving your children and making them the most important thing in your life…almost idolizing them (something we are to never do). Trey was and is easy to idolize though…especially watching how he endured what he did this past year and how he brought such joy to so many lives, especially mine…BUT…Trey would not want me to idolize him and not be able to go on without him. He is with the Lord…he doesn’t need his mom and dad anymore…he’s in great hands…I must truly release him to the Lord, just as Abraham did Isaac, if I am to begin really living like I need to. The Lord wants us to surrender ALL things to him…even good things. He desires and is the only one worthy of worship in our lives! It’s just such a challenge to surrender everything…especially the people you love the most. For the Christian, you just cannot be who God wants you to be without full surrender to the Lord. There are still things in m heart that I need to let go of.

Pray for me if you think about it. I’m going to have to do the hardest thing ever…and I need to do it soon…I’m going to have to release my son completely to the Lord. The irony is that Trey is already with the Lord, but the release has to happen in my heart. I will always love Trey and miss him very much, and anticipate daily seeing him again, but I can’t let the loss dominate and control my life…which is easy to do. I know Trey is with the Lord and I’m sure he talks to the Lord about all these things…and I know he knows I love him…but I’ve got to keep living and breathing and functioning as best as I can, until the Lord calls me home.

With every breath I breathe…I’m one moment closer to stepping into eternity and worshiping my Savior with my son. I look forward to that…but until then, I want my life to count here and I need to get busy living for eternal things for that to happen…

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Special Gift for Trey

An amazing gift from some amazing friends. Thank you to Josh and Brooke Heskew. Thanks for honoring our son and our family. We love you guys! The 18 on the football jersey is for January 8 in honor of Trey’s spiritual birthday. It was worn by a different football player each week. The baseball jersey was Trey’s actual jersey, along with his dirty hat. Oh to see him in that again! I love you Trey and miss you terribly every day.

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Lord, teach us to live!

A friend of mine sent this to me this week…and it moved me tremendously. Please take the time to watch it. It will be the best 41 minutes you will spend all weekend. I want to be where this godly woman is…and I am far from it.

I’ve always admired Joni Eareckson Tada, but this video is really moving. I remember reading a line she quoted after she was paralyzed…she was begging God to let her die and she said, “Lord, if you won’t let me die, teach me how to live.”

This is right where Emily and I are…LORD, TEACH US TO LIVE!!!”

Watch this with your spouse if you can:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jrO5fGSIyM8

God’s Sovereignty…hurt or help?

I was able to spend some time with my dear friend, Ed Litton, these past couple of days. Ed’s wife, Tammy, passed away about 6 years ago in a tragic car accident. He has since re-married to another wonderful woman, Kathy, who interestingly enough had her husband pass away several years ago in a tragic car accident as well. The Lord is His providence and grace brought Ed and Kathy together after they both experienced such difficult losses.

Ed has become a recent friend and God has used him mightily in my life. When he speaks, I listen. He has a warmth and wisdom about him that blesses me so much. Last night, he and I were talking, and he told me something powerful, yet simple…something that I needed to write down and share.

After Tammy passed away, Ed had a young seminary student ask him if his view of God’s sovereignty had helped him or hurt him during his time of loss. Ed’s answer was simply, “Yes.”

I completely resonate with Ed’s answer…I get what he was saying. In one sense, yes, it’s incredibly difficult to reconcile God being sovereign, fully able to control all things, and yet He still allows such horrible things into our lives. When you experience something difficult…tragic…and you’re praying so fervently for things to be different and God chooses not to intervene temporally, sometimes it is hard to understand. So yes, understanding that God is sovereign does hurt a little bit at times.

But, in another sense, in a greater sense, it is incredibly overwhelming and beautifully comforting to know that while God does allows such difficult things into our lives, He has a plan and He is in complete control. God’s sovereignty brings purpose to a believer’s suffering. In fact, I can’t even imagine the thought of Trey’s suffering not serving a purpose. If Trey’s suffering was all that there was, I would feel horribly defeated and probably could not even go on living. However, knowing that Trey’s life served God’s purpose and has had incredible eternal significance, and knowing that I will see Him again because God HAS acted and HAS saved his soul…in that sense, God’s sovereignty has been more than helpful. It has been what has carried us and is carrying us to this day.

There is nothing in the world that can prepare you to watch your child breathe their last breath…NOTHING. Emily and I thought we were prepared, and in those final moments with Trey, we found ourselves broken and hurting in the deepest possible way. However, GOD WAS WITH US, and while we were not prepared, He carried us. He gave us the necessary grace to simply breathe. In our tears, He held us and more importantly held our son and carried Trey directly into His presence.

So…knowing that God loves Trey a million times more than I ever could, I have to rest in the fact that God then sovereignly accomplished His perfect plan for Trey…a plan that in some ways is hurtful to us, because we just don’t understand everything and we miss Trey so much, but also a plan that is incredibly helpful to us, because we know that God did what was best for Trey. He saved Trey and has now delivered Trey from ALL sin, sickness and death. TREY IS WHOLE! TREY IS FREE! And Trey now is with the Lord who is making ALL THINGS NEW!

So, yes, knowing that God is sovereign can be a little painful because we don’t always like what He does…BUT…and this is big…knowing that God is sovereign allows believers to face this sin-stained world with an eternal perspective that reminds us every day that God is doing something eternally with every aspect of our lives…that this world IS NOT all that there is…and that one day, we will have resurrected bodies, living on a resurrected earth, serving our resurrected Lord!!! And in all of that I shout HALLELUJAH!!!

God…thank you for sending Your Son! Thank You for coming and giving us a way of escape from sin and death! Thank You Jesus for dying on the Cross so that EVERYONE who calls on Your name might be saved. Oh God, keep using Trey’s life to point people to Your Son. Thank You for giving His life a purpose…thank You that his suffering was not meaningless…thank You for the 7 incredible years You gave me with him. Please hold him and give him love tonight from his daddy. Oh how I love you Trey and I will see you again soon and get ALL of eternity with you. I love you son…always and forever.

Love has come!

This song ministered to my heart today. Here see the lyrics and below is a YouTube link to listen to it:

Well, I know this life is filled with sorrow
And there are days when the pain just lasts and lasts
But I know there will come a day
When all our tears are washed away with a break in the clouds
His glory coming down and in that moment

Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that God is love and love has come for us all
Every heart set free, every one will see
That God is love and love has come for us all

For anybody who has ever lost a loved one, and you feel like you had to let go too soon. I know it hurts to say goodbye, but don’t you know it’s just a matter of time till the tears are gonna end…You’ll see them once again and in that moment

Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that God is love and love has come for us all
Every heart set free, every one will see
That God is love and love has come for us all

Oh, and on that day we will stand amazed at our Savior, God and King
Just to see the face of amazing grace
As our hearts rise up and sing

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Thank You for the cross
Singing glory, glory, hallelujah
Christ has paid the cost

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Thank You for the cross
Singing glory, glory
Christ has paid the cost

And every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that God is love and love has come for us all
Every heart set free, every one will see
That God is love and love has come for us all

Love has come for us all

Trey is rejoicing in heaven!

We had our disciple now weekend for our youth at our church this weekend. My father, Ken Freeman, preached for the weekend. We saw a number of great things happen, but this morning, my dad preached for our whole church and we had several saved…mostly adults. Tonight, we baptized 13 new believers. It was wonderful!!!

I kept thinking that Trey was rejoicing in heaven each time a person gave their heart to Christ. But one story blessed me in particular. Back in May, we had a bone marrow drive at our church for Trey. We were trying to find a match for Trey. A man, with no connection to our church, heard about the drive and came to see if he was a match. After he came to the drive, he decided to start visiting our church. He found out we had a Faithriders Sunday School class, so he started coming to that class. This morning, when my dad gave an invitation to respond to the Gospel, this man came forward and gave his life to Christ…and tonight, I baptized him.

So…the man came because of Trey, he came to Christ through the Gospel preaching of my father, and I got to baptize him. INCREDIBLE!!! Trey’s life continues to matter eternally.

Of course, I wish all this could have happened and Trey still be here, but that obviously wasn’t God’s plan. It’s awesome to see how God is using Trey…but we still miss him terribly. But today, God clearly used the life of my son to call this man to Himself and to save his soul. That is just awesome!

We love you Trey and can’t wait to celebrate all these things with you! I love you buddy. You are my hero forever!!!

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