The first week of loss

I wrote this to my community as a whole, it was easier to communicate through writing. It still is. You may find yourself tired of having to rehash everything when people ask you how you are doing. May I suggest something like listed below, so people can reference and pass it along. Be gentle with yourself during this time.

To my beloved Cru family,
I first want to say thank you for all of your text, prayers, emails, phone calls, notes…everything.
The following are some thoughts I wanted to share. Many of you have asked how I am doing. I don’t have the capacity to answer personally, but I pray that God would be glorified as I let you in.
I loved Gavin. Gavin was not only a coworker, but he was woven into my life. Every day he would ask how we could help me. He loved me well, he loved Brooks well and he loved my daughters well.
Whenever you lose someone you love it is hard, when it is in a tragic way…words can’t express it. I feel as though I have lost a friend, a brother, a son all at the same time. It is hard to get out of bed, many times it is hard to put one foot in front of the other. Some are quick to offer quick cliché positive messages, but be careful that you don’t invalidate the depth and reality of suffering of someone for your own benefit. You can’t fix this, you can’t make it go away, you can’t make it disappear.
You struggle.
Death is hard. I feel as if there has been a bottomless sinkhole open up in my soul, I wonder if it will ever stop.
Your head and your theology in moments like this are at odds. You question God’s sovereignty, you question if He is good. And that is ok. The road is dark, the days are long and the steps are hard…but the one thing we have is hope.
When I look at what happened, it is dark. When I look at Gavin’s life, there is light. That light is Jesus. That light breaks through the haze, it scares me, warms me, overwhelms me. My tears are mingled from those of sorrow with those of the beauty of his life.
Gavin loved well. He loved Jesus so much. He wanted people to know Him. I have seen him weep for the hearts of those hurting. A few days ago we were talking about intentionally investing in peoples lives, loving people by helping them love Jesus. Everything Gavin did was for Jesus and so that people would love Jesus. Gavin’s love for Jesus was more than his body or soul could contain, it moved him to serve, to reach out, and we were all affected by it.
So what of us.
What are we to do on this side of life.
Today, I heard a song for the first time. It is the song “Multiplied” by Needtobreathe. It helped give some words to what I am dealing with. I have screamed these lyrics, both out of anger and out of love. I have fallen on my knees and wept. I pray that God would be glorified in Gavin, that His glory would be multiplied across the sky. I fight to surrender and have faith each day. I fight to trust. If Gavin was here he would encourage me to keep fighting, keep trusting. He would walk along with me, not having to “say anything” to fix it. Just urging me to keep trusting. In the God that we both love, but may not understand.
This song is my prayer. Please watch it, think of Gavin but most of all think of Jesus.
We will walk through this together, one step at a time. Not trying to fix it, but letting God into our brokenness so that He, by our lives or by our deaths may be seen.
I love you all, may God’s love come find you like a blazing wild fire and light up the dark places of our hearts to reveal His love even there.
In Him

Your love is like radiant diamonds
Bursting inside us we cannot contain
Your love will surely come find us
Like blazing wild fires singing Your name

God of mercy sweet love of mine
I have surrendered to Your design
May this offering stretch across the skies
And these Halleluiahs be multiplied

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