When I signed myself up on the editorial calendar for this day almost a month and a half ago, I never imagined what would be happening on this very day. Today, my husband and I are saying goodbye to a very dear friend and celebrating his life. I’ve been trying to process the news and find a way to honor our dear friend.
In Stephanie Smokovich’s devotional, Blessings or Lessons (Day 6), one of the questions she asks is: “Which of your friends has shaped who you are today and how?”. We were asked to share a memory of our friend with the family and this is what my husband wrote…
“I have so many fond memories with Tom. Road trips, ball games, college mischief, even helping Tom get ready to propose to Christine. But one stands out above the rest. one semester was especially busy for both of us. But we managed to carve out 30 mins a week just to talk about the week. What was going well and what we were struggling with. What God was teaching us and any other tangent that came up. THAT is who Tom was to me. An incredibly caring, genuine and faithful friend and brother in Christ who knew what was truly important…”
The thing is, he didn’t just stop after college. Every time we visited with him, he was still checking in on Mark and making sure to always point us to Jesus. Even after we were married, it extended to me too and us as a couple and then later as parents to our kiddos. Even when he was bedridden and could barely talk, he was still checking in on us. He’s left such a great legacy behind in his example to us. It reminds me of what Stephanie pointed out in the devotional.
“We live and learn, and hopefully we are good to our friends and they are good to us. Friends that love us unconditionally, as Christ loves the church, are the best kind. Sound advice from friends is like a beacon of light (Proverbs 6:23) that supports us. Great friends draw near in hard times and simply are the Human Connection (day 2) that we strive for.”
I knew that I needed to write a little thank you note to our friend Tom and it was so therapeutic to do it in my Bible. I love that the “Loyal Friend” die cut had a scripture reference on the back. It pointed me to the most perfect Bible verse to write this little note…
“A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 ESV
I truly believe that when Tom entered the gates of Heaven, he was told, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, I have no doubt! He was such a blessing to everyone and he will be greatly missed and I am grateful for the legacy he leaves behind.
Do you have a friend who checks in on you and keeps you accountable, always pointing you to Jesus? Are YOU that friend to those around you?
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