We celebrated Sam's life today and laid him to rest beside his granny and papaw. It was a celebration of a life well lived!!!We heard testimony of people from all ages and walks of life who were impacted by knowing him. We heard of his devotion to his family and to God, of how he wanted to follow Jesus, and of his servant heart.
We were so blessed.
And we had to laugh!
He was just our Sam!
The noise of our home.
The kid who kissed us goodnight (what 17 year old does that!?! :-D).
The one who poked his sister Emily 'til she bonked him on the head. (No injuries, just laughter!)
The one who mocked his little brother Will until Will screamed, "Shut up, Sam!!!"
The one who, when asked to unload the dishwasher, said, "I don't believe I will!!" then laughed and cheerfully obeyed.
As we viewed him for the last time, Jeff and I both felt the loss of our responsibility as a parent to him. It is no longer our concern that he is home safe. No longer a worry that his studies aren't complete, that he prepares for the ACT, does his chores ("Hey Sam! Did you...!?"), eats or drinks or...
And we wept.
I thought about tucking him into the quilts I'd made for him when he was younger! But no, I'll hold them close in the days to come, breathe in his fragrance ("A little too much Axe, Sam!!" lol) and remember.
The truth is, of course, that we are not.
But we agree with the apostle Paul who said, "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)
And His strength came to us from people all over the world praying for us!!
We are so very grateful for our amazing family! Our remaining two children and extended family who ministered and blessed us in incredible ways. Our Faith Family -- a former pastor and current pastor who phenomenally presented the Gospel of Christ while celebrating Sam's life, and staff and friends who gave and gave and gave. Our Quilt family, awesome ladies! Our Blog family -- Oh my word!!! what an outpouring of support and sympathy and love.
Yes indeed, when we are weak, HE is strong. Mighty to Save! Awesome in power! Phenomenal in grace!
And Sam's legacy begins...
The gift of inspiration to, as his godmother says,(and he quoted on Facebook :-D), "Be different! Do better!"
The gift of joy, in running the race well and finishing well.
He loved the story of Eric Liddell, Olympic runner featured in the film Chariots of Fire. Two quotes were among his favorites --
"I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast! When I run, I feel His pleasure."
But the one that gives me the greatest peace is this one:
"We are all missionaries. Wherever we go, we either bring people nearer to Christ, or we repel them from Christ."
Without a doubt, our little Sam brought people nearer to Christ.
So we grieve. But we bid him GODSPEED! Run home, baby!
Thank you, Father God, for giving him to us.
And for Your peace, Lord, that passes understanding!!