The last month has been tough on many of us in my family. We’ve experienced grief that has never been witnessed before, at least not in my family. We lost a friend, a young friend, my nephew’s best friend, and our extended family member. We vacationed together, celebrated together, and certainly enjoyed God’s greatest gifts together. One thing that became more evident from this loss is that God has a plan; we may not know his plan now, but it will eventually shine through, as it always does. For weeks we sat in quiet grief listening to many of his favorite tunes by Zach Bryan, talking about the good times, doing shots in his remembrance and bonding with friends and family over our loss. We hug, we love, we cry and we remember our lost friend, who left us way too soon. But he didn’t leave us, God brought him home, to a better place.. Remember what Jesus says…
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”John 14:1-3
I find myself reflecting on this passage a lot lately because as we mourn Nick’s loss on earth, he is enjoying his life with Jesus, the life he was meant to live. I am not sure if many of you have ever read or watched The Shack, but it is an emotional story and one that opened my eyes to what is to come. I see the dad in the story crying his eyes out, until that moment he sees his daughter in heaven – laughing, playing, enjoying the fruits of God’s graces and loving every moment in her new home. She only feels and knows the beauty of what life is supposed to be. Yet somehow, I know we should be making that same heaven on earth. We should be loving with our whole heart, singing in the rain, dancing the night away, breathing in nature, holding hands all night, counting the stars, walking by the moonlight, putting our feet in the ocean, following the rainbows and smiling until our cheeks are numb.
Nick helped me see this now more than ever. He is our guardian angel teaching us to enjoy every blessing, enjoy life, live by grace and know God. I know that Nick is living in his mansion with his fireball, his cat and watching Christmas movies giggling at us below. I know he’s guiding his family, especially his mom and helping her every step of the way. Sometimes, you just know! So rather than crying to the song ‘Heading South’, I now find myself smiling because I know that he is home, watching us on his Life Size TV Screen.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16
I can’t end this writing quite yet, until I show you this image that keeps on popping up on my facebook scroll. It is an image called “My First Day in Heaven”. I’m not sure who the artist is but just google it. This picture emulates the joy of her first day in heaven. All I see is Nick, hugging Jesus so tightly and he won’t let go. The happiness to finally be home!
But while we are here on earth, we need to make it our priority to live life to the fullest, and LOVE one another. Life is a blessing. Thanks buddy, you will always be my favorite Mexican, but your mom is in second place. Cheers!