I carry your bible around in my purse. I love to open it and look at the old newspaper clipping of your grandfather and his 13 siblings that you used as a bookmark, or the piece of scrap paper that had a worship set scribbled on it - there is something about your handwriting that pulls at my heart.
Last Sunday, I found this. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 boxed and highlighted, with a note you wrote beside it. My heart always skips a beat when I see your handwriting, so I stopped immediately. Then I realized this is the very verse we used for your funeral, for the programs, and I believe the verse you used to write with your autograph at singing gigs. I sat and stared at it through tears, reading it over and over and over.
I think you could have lived a very long life and still never quite felt like you fulfilled this verse. Maybe that's the point and any real Christian knows that we're always striving. And maybe I've had times where I doubted this in you (and myself) when you were here. But babe......oh, babe....what an amazing thing grace is. Look at what's become of your life and your legacy! Look at the lives that have been forever changed, forever benefited from your story and your love. You CAN say this and sometimes the image of you in Heaven makes me smile so big for you, cause I know you've found your peace. It's always a painful smile, though, as I selfishly wish you were still here. I'm humbled to watch how God has allowed grace to use an imperfect man to create beauty and life. Neither of us could have ever believed it the magnitude of it, but I am so proud of you.
I guess it gives me hope. So many times in the last year, I've beaten myself up about how horribly I was handling everything, how much I was still hurting, the horrible thoughts and desires that would run through my head. But I recognize that God can use brokenness, doubt, even darkness to shine light. As long as I keep my eyes ahead, I have seen the true testament of what can become of life served for God. I'm trying, baby. I really am.
Just know that I love you more than I can ever tell you and I miss you every single day. I don't know what to write here anymore sometimes, but my heart has gone through a roller coaster. But every single day, I'm thankful I got you - even for such a short time. I would never trade it. You did good, baby. You fought the good fight. You finished the race. I can't wait to meet you at the finish line.
I love you always.