I love young adults. Seriously. From my own young adult children to the friends in their lives and mine - I just love them. Young people are refreshing, compassionate, zealous, and quite honestly, the young people in my life remind me of how we're supposed to treat one another. Overlooking faults. Choosing love. Showing compassion. Meeting needs. Working hard. Having fun.
I look at these young people in my life and I feel hope. Maybe things aren't quite as bad as it seems. God is clearly working, even if through a remnant. I am amazed at the solidarity and strength of the group of young people I know. Mature and wise beyond their years, yet with the playfulness and goofiness of youth.
I want all of my young adult friends to know how much their love means to me. I haven't mentioned every deed, but it's all been meaningful. From leaving things at William's grave to long talks in the office to dropping in to check on us to wearing your BE MIGHTY shirts and so, so much more...all of your deeds have played a huge part in our grieving (and healing) process.
I have been so wrapped up in my own grief that I almost forgot how much all of you loved William. How he impacted your lives. How he changed you forever. A couple of weeks ago, while speaking with a friend, she made this comment...
"When we lost William..."
It hit me like a bucket of water. A much needed bucket of water. She wasn't minimizing my grief and wasn't even trying to make a point to me, it was just a natural course of conversation because I'm not the only one who lost him. It wasn't just our family who loved him so dearly. We aren't the only ones who sacrificed for him...who would have done ANYTHING for him.
It really made me think about all my young adult friends and how William's death affected them. And I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that I've been so focused on my own loss and navigating through my grief that I haven't given much thought to what you were going through. I am sorry that you lost a dear, little friend and that at far too young an age you all faced such grief. I am so very thankful that you all have strong family support systems. I know you already know, but I just want to remind you that William loved you all very much. And to thank you for always including him and making him feel so loved. Horses, letters, balls, harmonicas, hospital visits, reading, wrestling, farm animals, legos, singing, parties, and so much more... You all know who you are. Thank you.
Thank you for being there. For being so present through his short life and for loving us through our grief. We're here for you, too. We love you!
Speaking of young adults, I received the most beautiful message earlier this week from a dear, young friend who gently reminded me that he is praying for me. And he wrote this sweet poem and sent it to me...
With trembling lips and tear filled eyes
I started this new day,
It seems that all my earnest cries
Lie silent, bleak and gray.
This aching heart, oh who can know?
This grief and sorrow deep.
This pain, this burden still does grow
My eyes have lost their sleep.
Why does it seem so silent still,
Does no one ever hear?
Will pain alone my life now fill
'Till death and grave draw near?
Oh how I long to see his face,
If only but once more.
To hold him in a tight embrace;
My joy to heaven soar.
But death has taken hold of him
The grave his body took.
The enemy and reaper grim
Gave him their final look.
My thoughts now go to bygone years
When once a mother wept.
She too had many doubts and fears
Laid down, but never slept.
Her Son had suffered more than all
Forsaken He had hung.
He drunk the bitter cup of gall
And dried out was His tongue.
He too was placed within the grave
His body broken lay.
A stone was rolled to close the cave,
A guard watched night and day.
It was His God and Father Who
Did kill His only Son.
He did so that for me and you
Our curse would be undone.
Yet Grave His body could not keep
He rose to life again.
And now though we may mourn and weep
We know, He knows our pain.
My head I now can lift with joy
For I will yet him see.
Death has not triumphed, and my boy
Will rise to victory.
In all my suffering pain and grief
I now have steadfast hope.
My God does hear and grant relief
I once again can cope.
Though weeping may endure the night
And sorrow fill my heart.
Joy cometh with the morning bright.
To God I thanks impart. ~ Roelf Kars Janssen