But so much love.
I was thinking about the first day that I met Joe Houston. It was the day of our church Easter Festival. His mom, Glyndell and I struck up a conversation and I loved her immediately. Her gentle spirit and gorgeous smile resonated within my heart and I called her family from the first moment. I met Asher, Big John, and then, finally, my precious friend Joe...the one in the hat. :) I loved him that very first day. I could see in his eyes that the transition from San Diego to Corpus was a difficult one for him, but it was where the Lord had called him and so he went. We stood in the drizzle talking about life and love and God's plan and I was already looking forward to our next meeting.
I left that day with my heart opened wide for this man with so much promise. I saw in him a bright spark of hope that the Lord keeps his promises and offers us so much in return to the little we give. But Joe Houston wasn't a giver of little...he was a giver of much. He loved fully, encouraged gently, teased constantly, and laughed often.
That laugh is the laugh I dreamed of that first night we searched
for him. I prayed earnestly for a different outcome. I prayed passionately that we would be reunited with our joyful friend. I prayed, prayed, prayed.
But the Lord's ways are not my ways.
And so I grieve. I grieve OUR loss. For Joe is in the presence of the King. Oh how he must pity us, because we are living in the land of the dead...and he is living in the land of the King. While there are many disturbing after effects that we must deal with in this season of pain, I take great pleasure in knowing that my charming friend is rejoicing in the kingdom. I take great joy in knowing Joe has peace.
But still I grieve.
For these things are never easy.
And yet we must champion forth for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thank you for your prayers, my sweet friends. They have lifted us to great heights. The Lord has never left us, and though we feel great pain, we continue to love and give praises.
Please continue to pray for Joe's family. The heartbreak is very great, but they continue to shine and teach me so much. Yes, they shine.
Knowing Lt. John Joseph Houston....it truly was a blessed opportunity. And I praise you, Lord.