(Originally posted on June 13, 2011):
This is, obviously, a very personal post written to our friends, so please don’t pass it along into the public domain…
The last 24 hours of our trip in Africa has been a time of deep grief in the midst of God’s huge comfort.
For the second time in two months our 23-year-old son (Brooks’ step-son) took an overdose of Tylenol with the express intent of ending his life. This time he was successful.
On Saturday Tim passed into heaven.
Brooks and I are both taking great comfort in several things. First, in remembering the day that Timmy was baptized when he was much younger. As a young adult he has led a headstrong life that has included drugs which severely added to his mental illness, yet we always knew that he knew His savior. Then, in the last two months of his life, while he was recovering from his first overdose, we had so many opportunities to share our love for him, to hear him express his love for us, and I had the chance to pray with him many times. Finally, during the last 24 hours of his life he was cared for wonderfully by his sister (my daughter, Sarah) and her husband, Will. Will prayed with Tim several times while he was still conscious and asked him to reach out to God and call on the name of Jesus, Tim squeezed his hand. I believe Tim has called out to God many times and was not resistant to the love of Jesus, but somehow the trials of this world were more than he could endure. We both have an overwhelming sense that Tim is, at last, safe and at peace. We both know that, because of the struggles of the last several years, this is a great relief to him.
We feel privileged to serve a God who, in His own very unique and often mysterious way, holds us and our loved ones firmly, deliberately, and faithfully in His grip no matter how it sometimes looks to us along the way!
So, as you can imagine, both grief and comfort. In fact, we find that our tears are sometimes from the loss of knowing that we will never see, touch, or hug Tim again in this life, and sometimes from gratitude for the wonderful way God has reached out to Tim.
With this latter comes the vision of the reality of a Gospel that is more than Good News, but life itself: life that transcends this world and even death. Despite the pain we feel, I do have to say, that this vision of the reality of the Gospel is shining brighter and putting more fire in our hearts than ever before.
Thank you so much for your prayers that sustains us through it all!