Yesterday seemed to be a pretty normal day. Woke up at 6:30a and got ready for work, then proceeded to do an hours worth of my reading for grad school. After that, went to work, had a productive day, came home and played tennis with Olivia, and we wrapped the day up by watching a movie together. All-in-all, an enjoyable day. Then we went to bed.
As we got in, Olivia gave her phone one last glance, and I heard her say, “Oh no…this can’t be right.” Immediately I was alarmed. Horrific thoughts naturally ran through my head… “What happened?”
She began to cry and asked me to hold on so she could verify if it were true. It was one of those moments that probably only took a few seconds, but felt as if time halted and an eternity passed. Then she really began to cry…
Twelve years ago I met the Lewis family. I had become friends with a girl in our youth group named Crystal, and man did she have a mouth full of metal, but that was okay; I didn’t hold it against her. Over the course of a few short weeks, we become pretty inseparable. Those kinds of friends who are almost obnoxiously always together. We would hang out at her house, and her mom would make us AMAZING food. Who would have thought that I would learn to love barbacoa?
While Crystal became my best friend, her family became my family. She had two siblings that I very much loved as if they were my own. Zach was the youngest and that kid had some energy. He might have been a tad mischievous, but it was like a Kevin McAlister mischievousness, nothing too serious. Crystan was her sister. She was the middle child, and extremely funny! I had the pleasure of seeing Crystan grow up through her middle and high school years, and I can promise you this: That was an adventure.
I shared a closeness with the family that allowed me the benefit of decorating their Christmas tree each year, and the responsibility of being around for the trying times as well. Life with the Lewis family was a joy and honor to be a part of.
“Olivia what is it?”
She then proceeded to tell me through her tears that Crystan’s son, who was only five months old, had passed away in his sleep.
I simply laid there. Silent. Motionless. Confused.
I’m inherently a processor. My reactions and emotions don’t hit me immediately. I think things over, and while they marinate, I began to have certain realizations about whatever the scenario may be. That too is how this unfolded. My heart was extremely heavy, but I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around this situation yet.
I immediately began to think and pray for Crystan and the rest of the family. If I can’t fathom this, how then could the child’s mother? After all, Hayden was only five months old.
It’s only been a day since this happened, and truthfully, just writing this is finally allowing me to process the event and I felt the Lord lead me to His Word.
I’m not sure if you’ll ever read this, or if anyone will ever read this, but if it makes it your way, these words are for you, Travis and Crystan:
…“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These are just a few of the scriptures that I hope can bring some comfort in such a trying time and this is my prayer for you:
I pray you receive a peace that’s so evident it seems irrational. I pray that at this moment, you fight the temptation to “be strong” and instead of trying to tackle this enormous mountain with your own strength, that you fully rely on God. I pray that Christ’s love be made so evident to you that your faith never wavers. I pray that His love be shown to you through the actions of others. I pray that the memories of Hayden bring comfort and not sorrow. I pray that joy fills your very spirit as you imagine him in heaven and I pray that there is a restfulness in knowing that you will reunite with him one day.
I don’t know how to wrap this up… I don’t know how you end something like this. All I know is that you guys, the entire Lewis family, are on my heart. You are loved by me and many others, but most importantly, you are loved by God. He is ultimately our provider, so don’t even contemplate trying to figure out the financial aspect of this. God will use his people, and that aspect will be taken care of.
For anyone else who happens to read this:
If you feel that nudge in your heart and you would like to help out, a website has been established to give aid in funding the celebration of Hayden’s life.