What do you say when someone in your life passes away? Is there really words?
This past week we had a family member pass away from cancer. It, of course, is painful but it is also a relief.
Daniel was Adam's cousin and he was a GREAT guy. I met Daniel 11 years ago when Adam and I got together and I liked him from the beginning. Since Adam joined the Army and we have moved around a lot we weren't able to see Daniel and his wife Erin all that much, but when we did we all had a great time together enjoying one another's company. Adam recounted the other day that even though as adults he and Dan didn't see each other often, there isn't hardly a childhood memory that doesn't include them together.
The best physical thing about Daniel was his laugh. Such a unique, room filling contagious laugh. He was known for it and it was great. But by far the BEST thing about Daniel
was is his love for his Lord and Savior. His passion for Christ was inspiring and his constant faith in Him was unwavering.
When someone gets cancer so young you think they are going to bounce back like they were. That they will beat it and go on. That's not always the case. Daniel had a hard 4+ year battle. His form of cancer devoured his internal structure and made everything, even breathing, hard to do. To see such a strong, virile man become something else is hard. But Dans devotion to Christ was strong and he and his wife both believed that God IS in control. That He IS sovereign and knows what He is doing. Daniel always had the attitude that yes I would like to stay, but if God wants me to go I'm ready. I'm His.
It's hard to fathom being married for less than 6 years and your spouse being taken from you. Not only that but only having 6 months of marriage before your life of hospitals begins. Erin is amazing! God truly pared these two up and they were perfect for one another. Erin herself is a pillar of strength through Christ and I truly can't imagine how someone so young can be so strong. She will always tell you through Christ alone.
The other day Adam and I were recalling the first time he met Erin. I had met her previously but he had been gone. We all went out to dinner and spent hours recalling childhood stories, each of our love stories and picking at each others quirks. When we left that night I remember Adam saying she is such a sweet girl and perfect for Dan! That couldn't be more true. How could anyone know what they were about to face. God did.
Death is always hard. The one thing that makes this easier is we know that Daniel is with his Savior today. Standing worshiping in His glory. We know that Daniel is a Christ follower and know that he can see his Lord face to face with no more pain. No more suffering. No more uncertainty in the future. Glory hallelujah!
It is hard to be without our loved ones here on earth. There is an ache in our hearts. BUT what a comfort we have in Christ! To know that He is our hope. Not this life. He is our refuge. Not any one person. He is the answer to our pain and suffering and He is the answer to eternal Joy!
Prayers are still needed for Daniel's family. His mother and father are having a very difficult time loosing their son. And Erin is now a young widow. If you are a Christ follower and would like to pray for the Eppinette family please do so. Christ CAN heal all wounds. He tells us to cry out to Him and He will hear us!
If you would like to read about Daniel's story please go here.
5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.