Over the past week and a half there have been several events that have taken place that have hit my heart. They have all been far away yet close to me. Although I haven’t been in the midst of the storms, the storms have been close enough that they have sparked more prayers and more time with God.

The first was finding out that Tony Markgraf, Derek Markgraf’s dad, passed away. As most of you know, Derek and I dated through most of high school. His family, Dad especially, really took me in. I was just a high school student. It wasn’t something that had to be done, but they did it. They made me feel welcomed and loved. Looking back on that time, I realize just how privileged I was to have been close to them. I have since learned that there aren’t many Tony’s out there in the world. There aren’t many that will put his/her family before others and Christ ultimately first. There aren’t many that teach their children to respect others & respect themselves. And there aren’t many that have so much genuinely kind words spoken of him/her when he/she passes. It was humbling to hear his children speak of him after his death. You would think he was a super hero. And the words didn’t stop there. They flowed freely from everyone that I heard talk about him.

The second thing that hit my heart was another death. Jeremiah Mitchell, a guy I went to high school with, passed away suddenly on Saturday. He was 30 years old and left behind a wife and four children. I didn’t know Jeremiah well. We were just acquaintances in band. What I did know is that he loved life. He was such a fun guy to be around. His favorite hobby in band, or so it seemed, was to get under Mr. Bradford’s skin. That was fun to watch, too. Sorry, Mr. Bradford! Knowing that, would you think Mr. Bradford would show up at Jeremiah’s visitation? He did. That is how much Jeremiah was loved. When you saw him, you smiled. Mostly because it was him who smiled and spoke first.

The third is a friend’s sister. She found out last night that she was having a miscarriage. She went in this morning to the doctor to discuss options.

These three things have humbled me and taught me life lessons in more ways than I can blog about. The first is to live my life so that I impact others for the greater good, so that people can easily see God in my life. The second is to love life every minute. Be a blessing to those around me & bring happiness through smiles and pure joy. Love while I’m here to love, and remember that I’m not guaranteed tomorrow…or the rest of today. The last, is to remember that life won’t always be as good as it is this moment. There will be heartaches. That is a given. So, hold those close & be thankful for what I have today.

These things have constantly been on my mind for the last week and a half. Well, actually, it all started a week and a half ago & has kept piling up. I don’t even live in the same town as any of these people or their families. However, miles away, they have taught me so much in just one week.

Please pray for these families. They are in the midst of the storms. Pray that they will be comforted by God and that He will be their guide and strength. I can’t imagine being a family member in any of these situations. I can’t imagine the devastation & pain that they are feeling. I can pray & will continue to do so. Please pray, too.


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