Steven Kelly, In Memory

In Memory - Steven G. Kelly II -

Two years ago today, my husband’s son was murdered in Las Vegas.  The following is a copy of the impact letter I wrote to the judge for her consideration in sentencing the  man who killed him.

 

I offer this today to Steven’s memory and for those of us who share in the loss of our children. God sees all things.  Nothing escapes His gaze or His righteous judgement.

 

Your Honor;

I am addressing the untimely death of my step son Steven, who was forever taken from us in an act of rage, and outright murder.

Steven was my husband’s son who I met when he was about 9 years old. He was playful, curious and strong, and grew to be an astonishingly handsome man whose looks were striking. His death has created a huge hole in our hearts and also in our lives. Every person within a family has a special place that is only for them. That place is filled by the many ways of who they are. It is not a place filled by great social or societal accomplishment, but in small things that are shared, fun things, silly jokes that no one else “gets”, curious things, the things of laughter and of tears, of struggle and of resolve in things learned, in growing and growing up, things that only touch families. Why? Because we know of each other and are known by each other, creating the intimacy of family that God had in mind when He put us together. When a person is taken from their family that place is forever lost, the family is not what it was while that person was alive and it will never be so again. It has to reform, but is it forever broken. We are broken. The place that was Steven is now empty; it is a giant hole of nothingness and it will never close.

Steven will not be in the car that pulls into the driveway. When our phone rings his voice will not be heard on the other end. There will be no more well wishes on birthdays and holidays. There will be no more food fests and curiosities shared in the kitchen. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, and he was a friend. He was a big brother to my two daughters, especially my youngest – Jessica – who grew quite close to him just before her own death. Steven will not be here to continue to inquire as to how I am in losing her, his condolences are forever lost. His memories that he shared with her and of her will never again be repeated in my ear. In a sense, the loss of her is renewed to me in his death, in his absence. I will not see the blazing intensity of his eyes looking back at me in “those” conversations we often shared of life, of faith of relationship.  As for the future, there will be no grandchildren, no “little Stevies” to run around and carry on and remind us of Steven, his strength, his great looks his beautiful heart and smile.

After his death we met with some friends and neighbors there in Las Vegas who knew him. Every one commented on his helping nature, his great heart, that he was always around to help others despite his own problems or needs. We found those stories greatly encouraging because that was the Steven we knew too. For him was formed the motto “Always had a heart to help others”. We also met with a member of the police department, a field officer, who talked with us about Steven and assured us he was truly trying to work out his problems.

About one year before his death, Steven was diagnosed with Bi-polar. That diagnosis explained to us the suffering that he experienced in his lack of focus, the extremes in behavior, his ups and his downs. It explained to us why he could never just be who he was, or recognize the simple fact that he was hugely loved, a part of a very large family who nearly moved heaven and earth to help him.

He began treatment and  medication and for the first time we saw his focus, his desire to grow, a new ability to work in gainful employment, to settle, to begin to understand on a new level our love for him and how important he was to us as a family member. We saw a deeper relationship forming between us,  longer conversations of encouragement shared on both ends,  of love, courage and support. We had a hope that had not been there before. A hope that was lost the day he died. So again, all that Steven was to us, all that he could have been in the years to come was taken away forever.

How do I explain to you the impact of the loss of a child? It is my second time around. Truly, there are no words good enough, nor paper long enough to express that loss, that grief. It is a loss that will never end, as it is renewed every day upon waking. It is to wonder if why my own heart beats, or why it is necessary to draw in one more breath. How can I possibly go on without that life, that person I once knew who used to look at me, talk to me, laugh with me, and even argue with me? Yes, I miss that too!  It is a loss that is lived out every moment. The excruciating pain that is felt lessens as time passes, but it never heals. The emptiness from the hole in all of our lives, and in our hearts that was Steven will always be there. No one can take it away, no one can fill it – ever.

When I have tears and grieve over his death, they are not just for me, they are for the entire family. The grief I feel is for my beloved husband Steve, it is in my knowing first hand the horror of losing a child, the pain, the loss, the endless questioning of “why”.  It is in looking in his eyes and knowing the heart that I love suffers as I had suffered. I cry tears for him because I completely understand, I feel it with him, I walk it out with him every day. The grief is for Steven’s mother Kathy, whose own grief sent me to the floor on numerous occasions, again, knowing firsthand what she felt the shock, the horror, in our first conversation over the phone, more tears than words. Grief shared of our lost son…her son…their child…Steve and Kathy’s…their heartbeat. It is the initial shock and horror continued with the repeated loss, grief, tears of others, people who I love and who love me. People who loved Steven now with a loss that will never end.

When the Lord said, “You shall not murder” He did so in His great wisdom. Life is His to give and His to take. He knew the endless suffering that would come to families, to those who love and who are loved, at the hands of a murderer.

Your Honor, I thank you for your time and consideration.

M’Kayla Kelly
Vancouver, WA

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Be encouraged. What about that bottle of tears?

The words of our Lord are precious and bring life to our drained souls. Blessed be His name and may you know this Lord who’s promised –

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

We all love to ponder about God saving our tears in a bottle, but we never quite got the meaning. Now we can.

PJ Miller at Sola Dei Gloria had this to say

Psalm 56:8 – Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? (link)

thanks PJ!

In Memory of David Wilkerson

David Wilkerson was killed in an auto accident today in Texas.

His last blog today, April 27.
WHEN ALL MEANS FAIL by David Wilkerson | April 27, 2011

To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).

Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.

Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.

That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”

Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”

Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.

His Church, Times Square, NY

Pastor David Wilkerson
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Pastor David Wilkerson

It is with deepest of sadness that we have to inform you of the sudden passing of Reverend David Wilkerson, our founding pastor.

As the details of the family’s wishes are made known we will relay them to you on this website.

There will be a memorial service at Times Square Church at a date yet to be determined. It will be streamed live to give an opportunity for all to participate.

Pastor David Wilkerson’s was a life fully given for the glory of God and souls of men. He was greatly loved and he will be greatly missed.

Our prayers are with the family and we as a church body are committed to standing with them at this time of sorrow.


Pastor Carter Conlon

P.S. Please do not call the church as we will be inundated with calls. For more information, please refer back to this website.

A Witch’s Invitation

I’m feeling a little dramatic…

Years ago my daughter Jessica used to be in a mime/drama group called Christ in Action along with a very dear friend’s daughter. Together they reenacted this dramatic piece of Carman’s, A Witch’s Invitation.

This video brings back those happy moments which now seem more like another lifetime than they do memories of this one.

In honor of her passing 9 years ago (April 27), and in the hope that I will see for myself her name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life…

and as a testament that Satan is not the victor in her passing…

nor in the passing of the daughter’s mother that same year…

what else can I add, but the most important factor  – Christ’s meaning from the cross “It is Finished!!!”…

indulge me a moment – – 

and then give a shout. He is victorious in all things! 

(and I really hope that burns the devil’s butt tonight!)

A Prayer of the Afflicted

Psalm 102

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the LORD.

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD,
And let my cry come to You.
2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day that I call, answer me speedily.

3 For my days are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the sound of my groaning
My bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
7 I lie awake,
And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.

8 My enemies reproach me all day long;
Those who deride me swear an oath against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And mingled my drink with weeping,
10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath;
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
11 My days are like a shadow that lengthens,
And I wither away like grass.

12 But You, O LORD, shall endure forever,
And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.
13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
14 For Your servants take pleasure in her stones,
And show favor to her dust.
15 So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD,
And all the kings of the earth Your glory.
16 For the LORD shall build up Zion;
He shall appear in His glory.
17 He shall regard the prayer of the destitute,
And shall not despise their prayer.

18 This will be written for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.
19 For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary;
From heaven the LORD viewed the earth,
20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner,
To release those appointed to death,
21 To declare the name of the LORD in Zion,
And His praise in Jerusalem,
22 When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.

23 He weakened my strength in the way;
He shortened my days.
24 I said, “O my God,
Do not take me away in the midst of my days;
Your years are throughout all generations.
25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
26 They will perish, but You will endure;
Yes, they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will change them,
And they will be changed.
27 But You are the same,
And Your years will have no end.
28 The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”

Graveside Hate Mongering

Washington (CNN) — A Kansas church known for its angry, anti-gay protests at funerals of U.S. troops won an appeal Wednesday at the Supreme Court in a case testing the competing constitutional rights of free speech and privacy.

In an 8-1 ruling, the justices said that members of Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars. The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority.

At issue was a delicate test between the privacy rights of grieving families and the free speech rights of demonstrators, however disturbing and provocative their message. Several states have attempted to impose specific limits on when and where the church members can protest.

The church, led by pastor Fred Phelps, believes God is punishing the United States for “the sin of homosexuality” through events including soldiers’ deaths. Members have traveled the country shouting at grieving families at funerals and displaying such signs as “Thank God for dead soldiers,” “God blew up the troops” and “AIDS cures fags.”

Read the rest: Anti Gay Protest

People, people I cannot believe our government has approved such atrocious and evil behavior! I cannot imagine having to endure this at my child’s funeral. What have we become?? This is NOT Christianity, this is NOT what the first amendment is about – this is not even human! A funeral is not a place of protest!

How is it that pastors who rightfully and lovingly warn against the sin of homosexuality and its consequences in their churches are being silenced, yet this obviously outright hate speech is allowed to take place? I thought we honored fallen soldiers for selflessly giving their lives for our freedom! Some freedom!

God is not killing these soldiers, bullets are killing them. America, and it’s war-mongering and its need to control the world is what is taking the lives of our young men and women. It is not the work of our Father God! Fred Phelps and his followers do not represent Him. They represent a god of their understanding, one who is as vengeful and as hate-filled as they are – someone or some thing who is no god at all.

If God is judging gay military personnel by killing them, then what will He do with those who come in His name and misrepresent Him to the world? We are all sinners and we are all in need of repentance every day.

My heart goes out to the family members of the fallen soldiers who have endured such senseless cruelty. Sadly, we will see more of it as the meaning of our constitution is broadened by representatives who have no backbone to stand for the truth.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

In Memory of Mamma K.

In  Memory of Evelyn Kelly, truly a beloved Mother, Grandmother and Friend.

My husband’s mother passed last night. She was ready to leave. I keep thinking of a line from a movie “A lady always knows when it’s time to leave”.

I believe she is in the arms of Jesus today, surrounded by her husband, and her two grandchildren –Steven and Jessica. They are in that place created by God where there is no more suffering or sorrow or tears.

We spoke Jesus to these that we loved and now they see Him face to face. This can be a time of sorrow but for me it is another “splat! right into the wall” moment, to know they see what I can only speak of and wait patiently for . I choose the hope of Christ!

This is her pictured with my husband and our mini-doxie Kara on the Washington coast taken a few years ago. It was a perfect day.

When You Can’t Be Sure Where That Loved One Is…

I was very much touched by this writing and wanted to share it with you all. So this is for all- for we all suffer loss of a loved ones in our lives. The pain is there regardless of who they were.  We know that nothing can take their place in our lives; that void is deep and long. Praise to the One – Jesus Christ – who holds us together during those times. Let us hold to the promise that grief is only for a time; an eternity of joy awaits at His coming.   Maranatha!

From Redeemed Hippie’s Blog here

“Mama, are you going to die tonight?”
“No, not tonight.”
“What about Daddy? Is he going to die tonight?”
“No.”
“When? When are you all going to die?”
“Doll Baby, we all have to die sometime. But Daddy and I are not going to die tonight. Hush, now. Go to sleep. I’m here.”

Every night it was the same conversation. Each time, my mother was patient sitting on my bedside, waiting for me to go to sleep before she left the room.

I was just a babe back then and outgrew her bedtime assurances. But the fear of her death haunted me all my life.

If I had only thought to ask my mother the same questions the last time I saw her back in October. Could she have told me? Would she have told me she was getting ready to die?

For months, I have asked myself where is my mother? Night time; bedtime is the worst time. I see her face and remember her voice, laughter and oh there is so much I remember. I can no longer pick up the phone and hear her voice giving me that instant assurance that she is alright. Where is she, God?

Painful words to have to speak – but I say them anyway — for they are true; the day will come when it will not matter to me where she is.

But for now, it is a type of torment to wonder where a loved one is after leaving this earth. See, a few weeks before she died, she and I were talking about the things of God. Well, at least I was trying to. She had brought the subject up and I tried to take it to salvation. She was getting irritated. And even told me, “Maybe, I’m going to hell.” She said it kind of angry and kind of bitter. I felt something like ice go through me and a wall went up. How Lord do I respond to this? I had no words. So we dropped the subject.

I did not know what she knew at the time…that her heart was at 40 percent capacity. I did not know the things she must have had on her mind. But God knew. No doubt, she was afraid and she was preparing to meet her Maker. She was not sounding a trumpet. It was as personal as the God she believed in. Most of her generation is like that: strong, silent, independent and determined.

We had talked many times over the past few years about salvation. She knew it was not church that saved anyone. She knew it was not being good enough that gave you entrance to heaven. She knew it was not having your name on a membership roll. She knew all these things. She knew that it was what Jesus did on the cross.

My mother was not someone I could fellowship with. The God she believed in was a personal God. As a precious sister pointed out to me: Our parent’s generation belief in God was personal. They didn’t sound trumpets. They just believed.

I’m glad my mother did not have to contend with false teachers of the past few decades. She would have been believing in a jesus contrary to the Word of God. She knew a phony when she saw one and no way would she have acted a fool by getting drunk in the spirit, barking like a dog, clucking like a chicken, smoking the Holy Ghost or trying to have her best life now. Surely, if she had been a follower of any of the modern day heretics, I would have some real cause of alarm. Her belief in God was simple:  Jesus died on a cross for us and we can only hope we go to heaven.

More than once — in my self-righteousness – I would tell her, “But Mom, we can have full assurance.”  I understand now. I understand what she meant. Too many times, we take salvation for granted.

We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself, I’ve had some fear and trembling the past few months. Yet, still not enough or I would find it in myself to repent for every wrong thought or thing I do. Like my mother before me, I fall upon the mercy of God.

God is not a fair God. It was not fair that His only begotten Son had to die for MY sins. Yet, at the same time, God is a just God. He sees all and knows all. All through her life, He saw my mother’s heart. The past few months of her life, He knew what was in her. He saw how she was preparing herself to meet Him. Looking back, even I can see it now. If I had not been so wrapped up in what I believed was going to take place in the world at the time, I may have seen it then. But I didn’t see it and as one friend told me: “It was probably meant that way. If you had known, I don’t think you could have handled it.”

So, I lay in bed and wonder. I ask God, where is she? I get no answer. All I get is; when we see Him face to face we shall be like Him. That is when it will not matter to me anymore.

When we become just like Him, we will have the justice of God so ingrained in us that any preceived notions of what we believe to be right and wrong will no longer matter.

Did you know that in hell there is love? Yes, it is true. The rich man who asked Abraham to give him just a drop of water also begged him tell his loved ones about the place he was in. He loved them so such that he did not want them there with him!

I have comforted myself the past few months in remembering the last few weeks of her life. A subtle change had taken place in her. She became kind of sweet. Kind of soft. She still had her days of not feeling well, days of being stubborn as a mule and spunky to the point that her children did not know how to deal with her, but it was if a part of her had resigned herself in trusting something greater than herself and greater than those around her.

I have comforted myself the past few months in remembering not how good of a person my mother was. But in the fact that she knew the simple truth: Jesus is the perfect sacrifice.

One thing I do know — no matter where she is — if she could speak to me, she would tell me: Tell them. Tell my children and all those who loved me the truth. Tell all of humanity. Tell them about Jesus. Tell them the truth.

Until that day, when I see my Savior and Redeemer face-to-face, I will always wonder where loved ones are, after they depart from this earth.  But until then, I continue to comfort myself with this thought: When I can not understand His hand, I will trust His heart.

His heart for my mother was this: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. — Jeremiah 29:11,12 –

I can not help but believe that the last few weeks of my mother’s life she called upon the Lord in ways that she never had before. She was a strong gutsy woman full of vim and vinegar. Yet, she reached a point in her life where nothing and no one else would do, but God. A place where we all will reach sooner or later.

It has taken me months to write this. I still have not done the truth justice. Someday, when we see Him face-to-face, when we will be like Him, ALL things will be revealed. But until then, I will trust in Him. His ways are higher than mine and He is perfect in all of His ways.

My mother was right. We have such a beautiful hope in God. His mercies are new every morning. Our life truly is but a vapor. Nothing really matters but the truth. The truth is God loved my mother, saw her heart in all things, knew her inside and out, and He IS a righteous judge of us all.

May God be exalted in times of grief!

Faith Healing Casualty

Parents Jeffrey and Marci Beagley of Oregon sentenced to serve time in connection with son’s death!

OREGON CITY — Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Steven Maurer sentenced Jeffrey and Marci Beagley to 16 months in prison this afternoon, calling the couple’s decision to not seek medical care for their 16-year-old son, Neil Beagley, “a crime that was a product of an unwillingness to respect the boundaries of freedom of religious expression”.

Who wants to end up this way? Is it enough to suffer the death of a beloved child and then to be found guilty in that death? I cannot imagine the pain, the guilt and suffering they will face in the months and years to come. Certainly, my heart goes out to them. What a horrific price to pay to find out too late the scriptural truth taught in excesses by these word of faith “healers” do not work.

Another warning to pay attention to what we are taught and who and what we allow ourselves to believe in. Jesus healed all who He laid hands on to show He is God. And tho He still heals through prayer and His sovereign will, He does not heal everyone. We aren’t given reasons for that. God’s ways are not our own. Anyone coming with a solution or a reason that a healing does not “manifest” (a lack of faith or lack of enough faith, failure to realize a true ability to be healed, healing is a right given to us, sickness and disease is a curse that needs to be broken, etc.)  is a liar before God.

It is a very good thing to have the medical care that we have in the US. It is pure ignorance and stupidity taught by these word of faith healers that we or our loved ones only need to “believe” and we will never need a doctor’s help. We are NOT promised divine health and healing at salvation.

Believe this – those who teach these lies of divine health go to doctors and dentists, wear glasses, take medication for their high blood pressure or insulin for their diabetes. They have all kinds of medical procedures done to them and their loved ones. One day they will all die as their bodies wear out.  Before that they will suffer various end life ailments and even wear corrective eye lenses and hearing aides. Many of them will die of illness or incurable disease. And even before their own death comes many would have lived lives of luxury from all those believers who gladly paid them to perform or to teach them such miracles. But, die they will. And guess why? Because sin equals physical death for us all and there is no getting around it. Romans 6:23

Again, if you or someone you love is involved in a healing ministry, if you are being taught in a church or para church organization that divine healing is yours, you are following a false teacher. Get out from them and into the word. Get the focus off the illness and on to God for His will in your life.

This situation or one similar can happen to any of us who are untaught and unstable in the word of God.

…just like—that…

Well, maybe I have put this off long enough in wondering if I want to write about my emotions, the shock that is still with me (us) in losing Steven, and all the old buried emotions and memories of losing Jessica. Two deaths of two children 10 years apart in age, nearly 8 years apart in death. Steven and Jessica loved each other, not early on, but in the later years, the time just before her death. And how he cried for her, even lately, even he could not understand why she died and he lived.  Two children-one son, one daughter died very similar deaths, similar injuries, similar reasons with very similar birthdays, his February 9th and hers February 10th. And for all the facts I can put together there still is no reasoning why these two had to die. Stupid choices made by another in the heat of the moment, one is in jail, one is not. Head injuries – irreparable damage resulting in quick deaths. Only One could keep them alive, yet in His good reasoning chose not to.  I found a picture of them talking face to face at my grandmother’s funeral taken only a couple of weeks before Jessica died.  As I looked, the picture told me they had been conniving, together forming a plan to leave us then. We, as a family agreed it was so, it had to be that way.  It brought us peace to agree.

I put my mother on the plane this morning and wondered if I would see her again. We never know when will be our last conversation, our last hug, or even our last argument. Those we love are taken from us so quickly and without warning, more times than we think about. Yesterday I read the  news of a hiker who had fallen into the mouth of Mount St. Helens while posing for a photograph. The land beneath him gave away and he fell 1500 feet to his death. No warning. Not for him or for those who loved him. Just gone like— that, just that quickly.

And so it was for our son and our daughter. I was Steven’s step mother. I am not saying that to separate myself, but to give place to the respect of his mother as I believe that position is very important. Maybe more so in death than in life, but for reasons I cannot explain to you.  I heard his mother cry out in her grief in the loss of knowing she will never see her baby again and that is all she wanted, would give anything, go anywhere, do anything just for the chance to make this thing wrong death thing right, to again bring life back to her child. And that grief was mine – for a moment it made she and I one. And in his death, having already known first hand the loss of the death of a child that maybe only a mother can experience and the willingness to do anything, go anywhere to make this death thing right, but being granted only a black and stony silence in the response. It is dark, it is nothing short of hell as we know it this side of life. And there are no rose colored glasses to help paint a nicer picture. All that these two precious people were to us, their family and their friends, all that they could have become is forever lost. There will be no children borne through them to carry on their names, their smiles, their deep blue eyes or their laughter or hugs. All of it gone just like—that.

And so, as “deep cries out to deep” I can only trust in the love and peace my Father, our Father has to offer me (us) in the hope of a better day. A day when the pain will not be so intense, a day when my thoughts come back to me, a day when the memories of those loved and lost will no longer rip a hole in my spirit, but instead offer a giggle in my heart for their love, the laughter that we shared, and the peace that will come in the knowledge that they were only mine (ours) for a time.  I long for the day I see them again and there will be no more tears, no more loss, no more confusion or pain. But in that day, a brighter smile through clearer eyes. For what we see now in part we will know then face to face.

Thank you for all of your wonderful prayers and words of encouragement. They have meant more to us than words can express. We can feel them like a presence, like a warm comforter wrapped around an otherwise crazed world.  I cannot kick against this. For whatever reason, the Lord has allowed these deaths. It may sound very simple, maybe too simple, but I must say this here as I have said it aloud  – the Father knew they were going to die and He allowed it. So, the One who sees the beginning of all things to the very end, the One who knows all of the ins and outs and in-betweens has found reason for these two deaths to take place in our world, He has again allowed our lives to shatter.  So, I resign myself to His love and His ways as I again remind myself that His ways are not my own, but much higher and with greater purpose. As much as I can in this moment of life, I resolve in my spirit to live by His.

In loving memory of our precious children

Steven Gordon Kelly II and Jessica Nicole Brown