It’s been one year since the day you peacefully departed earth and entered a place that can only be described as paradise. I find myself daydreaming about the glory and wonder you must be experiencing. To be in the presence of God must be overwhelming. The sounds and melodies of heavenly worship must be captivating. The rewards for your humble and obedient life must be so fulfilling. Oh, how I long to experience these things with you one day.
Life without you is harder than I imagined it would be. I miss you every day, more and more. I sit in your office and meet with people. I thumb through your library as I prepare the messages each week. I stand on your stage to communicate the grace and truth of Jesus. Your example of how to be a husband, father, pastor, leader, and follower of Jesus is literally all around me. And for that I am so grateful.
A lot has happened in the last year. Inland Hills continues to thrive. We have so many new faces coming each week. Our last class for new members was the largest in IHC history. I know that would make you proud. Hundreds have accepted Christ and been baptized this year. We are having conversations right now of expanding our campus and how to reach more people. What you started 25 years ago is still making an impact around the world.
Kayla and I welcomed a brand new baby boy into the family this year. His name is Brave. I can’t wait to tell him one day about his Papa. The other boys are growing so fast. Smith talks about you all the time. He is fascinated with Heaven and constantly asks me when we can go see you. Oh, we moved into a new home this year—more space for the boys to be boys. I miss the little things that you’d be helping me with around the house, but I know you’d be proud of us.
Austin and Paige are thriving in their careers. Paige keeps getting more beautiful every time she comes home to visit. I feel very protective of her. Her poor future husband will have to really impress her brothers. Austin is traveling the world with his video camera. He just bought his first home and will move in this January. Don’t worry. I’ll show him the ropes and make sure he doesn’t burn the place down!
Mom misses you a lot—more than I think you anticipated she would. I can see the hurt and grief in her eyes. I also see her love and appreciation for you as she laughs, cries, and shares stories. She is taking it one day at a time right now. I’m proud of her for not giving up and hiding from life. God has an amazing next chapter for her life, but she too longs to be with you again.
Thousands of people miss you and feel eternally grateful for your life, leadership, and example. Their stories and memories make me so proud to be your son and continue your legacy. Life here is good, but not the same without you. I know you probably won’t read this; you have something far better capturing your attention. This was for me. I miss you and love you.
See you soon!
P.S. The Lakers are still terrible, but the Clippers still can’t figure out how to win a championship. You wouldn’t believe who is running for President. However, Los Angeles finally got an NFL team. Go Rams!