For all of you who have kept Ragan and her husband Ben in your prayers- thank you. It's with a heavy heart that I share the news that he is no longer with us in this world. Ben went missing Wednesday morning sometime between 5:30-7am, and was found just after midnight on Thursday night. Although I have only talked to Ragan via email, I am told that she is holding up incredibly well right now. I'm not surprised. Ragan is deeply rooted in her faith, and I know that is helping her push through the day to day challenges. The weeks and months in the future is when she will need love, support, and encouragement... and I have no doubt that the people who love her will take care of her.
Lauren McQuiston Martinez (aka Friend Face or McQ-nez) and I are driving down to Baton Rouge tonight and will be driving back to Dallas tomorrow. We'll make it in time for the visitation, and will get on the road right after the funeral. It's going to be a short trip, but both of us feel strongly about being there... to be there for our friend, and for the opportunity to be with our friends as well. Losing Ben has shaken a lot of us to the core, and I think it will do our hearts good to be with each other.
I know many of you have never met Ragan but have kept her in your prayers this weekend- thank you. Your support is amazing, and is lifting her up to a good place. If anyone wants her contact information, please let me know and I will forward it along.
Many of my friends have turned to their faith this past weekend as they search for answers, and one quote has repeatedly been mentioned. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understandings, In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3: 5-6 I don't know how easy it would be for me to trust the Lord if I lost Layne, but Ragan's belief, ability to trust, and commitment to her faith is inspiring. I want to be the type of person who can let go of the need to control and understand why things happen. Suffering is such a hard concept to come to peace with. Grieving is such a painful process.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. We don't understand the why's or how's. We may not get the answers our heart is looking for. But I believe that someday, one day, we'll be able to look back at our time of deepest pain, when we feared we had been abandoned, and we will see the Lord working in our lives. We will know that it was at that time he held us closest.
To Ragan- I love you. My heart aches for you. I cannot imagine your pain and suffering, but I know you will be okay. I trust that the Lord will lead you to peace and happiness.
To Ben- I believe I will see you in Heaven in one day. I don't know why you left us, or what the circumstances were, but you will be missed by your loved ones. Don't worry- they're in good hands.
To Layne- If I ever had a reason to lay off and cut you some slack, this is it. I love you, and thank God for everyday we have together. This situation is just another reminder that everyday we have together is a gift.
And to all my family and friends- If I don't say it enough... I love you. I cherish the relationships that we share. I may talk to some of you everyday. Some of you I may catch up with once a month. Either way, I value what we share so much. Because of each of you, I have been changed for good. Thank you for the role you play in my life.
There is always a little good that comes from something bad. I'm looking forward to my road trip with McQ, even though she'll be sleeping through most of our car ride. And tonight, it looks like I'll get to see my family. We're getting together after the visitation, because today is a very special day.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FAJ PAJ! I love you Dad, and can't wait to give you a hug tonight!