In a week that has seen bright young lives lost when they felt there was no hope, that was the message from the father of one of those young men named Reid Adler.
You can learn more about Reid’s short but full life here. He was loved and loving, and abounded with friends. But in a moment not knowing how to deal with a difficult situation, he took his life.
Thousands of people came to the visitation and funeral, and only by the power of God his parents stood before the church and eulogized their son. But even more importantly, they reached out with Christ’s love to all of the hurting and grieving people in that room. You can see their special eulogy that celebrated Reid’s life, but even more – encouraged others to lean on Jesus when life seems hopeless. Their message is powerful.
As a parent, I can’t imagine having the power to stand in front of a crowd and encourage those attending a funeral for my son. It was only with Jesus’ supernatural power and love that they could do that. That was the last word that Reid’s father talked about. God wins – and God brings us hope and life eternal. Even when we despair, we can know we are NEVER alone.
The beautiful Kat Pflug, a college student and member of Beautiful Savior, wrote so eloquently about a similar loss this past week in her life. Her beautiful words need to be heard. With her permission, I share them with you today.
This weekend, my family lost a beloved son, brother, nephew, and cousin. Drew Lienemann took his own life in a moment and frame of mind that none of his family here on earth will ever understand. The pain of Drew’s death is still fresh in our hearts, yet we are determined to use this tragedy to help others.
Drew was a wonderful young man.
He was respected, liked, athletic, and kind.
Drew was successful.
He was an excellent athlete, an intelligent student, and did well at almost everything he tried.
Drew was loved. He had a circle of friends. He had teammates. He had teachers. He had sisters and parents and relations that loved him.
Drew was strong. He supported countless friends, helped others whenever he could, and asked for no recognition.
I tell you these things not just to praise my cousin but to help people see that even the strongest of people, the most loved people, the most successful people, can fall victim to their own minds. None of us is perfect, and none of us can combat such an enemy on our own.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please, reach out to someone. Know that you are loved more than you can imagine both by those on earth and the Father above. Know that no one can walk this road alone, not even the strongest young man I’ve ever known. As Drew’s father, Dan, said “Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.”
God did not put you on this earth to live in agony. He put you on this earth to share His love and His promise of life eternal with everyone you meet. God does not want you to live in pain. Trust in Him, trust in His plan, and trust that you are not alone.
Drew’s parents even spoke with the media to encourage those who are struggling with hopelessness, depression or thoughts of suicide that there is ALWAYS hope. Read their story here.
If you remember one thing today, remember this: you are a child of God and are loved with an everlasting love. And that ALWAYS brings hope, and the last word – eternal life with him. Lean on Him today.