"I lift up my eyes to the mountains--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." - Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)
April 3rd is a day that I always write, remember, reflect and share. I do these things because I feel it is imperative that the world knows Brady's amazing legacy and message. I can hardly fathom that it has been 11 years since he has been gone. My heart aches for his loss still but it rejoices in the fact that we serve a God that conquered death and lives in victory so that we can have the most beautiful of reunions one day. What a glorious day that will be. When I lived in Arkansas, I always visited his grave on this day. When I moved to Colorado, I miss that time to go reflect and just "be." Blogging has been my out and I feel the words I write cannot adequately convey all that I want to about Brady. He was the perfect example of practicing what you preach, loving people and Jesus were his passions and he followed Him so fervently, at even the most tender teenage years, that I feel he lived more life than most will in a lifetime. He shot it to you straight but loved you all the while. He was a leader.
I was talking to a good friend this week about the process of grieving a friend. It's something that you will never prepare yourself for or imagine yourself going through. But just as Psalm 121:1-2 states, my help came from God. He helped me to see the light in the darkness, the beauty in the rubble and He has given me the strength to step out and live a life that I know Brady would be proud of... one with his purpose of "Love God. Love People." I hope I make him proud and that I do his legacy justice.
Today, I had the extreme blessing of spending this hard day with my best friend, Sarah, who knew and loved Brady like I did. She experienced and walked through that immense loss along with me. We sat around this morning talking about Brady: things he loved, how he lived his life, how he impacted ours and how there is no way to really describe him perfectly. I loved that precious time today, for I know Sarah looks at her life as living Brady's purpose too. We spent the day at the Royal Gorge and taking in the magnificent views of Cañon City and I couldn't help but to think of God's majesty and how much it commanded Brady's life. How blessed am I that I knew Brady and I get to share his legacy with others, so that they too may know Christ's love?! Brady sought after Christ with his whole heart and longed for everyone to know him on such an intimate level. He was ready to "charge hell with a water pistol." I pray everyday that I can be a "Brady," just his sweet Mom asked both Sarah and I to do on the day of his visitation. "Love God. Love People," has been a phrase that Sarah and I will never forget, as many others do not, so that we will always "be a Brady." Sarah has this tattooed on her arm in Greek. I love it.
I ask that you take up Brady Hooper's purpose in life to "Love God. Love People." Life is too short to not care about the souls of the people around you and to the ends of the Earth. Life is too short to not love God with every fiber of your being that He created and experience His abundant mercy and forgiveness. I ask that you pray and think about Brady's beautiful family tonight. His parents, Greg and Sara Lu, are so incredibly precious and dear to Jon and I, as I know they are to Sarah and Michael and many families that they have touched. I remember as I hugged Bro. Greg at Brady's visitation that he said "God gives and He takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." I've never had a bigger or deeper lesson in faith and God's mercy than I did in that moment. Where does my help come from... in the moments where the grief is too much... when the pain is too deep... and the road seems impossible? It comes from God, who gives and takes away... and who made the beautiful mountains. Blessed be HIS name.
Live. Laugh. Love. Reflect.