Thursday, June 5, 2008

From Karen and Joe

"The latter temple is greater than the former temple,
and the peace of God is there"

Joey was cremated yesterday. We were distressed and grieving intensely during that time and decided to pray and read our morning devotional. We asked God to give us comfort. When we opened the devotional to June 4, it said "The latter temple is greater than the former temple, and the peace of God is there" from Haggai 2. It was a sign to us from the Lord that He is taking care of Joey right now, and it gave us great peace.

We picked up his ashes today and we are feeling weary, tired, sad, and withdrawn...this would be impossible for us to bear if we didn't believe in the resurrection. It feels like a very long time before we will be able to see him again. We miss him so much--his handsome face, warm smile, sense of humor and optimism. We know our Father in heaven understands because His Son became unrecognizable after death...he grieved the loss of His Son, too.

Rocky and our CA friends helped us finish packing Joey's stuff yesterday. His house is empty now and we will return to Maui with all the things we couldn't bear to part with. It would have been impossible to do alone. Again, the Lord provided. The prayers of so many are carrying us.

Thank you for bearing our sorrow with us. It helps us to not feel so alone right now.

Much love,
Joe and Karen
and family

******

When my heart is heavy, I always want to sing. Here's a song I sung tonight: FOR THOSE TEARS I DIED
- Liza

20 comments:

Liza's Eyeview said...

It's hard to find words to say in times like this. Love you all...

Liza

Anonymous said...

We love you!

Anonymous said...

We are wishing you all well and thinking about you at every moment possible. There is not a day that I don't check this website and cry. Steve, my husband, arrived home today and saw this sight for the first time. He is very saddened to hear about Joey and wants you all to know that you are in his prayers. Steve and I have known Jaime and Joanne since we all lived in Hawaii. Steve, Drew and Sean have all worked together and have become longtime friends. We have had he pleasure of meeting Joey in Hawaii and on the mainland. He is an amazing person and has brought joy to many people. One of our fondest memories is Joey and his Dad singing and playing the guitar. I can only imagine the sweet music Joey is playing in Heaven right now. Everyone is singing!!
We love you all and you are all in our thoughts and prayers as you get through these coming days ahead.
-Steve and Jennifer Brown

lorensaved77 said...

Miss You, Praying for you, Shedding tears galore for you, waiting for your safe return...
Love you both,
Nancy and Loren Family

michael, ciara & mikaela said...

Dear Joe and Karen,
We have no words, only LOVE. Our deepest prayers and love to you right now. May you find rest and strengh in HIS arms.
~ciara, michael and mikaela

Anonymous said...

Everyday, several times each day, I come to the blog and let the emotions flow. We are numb. We are sad. We sit quiet. There is alot of staring and a little mumbling of a prayer here and there. Much of the time I pray in utter silence with the comfort of knowing "The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us."

So grateful your California Ohana is taking such good a care of you with so much support. We are here for you when you get back home.

We miss Joey. We miss you.

Love you,
Toni and Jason Spence

Anonymous said...

Our hearts are absolutely broken for you.... WE love you so very much. Our love, hugs, and prayers to you! Lori and Wes

Heather said...

Joe, Karen, JoAnne, Jamie and Family~ It is still so hard to comprehend how real this is. I am sure that you probably feel the same way. The memorial service was like no other I have ever been to. It was so moving. It was so passionate. It was so Joey. I cried throughout the entire service. Partly because I was sad and also because I could feel God's presence so intensely . I think the thing that was most moving to me about the memorial was when I saw your family with their arms lifed high singing Blessed Be Your Name, You Give and Take Away But My Heart Will Choose To Say, Lord Blessed Be Your Name! I am praying for you and will continue to pray for as you make your journey back to Maui. I pray that you will get a good night's sleep and feel the safety and comfort of being harbored in God's arms. I love you Johnsons!

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe and Karen

Sending our love and prayers to you. May God Keep you tight in his loving arms. He is crying with you and feels your pain. He loves you.

We love you too,

Susan and Chris Haynes and Nathan

Mackenzie said...

Joe, Karen & family,

Your family is and will remain close to our hearts and often in our thoughts. We miss Joe(y) so much - I can't imagine how the pain is doubled, tripled, quadrupled for you. My heart is heavy and I pray that God will give you rest for your weary souls in some way, shape, or form in the coming days. You have blessed us so much and we are better people for knowing you all. We are better people for knowing Joe. May God be near to you and help you every step of this difficult journey.

all our love,
Mackenzie (& Jim)

Anonymous said...

There are no words that can be said to ease the pain. Our hearts ache with you and for you.

We love you and are praying for you.

Jeri & Cliff

Anonymous said...

Psalm 18:1,2

"I love you O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliever; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. HE is my shield and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold."

God's Love & Comfort & Healing...
Love & Prayers, Kevin & Shirley

Kim Insley-Morrell said...

Dear Joe and Karen,

My heart is so heavy for you, I too am someone who visits the site daily to share my tears with and for you.

I always try to scan the photos to add a smile to my blog visit. It amazes me to know Gods timing for Joey and Rachel to have made their one in a life time US "van" trip.

I love you guys!

Kim

Anonymous said...

We loved what was shared at Joey's memorial in L.A. I cried throughout the service, knowing your family's pain, and Josh's pain of losing a dear and very close friend--Joey. Joey as you know was to be Josh's Best Man at Josh's wedding. Josh honored Joey with a few words prior to his wedding vows, and then a moment of silence. Joey was greatly loved, and will be greatly missed. I can't even relate to what you are going through, but if tears could help ease the sorrow you're each going through, then a fraction of the pain has been alleviated. All I can offer is the promise of continuous prayers for all family members and friends of Joey. I remember Josh and Joey as roommates as Alan and I visited him a couple of years ago and the laughter and conversations of good times. It was good to see the friendship Josh and Joey shared. We will keep you in prayers....

Much love,

Alan and Loretta

Lee & Renee Steen said...

Dear Joe and Karen,
I do not know what to say except we grieve with you, we love you, we are praying for you and your family...you are continuously on our heart. I was blessed by the scripture the Lord gave you today and pray He continues to bring you the comfort of that truth and renews your strength each morning.
With much love,
Lee and Renee

Anonymous said...

dear joe karen jaime joanne and family
thank you so much for sharing the Haggai 2 verse and how God gave it to you. oh my goodness, i've typed and erased so many things. there truly are no right words. i agree with the people who say that so many people want to share something to comfort and love you but just can't figure out how to express it. please please please know you are loved and prayed for by so many.
i hope it's ok to share some verses with you. they are from 1 Thess. 4
"For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 thess 4
looking to the clouds with you,
love
carrie nichols

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe and Karen,
As I awake in the morning, the Lord has you in my thoughts. As I go about my day, you and your family are continually on my mind. And as I lay down at night, you are in my prayers, as you are in the prayers of so many others who love you dearly. We will be here for you when you return.
In His Love,
Cari & Pierre

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe and Karen,
As some many here have said, we also continue to think of you and to pray for you throughout each day. We pray that God continues to give you strength and endurance. We thank HIm that He has surrounded you with such compassion and love. We love you so much and await your return to Maui.
Steve & Elis

Bill and Lu Kepler said...

We think of you, we think of Joey, every day, every day. We cry for you. Last night at Kit's Welcome Home sermon he gave an old fashioned altar call, and many people came forward. Aftwards we had communion out in the side courtyards. Lu and I shared a moment together praying for you. Welcome home tonight, Joe and Karen. Travel well. Our love for you has always been boundless.
Bill and Lu

Lu and Bill said...

Dear Karen and Joe,
When Bill wrote in the blog this morning we had not yet looked at the program for Joey’s Memorial Service. Now I sit here, crying again, as I witness the powerful love within your family and once more see the incredible life of that most special guy we called “Joey.”

Joey had wisdom beyond his years. His own words, written in his journal on 1/4/04 were both profound and prophetic. He wrote, “My fears are slowly quelled as I focus on one fact, God has always taken care of me.” These words are like balm to our souls right now. We know, without any doubt, that God is STILL taking care of Joey.

In looking at the pages of his Memorial service, I see even more clearly how God prepared the path for your grieving. Because you have poured so much into the lives of others, you have friends everywhere you go. You have lifelong friends in California, as well as your extended Maui family. Our promise to you (and to your California Ohana) is that your Maui Ohana will be there to support you, to cry with you, and to love on you after you come home. And even though it seems impossible right now, when the time seems right, we will once again smile, laugh, and play with you.

Yes, God has always taken care of Joey. And He will continue to take care of you. We will help you carry the torch. Joey’s legacy will live on! See you soon.

Deep, deep love,
Lu and Bill