The following was written by Karen in the comment section but I thought it's better to put this up for our faithful blog friends and prayer warriors to easily see:
Dear Blog Friends...
We want to thank people for their comments the past couple of days. We welcome them and they don't offend us. These are the thoughts of honest Christians struggling with how to respond to the problem of human suffering.
We are new creatures in Christ headed for an unseen but glorious heavenly home. This world is broken and temporary, but it's what God has given us for now. It is filled with people we cherish and precious times with them. It's the first chapter of a story that will continue into eternity.
The loss of our son changes the way the story plays out for all of us who were close to him. In our limited perspective of life, we would wish him here to share the journey of life with us, and to watch his own story unfold. He was a beautiful young man with great gifts and a wonderful ability to give to others. It is impossible to not miss someone who filled your life with love, laughter, joy and hope, even though you know they are in Heaven.
Joey's death is a challenge to us on many levels. We deal with the shock of his unexpected death, just trying to understand how and why that happened. Could we have prevented it? We deal with an empty space in our lives filled by him for 28 years. How does life go on now without him? How will our family change without him?
We wonder how he is feeling right now. He shared all his other experiences with us, he can't share this one. There is a wall between us. He was with us and now he is with God...what's happening to him? We can't be part of that, we can't witness it, we trust God with that. We are forced to let go of our plans and dreams and accept that there will be a different story than the one we had envisioned. We have to say "not my will but Thine be done". We see many years ahead for us without him...that is truly the hardest part.
When something like Joey's death happens, it challenges our belief system in a healthy way. It forces us to ask if we truly trust God, or if we just say we trust God. As we apply God's word to these new circumstances, we find new hope and encouragement. It is a process that uses our mind and our emotions. It takes time because it is a growth process. Thanks for loving us and walking with us in that process. You have been God's comfort to us and we feel His love in your love.
To those of you who would like to learn more about how to minister to a greiving friend, please CLICK HERE and visit her blog with a section on How To Help A Grieving Friend. It expresses a lot of what Joe and Karen are feeling right now. Thank you for your continued support, love and encouragement.