Saturday, February 14, 2009

Want #14

I don't really want anything for Valentine's Day. Back when Stephen and I were first dating we did the whole date/gift thing but we put an end to that pretty quickly. Also, I think he did get me some really comfy pajamas our first married Valentine's Day, but other than that, he's pretty much okay with not getting me anything. Imagine that. So it makes sense that today hasn't been much different from any other day, except I did decide this morning not to go to work ("It's Valentine's Day!") and I convinced him to order pizza tonight ("It's Valentine's Day!"). Other than that, I'm glad I wasn't expecting anything, because this is all I got:

True, it says it's from Steve, but not my Steve. Steve from work gave me my only Valentine's Day present!! They were delicious, too.

We were lazy today. We slept in until about 7:30 and then decided we just didn't feel like getting up so we read for almost an hour. Then we immediately went to the living room and watched Thunderball, although I did get some magazines read and put away during that, and cleaned up a bit of clutter during the boring parts.

I need to insert a disclaimer here. Stephen, who never bothers to read this blog, just happened to read over my shoulder about our mutual agreement to not give each other presents. This is, in fact, a mutual agreement that we are both completely satisfied with! Let me make it clear that I do not want anything for Valentine's Day, nor do I expect anything. Except Papa John's with lots of extra garlic sauce and a Coke.

Anyway. Stephen took apart his car door this afternoon because the window on the passenger side gets stuck when you roll it down. It can be rolled up with a lot of manpower.

Done and done! He giddily took apart the door and did something to make the window roll up and down like a normal car. He's like a car surgeon. Now I can have my window rolled down anytime I want!

The main part of our afternoon was spent at our friend Bruce's funeral. We knew him first through our preacher's wife - he was her brother. When we moved back here after Charleston, he was doing the youth group. We started working with him until a few months later when he decided we were ready to take it on by ourselves, mainly because we wanted to and he had a vision to do a prison ministry and young adults class. Bruce really started the prison ministry at our church, and it was very close to his heart for a specific reason. For his whole life, he had struggled with drug and alcohol problems, and he had been in jail countless times. One of those times, a church came to the jail, and he was saved as a result. We didn't know him before that, but everyone who knew him previously said he did a complete 180 degree lifestyle change. About a year ago, he left our church and within a couple of months we found out why. He was back into his old habits, big time, and even had a couple of DUIs pending. To make a long story short, and spare the details, his whole family (including us - the church family) struggled to do for him whatever we could do to make him know that we loved him, that he was welcome at church, that we would do anything for him. In the end, the guilt from things he had done over the past few months just caught up to him, and he took his life last Tuesday night.
Since then, so many of us have struggled with questions - why did this happen? could I have done anything differently? That's been my main one. But the answer I know, is, probably not. Bruce felt like he had let so many people down that he didn't have any other way of dealing with that guilt. Our preacher Tony, his brother-in-law, had to preach the service today. The only good thing about the service was the fact that we truly believe Bruce was saved. Even though he was struggling with addiction and ended up losing the battle, none of us believe that a person can lose their salvation. I truly believe that the only way he could be set free is this way. As Tony said today, for the first time now, he's no longer struggling with addiction. He no longer feels the weight of that guilt. No, he didn't make a good decision, but his fight is over now. He's free. It makes me so sick to think that I'll never see him again on this earth, and it makes me angry that his family has to be put through this pain, but I believe he really is better off now. Please pray for his family - he has a daughter and many other family members that are going to go through a lot of phases of grief for a long time. I don't know anything other than time and prayer that will really make them feel closure, so that's what I ask for.

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