Patrick took his last breath at thirty-years-old. He didn’t plan to enter his “glorious beginning” that soon. But God’s goodness extends beyond what we understand. The mystery of His goodness includes the eternal perspective that looks to the unseen with joy. True love doesn’t hang on to our loved ones, but true love yearns for God’s best for them, and that best includes their move to the eternal realm.
From my limited vantage point, it seems Patrick’s life was far too short. We need more men of God like Patrick, more true men who lead their families to love Christ, who spiritually challenge and equip the men around them.
Patrick spent his last afternoon with a young man he’d been discipling and during their time together, they discussed the “end times.” At one point, Patrick sat back, crossed his arms, and told the young man, “Hey, if God wants to take me, I’m ready.” Less than twenty-four hours from that statement Patrick would be standing in the literal presence of his Savior—experiencing the adventures of heaven first-hand.
Left behind is his beloved Brittany, and their three boys—all under the age of three, grieving parents, sisters, and many family members. Left behind also, are people who responded to the gospel message that Patrick lived out day by day. Many accepted Christ at his memorial service and now have assurance that they, too, will one day have their entrance into the glorious beginning that has no end.
Brittany is processing this loss through the same eternal view that Patrick challenged her to have as they walked through the weeks of trusting God with the complications facing the birth of their son. She passionately follows Christ. Her love for Patrick, and love for Christ, shines brightly through the video she posted sharing their story (you’ve got to watch it, I’ve posted it for you below). Her desire, and the family’s sincere desire, is that Patrick’s life will continue to impact others and make an eternal difference. I believe it will. And that’s one reason I’m sharing Patrick’s story with you, and hoping you will pass this blog post and their story on to others.
Others need to see what living with an eternal perspective looks like. The lost need to see what it looks like when we place our hope in Christ. They need the gospel message of Patrick’s life. Share it with them.
Below is the description of how Brittany processed loss (from an eternal perspective) as she faced this past Christmas without her Patrick:
This Christmas is going to be one I remember forever. Its a bittersweet one. I won’t be cuddled up next to my man looking at our tree, talking about what ministries and families we are going to give to for Christmas. I won’t be hearing how excited he is about eating his Mimi’s famous pecan pie and cornbread dressing. He won’t be beside me opening up gifts and laughing at family inside jokes. He won’t be holding our baby who is experiencing his very first Christmas, or watch our toddlers as they play with their little nativity. He isn’t reading our advent book each night and talking to my boys about preparing our hearts for Christmas.
I am going to remember that this Christmas is Patrick’s best Christmas yet. He isn’t worried about this earthly time, he is just worshiping Jesus, and I can do the same, worship the Prince of Peace, Immanuel, I am just in a different location, not with the Lord. But The Lord is with me. What a privilege to be able to worship freely the only One who brings Hope to our lives!
I will remember how the name Immanuel means “God with us” and how He is so present with me as I miss my beloved. I will find comfort in that.
I will remember that Christmas is about Jesus. How He came to live, die and conquer death and give us life. That is always something that is worth praising the Lord for. He came for us. He died for us. He is good to us and abundant in His mercy towards us.
I will remember how God is using the body of Christ and the generosity of His people to encourage our hearts, provide for us and hold our hands as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
I will remember how loved my children are by everyone around us. Most of all how much the Lord loves us and how He cares and hurts for us. How He knew before they were born that they would be fatherless, and how He would be their Father God.
I will remember to be SO thankful for the amazing and godly husband that God gave me. Marriage is a treasure and a gift and I feel so blessed to have been able to experience it with the best husband for 4.5 years. I will thank God for that always. What a gift!
I will remember that gifts, parties, romance and food aren’t what matters. Christ was born to redeem us and HE is to be exalted above all this Christmas.
I will remember my baby saying “da da” for the first time and his daddy isn’t here to listen to him talk. But oh what a gift that precious little soul is to me. Praying he will always use his words and voice to bring praise the name of Jesus. I will be thankful that he had a good godly daddy and that God allowed his first little sounds to be his name. He has no idea how blessed he is to have the legacy God gave him with his daddy.
Above all I just want to remember Jesus. He is present, with us, cares for us and sees all that is going on in my heart and life. He was enough last Christmas and He is enough this one too.
My Christmas may look different this year but its a Christmas worth remembering, because the gift of Jesus is enough.
(From Brittany’s post, “A Christmas to Remember” at: www.brittanyprice.com)
I hope you’ll watch (and share) the video below as Brittany shares the story that God has written for their lives. Join me in praying for Brittany, the boys, Patrick’s parents, family members, and the host of people who knew and loved Patrick. May God be brought great glory through his life.
May Patrick’s departure bring many who will follow him into eternity ~