I Celebrate Life.


My heart is breaking and singing, crying and laughing, and my face finds itself distorted between a smile and uncontrollable tears that threaten to take over my emotions.

Just last night, I celebrated with a friend the news of a new life in formation.  As soon as I heard from her, I was overwhelmed rejoicing with her and her husband at the life she bears.  What an exciting time!  What a miracle in the making!

Joe Axtell

Early this morning, the tone was different.  News came so fast from another friend of a life that was no more.  A man who has spent his life modeling friendship, Godliness, wisdom, and humility passed away as a result of a sudden heart attack early this morning.  It’s quite the blow.  This man has been a family friend for over twenty years and more personally, he did pre-marital counseling for Adam and I and gave the challenge to us at our wedding.  He has been a source of Biblical counsel, comfort, and friendship to us over the past few years.

I was in disbelief when I first heard the news, so sure that it was some sort of mistake.  It was quickly apparent that the news was true.  I thought I would cry, but amazingly, the feelings that swelled in my chest were ones of excitement and joy at this one amazing thought: how amazing that this one man who has modeled such Christlikeness to so many people should be blessed to go before us to eternity! How awesome that right now, while we mourn our own loss, he is worshipping his Savior face-to-face!

So, there is no paradox.  I celebrate life today — with a young couple and unexpected baby that’s on the way but also with these friends saying goodbye to a man who has gone on to experience spiritual life in a way we have yet to see ourselves.

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away….  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:10,12

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