Being a wife in ministry means my family has moved around several times. While moving can be difficult at times, it has always came with a sense of excitement for me as well. The reason being is because I love to meet new people. We’ve had the opportunity to meet many people over the last several years that we would have never met had God not moved us a “few” times.
My favorite part of being somewhere new is the potential to make new friends. There are many people who we have been honored to become friends with. People who have loved on us, invested in our family, and been there for us when we needed them.
This last week we lost Steve. A man Kerry and I were honored to call friend and whom we loved dearly.
We met Steve and his wife Sandy when my husband became pastor of their church. Very early on they took the time to invest in our family’s life and we soon developed into friends. I remember the first time we spent time with them, Sandy jokingly said, “We didn’t know if you guys would want to hang out with us old folks.” Let me tell you, there was never a time we thought of them as old folks! Steve and Sandy both had more energy and were far more active than Kerry and I. They even reminded me of newlyweds. They were both so affectionate and lovey-dovey. Steve always had the look of love and admiration in his eyes when watching Sandy. Sandy likewise looked at Steve with adoration and respect. They were so beautiful to watch. I loved their marriage and thought to myself many times that I hoped Kerry and I would be still growing and as love as they were in 20 years.
We enjoyed every minute we spent with Steve and Sandy, whether it was dinner or a trip to Norman for an OU football game (being an OU fan was another beautiful quality in Steve). But my favorite times and memories with Steve is our times on the lake.
Every chance we could our family took Steve up on his invite to join he and Sandy on their boat. Our family had so much fun. Steve would pull us all on the tube and even go extra slow just for Hayden…I mean embarrassingly slow (mainly because she would get on to him if he sped up, even a tiny bit). Once, on a very hilarious occasion he successfully threw Kerry off the tube. It wasn’t just your normal falling off the tube; Kerry flew up in the air and did a back-flip before hitting the water. We all enjoyed a big laugh on that one. I’m going to miss that ornery grin and laugh of his.
Another time Steve asked us to join them at the lake and told us to make sure Hayden brought her fishing pole. That night Hayden was fishing from the dock and caught a few tiny perch, but she threw them all back in. Later as we were about to leave, Steve was packing up some stuff and I saw him packing up a skillet, some cornmeal, and some oil. Sandy leaned over and whispered to me that he wanted to bring them incase Hayden caught a fish he was going to cook it for her. I remember nearly crying because I thought it was one of the cutest/sweetest things ever…as did Sandy.
Steve loved my kids, genuinely. He was always so happy to see them and always insisted we bring them on the boat. This always meant so much to me. Not everyone really wants you to bring your kids when you come to see them, but Steve and Sandy were upset if we didn’t.
Steve was a very passionate and loyal friend. If he loved you and considered you a friend you knew it and there was no question. He had your back and stood up for you. He’s the guy you always wanted in your corner. He believed in Kerry and was always there to encourage and support us…for that alone I will be eternally grateful.
I am so brokenhearted to see him leave this earth. It hurts, and I hurt even more when I see how his precious family is hurting. However, I praise God because just as Steve was committed to loving and serving his family, he was also lovingly committed to our God. That means one day we will see my friend again in heaven. This pain is only temporary and not forever. I know Steve is up there right now with that beautiful big smile on his face as he takes it all in and enjoys being with our Lord and Savior.
I thank God for the opportunity to have known Steve. I am a better person for knowing him. My family is blessed for the time we spent together.
Steve, you will forever be loved and missed. See you on the other side.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. –Psalm 34:18