Losing A Parent Sucks

Today is a significant day for my wife. It was on this day 20 years ago she lost her father, Rich Kerns, to cancer. Cancer is the worst. It tears families apart. Destroys hope. And leaves a wake of pain in it's path.

It was the day Amber was supposed to begin 7th grade. She knew that if someone didn't wake her up in the morning it meant that her dad had passed away in the middle of the night. I can only imagine her waking up that morning to the news of her father and what she must have felt. It breaks my heart. She lost something significant that day. The man who was supposed to protect her, the man who was supposed to walk her down the aisle, the man that would have cared for her children with a deep love. That man was now gone.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called David & Goliath and in it he talks about losing a parent. It's a child's worst fear. The one thing that is supposed to be a constant is now gone. He wrote this about it,

Losing a parent is not like having your house bombed or being set upon by a crazed mob. It’s worse. It’s not over in one terrible moment, and the injuries do not heal as quickly as a bruise or a wound.
— Malcolm Gladwell

It's painful, and the pain can last for a long time. However, he goes on to say that sometimes through the adversity of losing a parent at a young age a different kind of strength emerges. A strength that can propel some individuals to incredible things.

The reason I write this is because I have seen it in my wife. I have observed a strength in her that I have never personally known. She astounds me. She is fearless. She loves selflessly. She forgives graciously. Her convictions run deeply. She speaks truth at all times. She will not stand for injustice. She will be a voice for those in need. She cannot bear to watch others in pain. Her heart aches for those who are suffering. She knows the Heavenly Father more intimately than anyone I know. And I believe she is a mighty woman who has God's call on her life to impact this world for his kingdom. 

I hate that she had to lose her dad. He was a man who preached God's word with authority and discipled others with zeal. Many felt his death was untimely and too soon. Why would God take a husband from his wife? A father away from his children? Why would he take a man who was impacting so many lives? We don't know why, but I do know that God used Rich Kerns' life and his death to bring people to Jesus. And that's what Rich would have wanted. 

Rich I wish you could see your little girl now. Amber is a beautiful, strong, compassionate woman who loves Jesus and is raising your grandkids in a God-honoring way. She is also following in your footsteps and has dedicated her life to telling others about Jesus and discipling them.

Thank you for your life on this earth.

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