It seems that fall finally fell upon us this past weekend. And as I was sitting outside with the neighbors watching the kids run in the street, I was filled with joy that the air was crisper and colder. As we later enjoyed pizza, I received a text from my husband, who was out of town. He was letting me know that his best friend had just passed away. Nate was 39 and married with three kids. And with one text, our life changed. Instantly.
The sudden loss has invited a big dose of grief back into our house. For this friend became more to us than my husband’s best friend, he became a dear friend of the family.
I watched Nate lovingly pursue my husband faithfully through the years. He had a genuine interest in me and my kids every time he visited. I noticed that his phone calls were one of the few that my husband would always return. They would talk for hours. And I knew that if anything happened to my husband, this friend would be here. I just didn’t realize that my husband would be the one to rush to Nate’s family, to love them through their loss.
Nate and I were very different. He was everything that I was not: adventurous, brilliant, outgoing, joyful. At first those qualities intimidated me. My greatest adventure involved shopping sales at the mall, while he and Brian were often doing something adventurous in nature.
But over the years, I started to see Nate in a different light. I started to see him as a gift to my husband – God’s perfect provision for him. God gave him a friend that saw life through a similar lens as my husband. They enjoyed all of the same hobbies and activities and they were intellectually similar. And because he loved my husband well, he became a gift to our whole family.
Though you may not know Nate personally, we can all learn at least two things from Nate.
- Be who God made you, unashamedly.
- Lovingly pursue those people that you love.
Savor the time with your loved ones, and let them know how much they mean to you. Because you never know how much time you have.