(We interrupt our BIG NEWS series to celebrate Gabe’s life. Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!)
Four years ago today, our world got turned upside-down. Gabe was playing a game of pick-up basketball at a Fall Festival, and next thing you know, nurses are ripping his clothes off in the emergency room, and hospital staff are screaming awful sentences that end in “STAT!”
Today marks four years since God allowed Gabe to live through a massive heart attack. His left anterior descending artery (the “Widow Maker”) 100% blocked, 10 more minutes and he was meeting Jesus.
I want to say first off that my heart BREAKS for every single person who has faced something similar, and their loved one DID meet Jesus. I don’t know why God chose to save Gabe’s life when other people die. I don’t know why he heals some people of cancer and not others. I don’t know why suicide claims the lives of so many beautiful people, while others manage to crawl out of the pit and keep living.
I don’t know why life is SO FREAKING UNFAIR.
Please know that I spent some time in prayer for you before I wrote this post. Some specific names of people near and dear to my heart, and then for everyone in general who might be reading this and hurting.
I love you, and I’m so so so sorry for your heartbreak.
Gabe and I both feel very strongly that we have been given an invaluable gift and with that gift comes great responsibility.
What will we do with this life together that has been extended by the grace of God?
For a long time (over two years), my heart ached, because it felt like we were doing NOTHING with it, that we were wasting it, that God had saved Gabe’s life only to watch him lie in bed for days at a time, unable to do anything at all but play games on his phone.
Anxiety. Depression. Thoughts of suicide.
It was a dark, dark time for our marriage and our family.
Quite awhile ago God put it on my heart to share the darkest parts of our story with others, in hopes that they wouldn’t feel alone. In hopes that it might inspire courage to be open about their struggles, courage to keep going when life feels unbearable.
But I couldn’t write that story without Gabe’s permission, and I figured he wouldn’t be up for that. (It is not a flattering story by any stretch.)
I underestimated him.
He gave me his all-the-way, tell-them-everything blessing. And the e-book, painful as it was to write and re-live, is ready for you to read.
THIS GUY. Friends, you cannot even know what kind of miracle he is. You cannot even know how God has worked in his life. You cannot even imagine how low he was, stripped of everything, and how God has restored it to him above and beyond.
(I loooooove what he wrote about it earlier this week.)
You would not even BELIEVE how all the pieces of Gabe’s life–his childhood, his passions & talents, his specific fears, his heart attack, his trips to Cambodia, his talks with God during the hardest times, his love for art & nature, his way with people (that was taken from him during his anxiety/depression), EVERYTHING–has all come together into this beautiful, redemptive thing.
(all part of the BIG NEWS I’ll continue sharing tomorrow!)
Today, in celebration of Gabe’s life, we would like to ASK you for something, and we’d like to GIVE you something in return.
To be entered to win a $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD (oh my gosh, I WANT TO WIN THIS):
1.) buy a copy of my new e-book, The Storm, (just $2.99) &
2.) leave a comment telling me if you got it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, or as a PDF (and if I gave you a free review copy because YOU’RE AWESOME, that counts too!) &
3.) share this post (or a link to the book) on social media somewhere.
It would really mean the world to us! And we can’t do this without you!! Thank you!!
1.) a FREE PDF to share with a friend who suffers from anxiety/depression (or loves someone who does) AND
2.) a FREE digital download of Gabe’s storm photo.
So, your sample comment might look like this:
I bought the book for my Kindle! Shared it on fb! Free PDF & photo please!
Thanks so much for spreading the word, friends. We really want God to get so much glory through our hard stuff, and we want to help others who are suffering know there is HOPE.
p.s. If you know Gabe (in real life or you’re online friends), would you leave a word of encouragement for him on this BIG DAY? Thanks so much!
EDIT: Amazon gift card giveaway is closed. But you can still have a free PDF of the book & a digital download of Gabe’s photo for buying the book & sharing. THANKS!