About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

FacebookFriend Van on Facebook

My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I am taking a break from book reviews to write about a life review.
This morning I woke up dreading what I would have to do today. This would not be a "life in the garden" day. For the past week I have been reminded, once again, that "it's a jungle" out there. Try as hard as I might, I cannot avoid it!

The only thing on my calendar for the day was "Memorial Service for Joe." Joe, my son's classmate, who graduated a year later than Benjamin, took his life less than a week ago. Everyone remotely related to this family has walked around these past few days - stunned.

How does someting like this happen? Could it have been prevented? How is the family coping? Is there anything anyone can do to make this awful thing go away?

I personally do not know the family. I attended the service because it was held at my church. Our pastor told the family, when he made his opening statements, that the people in attendance were there to be Jesus' hands, feets, arms, shoulders, and heart reaching out. That is exactly why I went. I wanted to support the grieving family. I wanted to sit with my son. I wanted to pray that Joe's death would be used by God for the good.

During the service I, like most everyone there, cried, grieved, mourned, listened trying to make sense of it all, and even laughed. Throughout the two hours that several hundred people celebrated Joe's life, Peace and Hope visited the place in my heart that had opened up to despair when death came to visit our community.

In the midst of the memorial, God revealed to me that He has the power to use the worst in life- turning ashes into beauty. Today I was reminded once again: Our young people are amazingly beautiful. Even though they face incredible odds, they are overcoming. What do I mean?

- They packed the sanctuary as they came to pay their respect to a suffering family, a mother and daddy, a brother and sister, a grandmother and aunt and many other suffering extreme loss and pain. Young men wept openly while they remembered their friend. For two hours young ladies sat and listened while friends and teachers spoke fondly.

- Four of Joe's best friends stood in the midst of their grief and shared eloquently. These were guys who party with my son, funloving kids who seem to carelessly make their way through life. Yet their words and thoughts struck deep. Their compassion laid a foundation for healing to begin. Their strength gave hope. Their vulnerability poured warmth and good will into the hearts of all who attended.

- Young musicians selflessly shared their amazing voices and piano playing talents as they lead us to praise God and celebrate life.

Then a daddy spoke about the death of his son. He could have sat alone in his grief. He certainly deserved to do so. He could have mourned in his closet. I would have. He could have turned away from the inquisitive faces of bewildered teens, but he offered to shed some meaning on his loss. He told us God had assured him that Joe had not been abandoned in his moment of confusion. "I will never forsake you or abandon you," our Father promises.

The sun is setting on this difficult day. Darkness could settle in. Instead the joy of the Lord reigns. I have been convinced once again that nothing can separate me or mine from the love of God. He has made His plan clear. If we, through faith, accept His gift of grace, eternal life is ours. Joe knew that. His dad told the stories that confirmed Joe's trust in Jesus. Nothing can separate us from God's love - not even a mistaken choice that takes a life.

Be encouraged, today in Charlotte, NC in an ordinary sanctuary the body of Christ united and celebrated life in the midst of death.

I want to remind you - life within the Body is worth rejoicing. While the world has its struggles, we who are Christians have the power to overcome, together.

A mighty fortress is our God...

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same, And He must win the battle.

Praise You God, Joe is in your arms. You are the God of all comfort. I pray, please continue to comfort the Carrera family.

Thank you Carrara family for inviting us to share with you the presence of Almighty God.


the swineharts said...

thanks van for sharing. Powerful!

Laura said...

Thank you, Van, for these beautiful words of truth. I'll be praying for this family and your community. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Charlene Kidd said...

Thanks for your sweet words on my blog. I decided to enter some pictures from my wedding day, check them out.

MrsProverbs31 said...

Thank you for positively reinforcing His love into our lives.

Sorry about the quillow. I haven't forgotten. The other day, I thought about it. Wanted to write it, but something else came on. You know, when you're inspired to put His love into words, you have to respond. But, I've been thinking about you. And, will get it up and let you know when I do have it up.


Susanne Scheppmann said...

Your heart is so sweet and pure. I enjoyed reading your blog today.

I might need a room before She Speaks again. :)


Micca said...

He is, indeed, our fortrees and our shield in times of sorrow and pain. I have prayed for this family.
love you, girl

Renee Swope said...

What a beautiful reflection and heart rendering of what must have been a very heart breaking day. Thank you for letting God pour His words through you. You shed the beauty of His grace on my heart.

Love you friend,

Shari said...

Oh Van, what a powerful writing regarding this tragedy. How sad for all involved. I sat here with tears in my eyes, because there really are no words. You said it so eloquently. God smiles on you, my friend. love you, Shari

Marsha said...

Hi Van,
I'm just now reading this. I've been overcome with my own life events the past couple of weeks.

I just prayed for this family and your family. I have walked the same path you are on, sadly more than once. Each of my 3 children have lost friends to suicide. And then there have been sudden deaths by car accidents (2) and another by an unknown blood clot.

You never really "get over it", but God's grace helps to heal the rawness. Inside each of our hearts stands 6 memorial pillars, legacy markers that have been left by these precious teens and one young child. Our hearts have been indelibly written on by these "untimely" deaths and our subsequent journey's of healing.

Each of my children (now 32,30 & 23)now live their lives more intentionally. They understand the fraility and brevity of life, the importance of speaking encouragement into the lives of even those they think are doing just fine. They say I love you freely to all those that are within their circle of friends and their family.

The death of a young person is never easy. It's up to each of us that are left behind in its aftermath to learn life lessons from their time with us and share them freely with others.

Lovingly Because of Him,