Jason's 34th Birthday!
Jason leading campers on the whitewater, Summer 2004.
Today is Jason's Birthday... he would have been 34 years old! Kind of hard to imagine since he was only 26 when he died. In my mind, it's almost like he's frozen in time at that age, so it makes me wonder what he would be like nowadays if he was still here! It makes me sad... he and Lindsay should still be here! I will never understand why someone decided to kill them. What drives someone to murder innocent people? They did nothing to deserve it. They didn't even have a chance to defend themselves! But God did allow it. He didn't prevent it from happening. I believe God views death so much differently than we do! And by His mercy, He brought (and continues to bring) beauty from the ashes by the lives changed and souls saved for eternity through Jason & Lindsay's story! I believe they would be very humbled by it. It gives meaning to a meaningless act. It overrides the evil that their murderer intended and turns it into victory for Jesus... not for satan. Praise God!
My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, which is directly next door to the house that Jason grew up in. The current owners of Jason's childhood house have really made major changes to it in the past few years! They completely redid the siding and changed the color and everything, so in many ways it doesn't much resemble the house I remember from my childhood. The landscaping has changed too. They recently cut down the Magnolia Tulip Tree that me & Jason used to climb when we were kids so that was bittersweet. But that tree wasn't as special to me as the Red Maple that still stands in that yard. That was the tree we climbed most often. It is now MUCH taller than it used to be but it's still the same tree... so it's almost like a living time capsule of those fun memories! I hope they never cut that one down! It is priceless in my eyes. But even with all of these changes, I still can clearly picture in my mind what that house and yard looked like when we were kids. I am so grateful that it exists so clearly in my mind's eye! What a gift it is to be able to remember so much... I only wish I could bring those memories to life and relive many of those idyllic days! I seriously had such a great childhood! I never even realized how blessed we were to have such happiness and such great families! I am aware now of how many people have endured very difficult childhoods so I definitely appreciate and cherish mine so much more.
There is a beautiful song that speaks of the joys of heaven and how amazing it is... and I love to know that Jason and Lindsay are there now! I'm sure there are countless trees that we can all climb there. Those will be the days of my sweetest memories that will mean so much more than all we have here:
I want to run on greener pastures
I hear Your voice and I catch my breath
I want to run on greener pastures
And last but NOT least, I also want to share something Jason's mom wrote in remembrance of Jason today:
Today we celebrate your 34th birthday. What wonderful memories we have of you, and the longing to see you again never fades. We look forward to seeing your smile, hearing your voice, and sharing in your embrace. Together, we will worship God and experience Psalm 16:11. How thankful we are to serve a Savior who makes this, and so much more, possible!
Happy Birthday, Jason! We love you!
~Dad, Mom, Nate, Vanessa, Howie, Elizabeth, Grant and Jalynn
"In thy presence there is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore." ~Psalm 16:11