Nathan

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Nathan was a kid in our neighborhood.  For the past 7 years or so my daughter and my son played with him, sometimes at our house and at other times at his.  His yard was one of the best places in the neighborhood to play soccer, have nerf wars or play Star Wars.  I can’t tell you how many times my kids have asked if they could go see if Nathan was home, to see if he could play.

I did not mind this at all. Nathan was a great kid.  Early in life he accepted Jesus as his Savior and it showed in his life.  He was always positive, kind and considerate. He approached life with the attitude of “what great thing can we do today?” and generally, he would himself generate those great things.  I remember speaking one time at his school and he actually came up and asked me how I was doing and that started a great conversation.  It was the first time I had actually ever spend time talking with him, and it would not be the last.  He was sharp, though being a boy he hated school work. He was the kind of kid you would not mind your daughter dating. Nathan was extremely talented. He enjoyed snowboarding but his talents really showed when he was kicking a soccer ball.  He is part of the reason my son became interested in the sport.

On Friday, November 14th, 2014, unexpectedly he went to be with the Lord…

A guy in the hotel room next to them was being careless with a gun…

He was a good kid – the “careless” guy had a criminal record.

And you wonder… why the Good kid Lord?  Why the good one?

or – why a kid at all?

When we spent some time with the parents on Sunday other questions came to mind, like why them?  They are outstanding Christians, love the Lord and were raising their son to do the same. Saying this is a struggle for them is an understatement. Their son is gone, the house is empty and there will be no more soccer games to enjoy or trips to the mountains to snowboard.

Why them Lord? Why them?

Without even vocalizing the things that were going through my mind Nathan’s dad made this statement.

“God has a purpose for this happening, though we do not know what it is.”

He’s right…

After all, faith is not having all the answers and trusting God anyway.  He is always good, even in times like these.  Faith is holding on to that truth when you really just want to let it go. Faith doesn’t make the pain go away magically, but it does give you strength to make it through the pain.

So…

The neighborhood will be a little quieter.

The activity a bit less

Hearts will ache, and tears will flow from time to time because Nathan will be missed

but there is hope

for the next time we ask Nathan if he can come out and play will be in heaven

and we look forward to that day.

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19 comments

  1. Thank you for posting this. I taught Nathan in sixth grade at Calvary. Reading your blog gave me a sense of peace and comfort as we walk through a very difficult time. Thank you.

  2. My heart ached for this boy and his family when I heard the news from a man who is a good friend of Nathans father. I hold my daughter even closer now. I struggle with the emptiness and silence Nathans family must be experiencing.

  3. thank you for sharing. We live in Raleigh (not far from where this happened) and this story has touched me. I have 3 kids and we have spent many nights in a hotel room for overnight tournaments just like this family. I can’t imagine their heartbreak. We are praying for them and are so sorry for the loss of this beautiful boy.

  4. Thank you for sharing,I did not know Nathan, but have know his grandmother all my life. I can’t imagine the pain but pray that they find peace in knowing that Nathan loved the Lord.

  5. So Sorry for your lose. I can’t even begin to imagine what your family is going through. I hope your family finds comfort in the lord at this time of need.

  6. Many prayers for the family. Nathan’s mom works at BB&T. My heart goes out to the family. We are thinking of you, praying for peace and comfort.

  7. Wow! Speechless! Brought me to tears! I coached Nathan and loved getting to know him! What an unbelievable boy! He will surely be missed! Amazing to hear what his dad said-he is so right! And you are too-He is always good! Still so hard. This blessed me, thank you! Always nice to meet, even through a blog, family in Christ! Keep shinin’ for Him brotha!
    Wells

  8. What a wonderful tribute, not only to Nathan but to our Lord and Savior. I go to church with Nathan’s maternal grandparents and this has touched our congregation and our community. May God continue to give grace and peace to this dear family.

  9. Our hearts bleed for this family. No words can express our sadness. There is no answer. I can’t imagine God having better plans for Nathan than kicking that soccer ball with his Fusion team, but he must have a much bigger plan for this beautiful child. There is no getting over this.
    Sending every prayer your way to help you find your way through this. Nathan will be missed every day.

  10. Thank you for these beautiful words. I’m a soccer mom, and my heart aches for this family. They have been in my thoughts since this senseless tragedy occurred. I continue to pray for strength to all who knew Nathan.

  11. thanks for this reflection I join the other soccer moms in grieving for Nathan and his family, my family and I pray for them and your words have brought comfort thanks and God bless

  12. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I can’t begin to fathom the loss of a child . But as you said God is always good. Even in the midst of our pain. What a gift He has given you with the assurance that Nathan was His in life and is still His today safe in Heaven with His father. God bless you all great comfort and peace in days ahead.

  13. Thanks, Phillip! We need these reminders! In times like these, leaning on our brothers and sisters in Christ is so important. Our prayers are with this family, your children, and all who had the privilege to be blessed by this young man. This sweet family has been prayed for many times this week at Wesleyan Academy, as well as in our own private time with The Lord. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Such a senseless tragedy. My heart breaks for this handsome young man and his family. Hold his memories close and he will be in your hearts forever. God will give you peace and healing.

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