Last Sunday night, for the first time, someone I have cared about died.
A tornado struck Paron, Arkansas, and Rebekah Tittle, along with her sister Tori, and their father Rob Tittle passed away. Their house was ripped from its foundation.
For no reason, I woke up around 3 AM in the morning. When the news reached me by social media through third-party sources, I felt numb and in shock. Rebekah was just on the VDP Skype chat yesterday. She just liked a photo on my Facebook yesterday. She just posted some statuses on G+ just hours ago. How can she be gone?
But when more information came in, particularly news from Whitney, the sister of Rebekah and another good friend, it hit me. This is real. This is happening. This isn't some kind of joke or hoax or misunderstanding. I started to cry. I never cried for someone who passed away before.
The surreal attitude froze me. I have to tell them.
Them being the VDP, of which Rebekah was an integral and important part of. As the Prime Minister and Director of Membership, we've never had to experience a loss of our member in such that short of that timespan of our existence. She was our Ninja of our VDP Chat. She kept things lively and jolly. She won our contests and wore her VDP hoodie as a Valiant. She made our non-CP VDP members part of the Society. She was a great recruiter.
Them being the College Plus community, of which Whitney and Emily Tittle were a part of. Rebekah and Tori were not part of CollegePlus, but we considered them part of the community. We ached as we have met them in CP gatherings, participated in our CP Skype calls. Most of us were hoping to meet them in a gathering soon.
Them being other homeschool groups that the Tittles are part of. Rebekah made many friends. They became my friends, too, because of her.
I hate being that messenger. I stayed up all morning to ask prayer for the Tittles. Because what else can we do but to pray to our Father?
Before, I prided myself in my cold logic. That I could separate emotion from my thinking. That I would weather any calamity and disaster just by being rational and reasonable. I was wrong. I am wrong. There is a time to mourn, and I am not exempt.
I did not pray to bring Rebekah, Tori, and Mr. Rob back. They literally are with the One Who I am praying to. And that is a much better place, a place I desire to be in, a place every Christian desires to be in. To wish for them back is selfish. They would resist being called back from His presence.
No, I prayed for those that are left behind on this fallen Earth, full of death and sin. I prayed that we would have pure religion to have compassion upon the widow and the fatherless according to James. I prayed for my apathy and my corrupt priorities and my shortsightedness of eternity. I prayed for the Tittles.
The paradox of grieving and celebrating is this: Our earthly loss is heavenly gain. Our loss of temporal relationship is their gain of eternal places.
Please pray for the Tittles.
This is our memorial to Rebekah.
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
I Cor. 15
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.