I never had the amazing privilege of meeting Chad Stewart but his amazing wife called me a month ago with the sweetest voicemail I’ve truly ever heard. I could hear Jesus in her voice. I had never met her, and she called ready, willing, and excited to help, serve, pray and support my ministry in any way possible. I have loved her since that voicemail and I have replayed it multiple times this week as I sob.
It’s amazing to me how a life you never had the joy of being apart of can impact you so much. I have heard this week of Mr. Chad’s life from multiple people from multiple different parts and places in his life. His faith, the strongest thing in his life, was something that overflowed into his daily life. Whether he was working, at home with his family, or with his friends, his faith and love for our Savior was evident. Everyone around him knew Who Mr. Chad was devoted to. His family is a testament to the amazing man Mr. Chad was. He married the most beautiful, inside and out and Jay Wolf quoted from Cate at the service that God has given her the best dad ever! His wife, children, and extended family show their love for him in undeniable ways, something that will continue for the rest of their lives. His legacy will live on through them because of who he was! He was an outstanding attorney. My mouth dropped as I read his biography on his company page. Amazing. One of a kind. I’ve read stories that he not only gave legal advice but would share his faith and prayer life with that also. Who do you know that lets their faith in Christ intertwine their entire life? No matter what you’re doing, are you working for the Lord? The Bible clearly states that’s what we’re called to do. When I think about the life I’ve heard of Chad Stewart this week, I think of Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” This is the life Chad Stewart lived. Do you work at whatever you are with all your heart? Do you work for the Lord in all you do? God should overflow into every part of your life. Every part of your life should be about Jesus! There should be nothing separate from Him! It’s all about Him!! Do you know that if you are a Christian, you are a part of the ministry of Christ? He has you where you are for a reason. An exact purpose. Nothing is by accident. Wherever you are, wherever He has you today.. you are there to glorify Him. That’s the life Mr. Chad lived, is that the life you’re living? It’s a tragedy that an amazing man so young and going so far in life is gone from this earth. But what a party Heaven had when his race was finished. We all are running a race. You don’t get to decide when your race is over but you can decide the way you will run your race. Will you run it for Christ, all for Christ? Let Mr. Chad’s life inspire you like it has inspired me and like it will continue to inspire people for years and years to come. If you need another example of how to run your race like Christ besides Christ Himself, I suggest you look at Chad Stewart’s life.
It amazes me to know that God put Becky Stewart in my life one month ago for a purpose. “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.” Corrie ten Boom. I’ve never been more clear of anything than this right here and I have not stopped crying. I think about how Becky didn’t have to call me. She could have waited until May 10 when Girl Talk started. I think about how her sister-in-law gave her my number. God laid it on my heart to partner my ministry with Philann and Ryan months ago and that’s how Philann knew about Girl Talk. I think about how I know Philann because FOURTEEN years ago God put me in her sister’s first grade class. Fourteen years ago God was taking care of this situation. Oh how He loves us!
I have felt real heartbreak this week. Something I realized I haven’t truly felt since I was eleven and lost my own dad. To know that Cate is the age I was completely shatters my heart. I know where she is, what it feels like now and what it will feel like for the rest of her life more than I’ve ever been able to relate to anyone else. My heart is broken because I know how it feels to have my heart broken missing my dad at eleven years old. Through this heartbreak, God has shown up in amazing ways. There is no way I could even begin to tell you all that He has done. Wednesday night I prayed as I saw the sunset that maybe my dad and Mr. Chad had met in Heaven. Since I don’t know how Heaven works I thought maybe I’ll ask God to send me a cardinal if they’re together in Heaven. I felt stupid doing that. I don’t need God to prove Himself to me. And I see cardinals all the time so I felt like I was basically asking God to show me some grass or something that was clearly going to be there. I didn’t see a cardinal all day on Thursday. I looked and waited and watched but nothing. Yesterday, exactly one month since Becky called me and around the same time, I was sitting at the lake praying for the Stewarts and two cardinals flew in front of me and sat in a tree. My stomach dropped and I screamed! I know God is here. He is taking care of the Stewarts! I have never been more clear of His purpose for my life!
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7