My Jonathan

One of my closest and best friends of my life passed away last month. I didn’t find out until last night – “randomly”.

We used to hang out over twelve hours a day. Up to multiple times a week. Taking long drives. Talking about everything. Sometimes up until three in the morning talking on the phone.

It was the best of times even when there were worst of times between us. To the point of us eventually parting ways. I was so sad about that. I tried over and over to fix it.

He’d respond only maybe two or three times over the years. Once last year by text to tell me he had married. Another this year when I was in desperate need of medical assistance as hospital physicians kept dismissing me. We met in person for the first time in years. And after only a little bit, we both verbally acknowledged that it seemed clear that the medical reasons were only to get us to have that talk; that there was some other real reason we needed to meet. I never imagined it would be the last time.

It was good to see him again and be able to hear him talk. He told me all about his new life. Just like when we would take our drives, the first couple of hours were for him to share. And I loved that. I loved being there to hear. I thought in many ways that he was one of the greatest men I had known. I knew there was something very different about him in the best of ways. Special only in that sense.

What drove us apart was what was also some of his best qualities. It didn’t matter what anyone thought – he was a fighter who would stand for the truth, as much as he knew it, until the very end. Without apology or wavering. When he was sure, he ran with it and there was no stopping him. One of the most passionate and bold people I’ve known in that way.

I commonly think of people as what kind of dog they would be. No doubt in my mind he was that little scrappy dog guarding the whole house all the time. Up in a split second at the first hint of danger. Ready to go to war with the biggest – no matter how imposing the Goliath. He knew his God’s love enough to stand up and not back down from any fight. I so respected him for that (and more) – even when we disagreed.

I will so miss our talks. I never stopped hoping and praying we’d have more on this side. Every time the phone rang or I was sent a text, I’d hope it was him TELLING me he was coming to take me on one of those great drives. Now I don’t have that hope anymore. I am very sad about that. Some of the best times in my life.

But I am thankful we met one last time this year. That we volleyed back and forth verbally like before. It didn’t start out the same, but by the end I was starting to see MY Jonathan again – the one I fell in love with. His smiles after he tossed me some verbal jab laced with just enough audacity to make me laugh in the middle of the most serious talks. Wicked good humor – and he meant whatever he said. I will keep missing that so much.

He took a break from telling me what he wanted to share about his new life to put on his Doctor hat to find out where I needed fixing. But we never got there physically because it was quickly clear that there was a bigger reason for our meeting – although I don’t think either of us could figure it out at the time.

It felt so unfinished. I walked away sad. Hopeful and thankful for him and his time, but sad. I wanted my best friend back. I wanted him to be at peace, free, and happy. I wanted that so badly for him. On this side – as much as I’m confident he’s fully there now. Wherever he is with God. Without us that remain thinking we are here.

I wanted to be a part of him being at peace, free, and happy. Looking back, I guess I was – even not as I expected all this time.

I wanted so much more for him. For our friendship. This is not how I expected things to end. I thought we had more time.

Numb.

I asked God. Why? Why, why, WHY, WHY?!?!

Ugh. Sigh.

Silence.

I wanted so much to share the good – the better – news with him. “Don’t worry. He knows now. More than you. He’s also so excited for you to get there.”

I wanted him to meet William Paul Young. I thought Paul would be an older brother from another mother to and for him. Even for each other. Encouragement. Understanding without needing to explain. But apparently that was just my thoughts, my ways? “Not necessarily, My love. You are stuck in time. Jonathan has already met and will meet Paul. Don’t worry. They get along fabulously, by the way. Just like you thought. ๐Ÿ˜Š You’ll get to see. It will still thrill your heart with joy.”

“Oh, and also… Jonathan finally gets to find out how the pyramids were constructed. ๐Ÿ˜€ Loved helping him see that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ He’s so excited to show you.”

I wanted us to go on more drives. I wanted to show him Seattle and the Northwest coast. I hated the fog and rain, but he told me he loved it; it was his favorite. “Don’t worry. He wants those things too, but there will be plenty of time on the other side for more exploring. Fantastic places. All of eternity. He finally has everything he never had on this side – only better!”

I asked why it couldn’t happen the way I wanted on this side. Why I couldn’t ever seem to get through to him about the good – better, best – news I ever knew about God, his Father? I was so looking forward to long drives where I could share and see him get it. Why didn’t that get to happen on this side, God? Wouldn’t that have been very good?

God reminds me how I barely survived the last four years after my eyes were opened. The best thing ever, but also my ENTIRE life flipped upside down. Everything I thought I knew – gone! What sometimes feels like endless weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This man, my Jonathan, was there for me in the beginning. He really was the main one to keep me afloat as far as he could go. I will forever be thankful for that!! I’m so glad I got that last hug. That there were finally smiles again when we last met.

But God told me what I went through would have been too much for Jonathan’s heart here on earth. Because of so many years. He so passionately fought for the God he knew – as he knew Him.

And God assured me there is no shame in that. God loved Jonathan’s heart; He wasn’t and isn’t disappointed at all. Never! That man loved more than most. That man fought for what was right more than most. There was a fire in his heart and he went full force. Embraced all and everything he knew.

It would have been too much for him to see the other way. To understand and live with how his family was so impacted. His relationship with his father to start. And then all the other people he along the way. It would have been too much for him to take. Because of the grief of what else could have been. He would have very painfully understood numerous heart-breaking ramifications.

And this was never about getting anything right. This was always about love – and Jonathan received and gave so much love.

“It was good that Jonathan introduced others to God as he knew Me. They needed that God to believe in. At the time. Those efforts were not in vain.”

He loved his father. So much. He’d rather take the hit over and over than let his father feel any pain. God showed me that. He really sacrificed his life to ensure his father never feltโ€ฆ He kept the family together in some of those ways. I hope at least he will finally see that now. On the other side. That all this time he wanted to be doing other things, but in the end he finished the “job” very well done. Exemplary. He was always his father’s son. He honored Him until the very end. In that way and so many others. I feel assured that his biological father finally saw and sees him now. That his father was one of the first to embrace him on the other side. Finally celebrating him. Super proud.

And now Jonathan finally sees. The good reasons for all those unanswered prayers. The impacts he had around the world. Seeds, seeds, and more seeds. He did so much that he was not fully aware of. Knowing him, he probably now only wishes he had let go and dove in even more while he was with us in the physical body on this side.

I hear him telling me that – to not have ANY fear! That he wishes he could be here for me, and so many others. To tell us what he now knows. That it is all so much better than he tried to tell us, than he ever knew before.

That there really is nothing to be afraid of at all! That I’ll only regret the things I didn’t do – that’s what I hear from him loud and clear. To just go for it! To embrace it ALL and FULLY enJoy it. That the time will pass so quickly.

That he isn’t sad at all where he is at. That he is really excited for us to be there with him on the other side when those times come. That he is looking forward to seeing me, us again. That he now understands.

So much more I could say, but that’s all for now.

My friend. I will keep missing you here so much. All the talks. All the drives. All the laughs. All the good times. God, you were such a blessing to me. I am so grateful I knew you. I was so spoiled to get so much of you when I did. People like you don’t come around like that. Rich to experience that once in my lifetime. I love you and I can’t wait to see you again.

๐Ÿ’™ – Sarah Louise

P.S. Now I can share pictures. Memories from some of my favorite times with you. Only you will probably understand the funny one I included as my last jab at you! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜† But I don’t really win because you’re not here to give me some hell for it. ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’™

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