In the past couple of weeks, we have lost two more amazing young men in our community of friends. Each time we hear of the loss of another young life, Lisa and I take a deep breath, but air is hard to find. For a moment it takes us back to the shock, the pain, and the unending darkness.

After our Michael died in April 2013, one month and one day after, I did the funeral of his 20 year-old cousin. One year later I did the funeral of one of Michael’s friends and our son Tyler’s best friend. Lisa and I get messages and calls weekly of another death, another loss, another young life taken before it’s time. And we do not expect it to slow down anytime soon.

One thing being out here in Spain has done for me is give me time to think, time to process and time to ask myself and God some very hard questions. Mostly, I have asked “Why”? Why my son with so much promise, so much future? Why have you asked me/us to walk through this? Why do I have to humble myself, dig so deep, walk through the literal “valley of the shadow of death”, the darkest valley, again?

But as I have been falling into healing out here in Spain, my questions are starting to turn to simple thoughts, maybe simple answers—at least for me.

All through history the enemy has taken young lives. When Moses was born they threw all the male babies into the Nile River. When Jesus was born, Herod killed all the male babies two years and under. Abortion has taken more young lives than all our wars combined. Young lives that seem to have so much promise, so much future– young lives that matter.

Yesterday I was reading Genesis 5 to my 13 year-old Noah. God says “He created man in His own image, in the Likeness of God”. Then in verse three it says, “When Adam lived 130 years he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.” Man, it hit me, it hit me hard! Michael was made in my image, my likeness– when he was gone, a piece of me and who I am was gone forever. It is a deep, dark loss that I wish for NO one. The enemy knows when he can take a piece of you, your “likeness” that it may take all of you. Many stay in the place of asking “why” and it can hold on to it forever.

Noah and I continued reading. We got to verse 24, and it says, “Enoch walked with God and he was no more.” Think about that; God took Enoch because He loved him so much, He didn’t want him to have to walk through the “valleys of death”, the hardness that life brings; God wanted Enoch with Him!

I stopped, put down my bible, and closed my eyes… the Lord said to me, “I take some of these young ones home for that very reason. I love them so much; I just want them to be in peace, in paradise with me.”

My son loved people. He loved life and he just wanted to make people feel better. The few for whom I have had to do funerals, and the two we lost this past couple of weeks loved life, they loved people and they loved making others better. One of Michael’s quotes he used to say often:

“Everyone deserves to feel beautiful. Everyone deserves to be loved”

This blog is dedicated to every one of you that have lost: grieve, weep, scream, fight, and then know that God has them simply because of love.

Partner with the black’s and for a generation here

As you know we are living as “Missionaries” here in Spain. Your monthly support and one-time gifts is what sustains us as a family. Please consider investing in us and a generation. We are living with, teaching, training and mentoring our future leaders. Our Foundation is set up in our Michael’s name to honor his passion and a generation thru New Horizons and is a public charity. You will receive a full tax-deduction when you partner with us. You are helping us set young men and women on a path of serving their generation with discipline, hard work and accountability. Thank you.