April 15, 2015

Remembering Dillon

This morning I received news that no one is ever prepared to receive. One of my former students made the decision to take his own life. My heart is broken. My stomach is in knots. My mind is paralyzed. The questions are swirling around, racing through my head: WHY? Why would he do this? What was going on in Dillon's life that he finally came to this conclusion? Just 8 hours ago - 8 hours before I find myself typing this - he posted on Twitter:

"To my loved ones and dearest friends, I'm sorry...this simply seemed to be my only option. For I was lost but now I am found."

Just an hour before that he posted to Instragram:

"If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales. It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas - no wonder my words have been impetuous." Job 6:2-3

My heart is broken for his parents, Mike & Lori.

My heart aches for his sister, Ashton, who loved him more than words.

My heart aches because there was something going on in Dillon's life - some burden he was bearing, some mistake that he had made, some guilt that he was carrying, or maybe even some hurt that he was battling - that led him to believe that this was his "only option". And for the sake of anyone else out there who might be carrying the weight, please know: This is never your only option!

Dillon knew Jesus. He knows Jesus. He's now with Jesus. But please know my heart in a situation like this: I don't believe Jesus was ready for Dillon to come home. He wasn't finished with everything He had planned for Dillon's very young life. I don't believe the Father ever desires that we determine our "appointed time". He determines that. But I also don't believe that our heavenly Father desires for us to carry much of the burden alone that we choose to shoulder by ourselves. We're not supposed to walk alone. Please don't carry the weight or bear the burden on your own!

I didn't post this to lecture or preach a sermon, but to remember an incredible young man. I will always remember Dillon's infectious smile and charisma. He could light up a room and make anyone feel like they belonged. He was compassionate. He was an athlete. He loved his family. He loved the Lord. I had the privilege of being Dillon's youth pastor. I haven't seen him in several years, and now I know that it will be several more. But when I do see him, Jesus will be there.

Galatians 6:1-3
2 Corinthians 4:1-18
Job 42:1-6

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