Laurie had just completed her last treatment for breast cancer. That was on Thursday. Our rejoicing was cut short, by making immediate plans to go to South Carolina to be with Mandy and her kids. We didn’t expect Zac to be alive by the time we arrived. As memory serves, it seems that from about Wednesday on, he was ready to go and seemed to be on his way to see Jesus.
We arrived Saturday night . . . me; my wife, Laurie; my sister, Barbara; and Zac’s sister, Stacey. I remember arriving late and needing food. I’d say it’s a Smith-thing, but really, we all gotta eat. The only thing, or at least the first thing we found, was a Waffle House. This would be a new experience.
Sunday morning, Stacey left our hotel and went right over to the house to say good-bye to her brother. It wasn’t long after that we were invited to stop by as well. I remember the mixed emotions of going to say goodbye to a young man that I loved dearly, my nephew, and a real good friend. After a time, and some prayer, the family made their way to church while I stayed back with Mandy in case she needed any help.
After church, my brother, Jim, took the whole gang out to find some lunch while Mandy and Sharon remained close by. After lunch as we were driving back, the cell phone rang.
Being there to say good-bye to Zac was a special moment. Knowing Zac was much more rewarding. I, along with those that knew him, had no doubts as to his faith in Jesus. As sure as I’m sitting here right at this moment, I knew what happened to Zac one year ago on that Sunday afternoon. Everyone that knew him loved him and would miss him greatly. And we still do.
In God’s sovereign care of Zac and Mandy, He moved them to Anderson, South Carolina where Mandy remains today and where Zac was given an amazing platform to share his story and where we all watched as God would use a couple of videos to tell countless numbers of his confidence in God’s goodness and His glory.
Tomorrow, is the one year anniversary of the day Zac went to be with Jesus. It was the 16th, which this year falls on Monday. Just a couple of nights ago, Laurie and I were reminded that she has been cancer-free for a year.
We remember and we rejoice. We rejoice in God’s grace, His kindness, His plans, His mercy, the life He gives us, the days that He has already numbered for each of us. We rejoice that He’s God and He’s got this. He’s got us.
This weekend I’ll think of Zac a lot more. And I’ll think of his sweet wife and three pretty cool kids. I’ll pray for them and for his mom and dad and his sister. And I’ll think of Zac’s message that is just as true a year later: God is still God, and God is still good. To God be the glory.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15
“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11