Ok for this to make sense you will have to go back and read part one of this blog. Seriously! It will spoil the whole thing…and that’s not to tempt you to read further, just trust me read that one first!
In the fall of 2006, our new family business was standing at the door of the business realm, days from entering. And then we tripped on the welcome mat, all the way down the stairs behind us, and earned a giant bruise on the butt.
On a Saturday morning in mid October, we got a phone call. My older brother, the one planning all the financial aspects of our business, was killed in a car accident. And freeze. Whoah?! What God?! All the sudden everything became as hazy as the sky was on that October day. And it stayed that way for a while. I remember watching my parents try and function to make the business move forward, otherwise we were gonna starve to death. And I remember holding my brother Eric while he cried. Levi on the other hand pretended it didn’t happen. He just tried to go on admitting it wasn’t true. I did too.
There is a verse in the bible that says, for I know the plans I have for you; Plans to make you prosper and not to harm you; Plans to give you hope and a future. At this point in life this verse seemed like an entire package of really moldy Oscar Meyer Bologna. Our plans were in crash mode; we weren’t prospering emotionally or financially; we had no hope; my brother had no future. God said, your business, your circumstances, your life– those are my plans, not yours.
Recall to the business mission statement: Live, laugh, love, learn, leave a legacy. These were the goals for our future clients, and now they showed us God’s goal for us. My brother had completed all of these goals.(You can skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to hear all of my emoting) Live: he had lived a fruitful life– he had a beautiful wife, two adorable sons, and he was an admirable man of God. Love: First off, he didn’t kiss his wife until their wedding day. That may sound kinda awkward, but if you think about it the fact that he was willing to show his future wife that he loved her with every bone in his body and he didn’t have to prove it physically is a beautiful thing. He also showed his love for me. Every year for my birthday he took me out. Applebee’s, King’s Island, anywhere I wanted to go. And anything I needed advice on he was there for me. Laugh: For our business, laugh meant you could build friendships with someone that you could laugh with. He had some amazing friends that we still keep in touch with today. One of them even made him one of his groomsmen, and this was after he was gone. They just printed his name in the program and the bridesmaid walked solo. Learn: I can’t tell you any life lessons he learned because in my eyes he was perfect. I can tell you he was a genius though! He was salutatorian of his class, he got his undergrad degree in computer science, and his grad degree in business. Pretty smart ehh?
But the most important step was to leave a legacy. And he did that, perfectly. Have you ever been to a funeral where there were only like three people there? That wasn’t this one. There was about one hundred times that, no joke. He had touched that many people with his life and he was only thirty! That folks, is how you leave a legacy.
So back to the bible verse, Life plans. I can’t tell you why the little foster child was killed, I can’t tell you why a business devoted to helping children find loving homes was destroyed, and I can’t tell you why my brother’s life plans ended when they did. But that’s why it says, For I know the plans I have for you, I as in God. And in God’s eyes these lives had finished their plans and left their legacy. Now it was time for us to press forward and do the same.