God has the Power to Make Beauty of Ashes
By Katherine McAtee - My story is full of twists and turns that life has thrown at me over my 27 years. My one and only brother passed away in 2014, as you have read about on this website. My 3 sisters, mom and dad, and thousands of other people searched long and hard for him after he disappeared in Breckinridge, CO. About a year later, we found out that he died in the Colorado wilderness. Despite the goodness that has come from his story touching so many lives, when I look at pictures of him to remember his laugh, smile, and sense of humor, and I ask, “Why?” “Why did Jack have to leave this world at only 26 years old?” He was no doubt brilliant, and had a passion for life like I’ve never seen. He had so much to offer and accomplish. But God had a greater plan for Jack, which none of us would of expected. This reminds me of the scripture, Jeremiah, 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Although I become angry when I am reminded that Jack is gone, I know that he is in Heaven with Jesus, free from mental illness and all the troubles he encountered. This makes me think that there are far, far better things ahead than any I leave behind. It also reminds me that God’s timing is perfect for our lives. Death reminds us of how fragil life is, especially when a loved one leaves us so unexpectedly. I have learned that thanksgiving is one of the most powerful tools to practice daily. It lifts the hold that depression, fear, and loneliness can have over someone. I cherish the relationships God has put in my life today, tomorrow and the next because they are there for a specific reason only God has in mind. Today, I continue to live out my story, with wisdom and hope for the future.