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"Remembering Josh"...Part 3: Savor the Season

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The Boyer Blog: "Remembering Josh"...Part 3: Savor the Season

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Remembering Josh"...Part 3: Savor the Season

Today would have been our son, Josh's, 31st birthday. This first article was written by Rick, just a couple of months after Josh died from leukemia. I have followed it up at the end with some thoughts of my own as I reflect on his life today.
~Marilyn

“Victory in Jesus” – The Life of a Home-School Teen By Rick Boyer

(From “Our Readers Write” feature, The Teaching Home, May/June 1997)

Oh, how I love my boy!

He was born August 5, 1979. We named him Joshua Andrew Boyer – Joshua, meaning God Is My Salvation, and Andrew, meaning Man of God.

As a little boy, Josh saw humor everywhere. He laughed at everything, including himself. Not overburdened with coordination, he did some things so awkwardly that he was sometimes laughed at by others. Rather than being wounded, Josh laughed too.

The chubby, round-faced toddler metamorphosed into a gangling preteen and then a tall, skinny teenager.

When his three older brothers were out of the house and on the job with Dad, Josh became Mom’s right-hand man. He was her chauffeur and errand boy. He was the mainstay of the yard and garden crew, as well as keeping up with his “school” work and helping to supervise the activities of his younger siblings.

Josh’s favorite of those siblings was Tucker, 3. Many teenage boys can’t be bothered with little brothers, but not so with Josh. They were special buddies, and often Tuck could be found riding around with Josh in his truck and, when Josh was sick, sitting in his tiny recliner right next to Josh’s big one.

Normal attire for Josh was blue jeans, a flannel shirt, and cowboy boots. He was in his glory when baling hay or milking cows on my uncle’s Ozark farm.

Having finished his studies, Josh took a job doing lawn care for a few months, then started a similar business of his own. He saved his money and paid cash for a truck, mowers, and other equipment. Everything was coming up roses for Josh.

Then Josh got sick.

In August Josh complained that he was having persistent headaches and sometimes felt weak and dizzy. The doctors suspected a sinus infection or possibly mono. Then blood test results came back: Leukemia. Suddenly our world was turned upside down.

Josh was admitted to the hospital at the University of Virginia, an hour and a half away in Charlottesville. We were told that with Josh’s type of illness, he had a 75 percent chance of a cure. We would learn that God had other plans.

Despite everything, God gave my wife and me peace. Likewise with our son. Once I asked Josh if he was scared. He was sleepy with drugs, but managed to reply, “The word is not in my vocabulary.”

Josh lost his hair, but not his sense of humor. He lost his privacy, but not his dignity. He lost his physical strength, but not his strength of character. He lost his appetite, but not his testimony. He lost his comfort, but not his compassion.

On one of several occasions when the doctor had to tell Josh that another treatment had failed, Josh replied, “It must be hard for you to have to give people bad news all the time.”

On Saturday, March 22, 1997, Josh left for heaven. He had been born at home, educated at home, and he died at home. I hugged and kissed my son, full of praise to the Lord for lifting him out of his sufferings with His beloved, nail-pierced hands. Relief, gratitude, joy, love, exaltation swirled through me, and I couldn’t do much but repeat, “Oh, praise Jesus!” over and over.

We were determined the public memorial service would be a time of rejoicing. Several people shared testimonies concerning the work they had seen God do in and through Josh’s life. The pastor gave a clear presentation of the gospel.

There was special music, including a quartet comprised in part of two of Josh’s brothers. We sang no dirges, but songs of triumph. We closed the service with “Victory in Jesus.”

We know of 12 people who have received Christ as Savior partly due to Josh’s influence. Many others have said they are closer to the Lord for having agonized and prayed for Josh. A number have been challenged, encouraged, and convicted by Josh’s testimony.

Josh’s homegoing is still so recent that I can’t write about it without tears. But, for the most part, they are tears of joy. We miss our son, but we know that he is finished with suffering forever and is in the presence of the One whom we ourselves long to see.

We didn’t get to keep Josh for threescore and ten, but that was never promised. We’re thankful for 17 years with a great son. God’s grace is sufficient, and not once since Josh got sick has He allowed us to fear the outcome, to grow bitter, or to doubt that our God acts not only in all power, but in all love.

We miss our boy. But soon we’ll be with him and with the Lord. Until then, may God give us that loved Josh the grace to take what we have learned from his life and his death and forge ahead. There is work to be done and battles to be fought for the Kingdom of God. To Him be all glory and praise forever!

~Rick

That's been 13 years ago. Hard to believe. Josh would be 31 years old. He remains 17 in my mind. God has brought about many wonderful things in the lives of others as a result of Josh's testimony and for that I am so thankful. I have a peace that we did the job with Josh that God wanted us to do, and he is safely in heaven awaiting our arrival there. He always was wanting to be the first in the family to do things. I know he'll be showing us all around heaven when we join him one day.

We are all more focused people to have had the experience we had with Josh. Time is short and forever is eternal. It constantly reminds me that we need to spend the time we have left on earth accomplishing things for the Lord Jesus. We are here for a purpose. It also is a constant reminder to me that I don't know how long I'll have with any of my kids. Let us remember that relationships we build here with our kids will last forever as we spend it in eternity together. When you're tempted to be upset about temporal irritations, remember, the heart of your child is so much more important and we need to invest our time in building little lives that will honor and serve their Savior. Savor the Season

Marilyn

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9 Comments:

Blogger Laurel said...

My daughter's birthday is also August 5th, and she is 6. Thank you for the reminder to cherish the moments we have with our children and prepare them for eternity.

Praying God gives you a wonderful day remembering your son.

August 5, 2010 at 2:00 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

What a beautiful tribute to a son, a young man. My own brother passed away at age 26, 26 years ago now. I remember reminding my Mother that she had a great part in preparing my Godly brother for the day he would meet Jesus.

Blessings and increased grace to your family in this time of remembering and giving thanks.

August 5, 2010 at 2:03 AM  
Blogger Pam Testi said...

Marilyn, Thank you for sharing your challenge to all of us to make our time with our loved ones of utmost importance! I 'm amazed how God has been convicting me strongly in the past week to not just be with my children all day, but to make Godly impressions in their lives every opportunity. How often we go to bed and feel saddened because we were so busy we didn't water or nourish the tender hearts of our children. You are a blessing and thank you for you testimony! (I heard you speak a year ago in Columbus, OH---Thank you!)

August 5, 2010 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous gennel zimmerman said...

"The days are long, but the years are short"....while I have that as almost my mantra some days with four small children, I still manage to forget to always be patient and only kind throughout the day. thank you for both of your words today about Josh, it is a heartwrenching, tender reminder to this busy mommy. Your family is a blessing to ours.
Gennel Zimmerman, Pennsylvania

August 5, 2010 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger nikki perez said...

I REMEEMBER WHEN JOSH WOULD COME OUT TO CASSVILLE MISSOURI HE ALWAYS SEEMED TO LVE TO COME TO MY GRANDPARENTS HOUSE HIS UNCLE PETE AND AUNT BETTYS HE WOULD ALWAYS BE THE FIRST TO WANT TO GO TO THE HAYFEILD OR MILK THE COWS OR HELP AROUND THE YARD I REMEMBER JOSH AND EVERYBODY GOING TO THE CREEK MUNSEY WE WOULD PACK UP FOR THE AFTERNOON AND STAY HALF THE NIGHT THEN BACK TO THE HOUSE TO SLEEP IN THE HAY BARN EVERYDAY I THINK ABOUT JOSH IN HEAVEN WITH MY GRANDPARENTS HE IS MAKING THEM LAUGH I BET THEY ARE HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME I OFTEN THINK ABOUT A PICTURE OF JOSH THAT MY GRANDMA HAD HE WAS DRESSED IN MY GRANDPAS COWBOY HAT AND COWBOY BOOTS I OFTEN THINK ABOUT IT AND HAVE A LITTLE LAUGH I MISS JOSH NOT COMING DOWN TO MISSOURI WITH A MR. PIBB IN HIS HAND AND A SMILE ON HIS FACE. JSH TAKE CARE OF MY GRANNY AND PAPA FOR ME.

August 5, 2010 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Julia's family said...

Remembering Josh with you today. . . love and prayers for you all. Our God is good.

Julia

August 5, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick -

Your kindness you showed to me today of all days goes beyond words. You had been a hero to me before, and while I know that you have feet of clay as do all of us, you revealed to me the greater size of your heart of gold. What a great honor to the memory of your son to take the time to cheer a friend's son. I'm honored and humbled.

- John D.

August 5, 2010 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger MG said...

When you're tempted to be upset about temporal irritations, remember, the heart of your child is so much more important and we need to invest our time in building little lives that will honor and serve their Savior. Savor the Season


Love this quote.....thank you for the reminder. Thank you for sharing your son's story with us....for us to be learning, this many years later, about his legacy is a pretty amazing thing.

August 14, 2010 at 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your story. It reminds me how precious the moments with our children are. I also have a 17 year-old son who has a 3 year old brother buddy.

October 7, 2011 at 6:39 PM  

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