Most of us go through life wishing at some point that we could have a profound influence on others. Many people accomplish that on at least a small scale, but there are those rare individuals who manage to impact untold numbers, often without even realizing it.
On July 5, 2012, a young man named Trey Erwin, who lived in my community, lost a brave battle with adult pancreatic cancer, a form rarely diagnosed in anyone his age. Trey would have turned 16 on July 31. Trey leaves behind his parents, a younger brother, and hundreds of friends who will miss him. This teenage Christ-follower impacted more people worldwide during his four-month battle than many of us will our entire lives.
Never in my life have I seen a community mobilize in such great numbers to pray for and support a family like the Erwins. From the #prayfortrey campaigns set up on social networks and fundraisers held to assist the family financially with the costs of treatment, to the loving friends who provided meals, transportation, and tender care, people from around the world united to pray this family through a devastating illness.
Trey's mother, Lisa, maintained a CaringBridge site to keep us plugged into their prayer needs and the progression of Trey's illness. The growth of Trey's cancer, however, was no match for the strong faith of this young man and his family. Lisa's journal entries were so inspiring and I was humbled each time I read one. Although I did not know Trey personally, I have cried many tears since his passing, tears of gratitude for the bold faith of this young man and his family and for the way God used Lisa's journal entries to make me re-evaluate the way I parent and relate to my own teenagers.
If I could say one thing to Lisa it would be this: "Thank you so much for demonstrating what it means to truly cherish our children. Thank you for modeling such incredible faith and amazing grace in the midst of such heartbreak and loss. I am so sorry for all your family has been through, but so grateful to you for allowing us to be a part of your journey and so very thankful that Trey is happy and healthy in the presence of his Lord. May God comfort your family with his peace and fill your hearts with the joy of knowing that you each have made a tremendous impact on the lives of so many, including me."
Copyright © 2012 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com