Ten years ago today, marks the first time that I had ever received a phone call that plummeted my heart deep inside my chest.
My roommates fiancé, one of my good friends was missing and another good friend was struggling to stay afloat after being swept into the ocean. They had been walking along the rocky shores of NSW Australia and had been pulled into the surf by a rogue wave.
I remember the exact place I was standing when I got that call. I was in a fabric & craft store in downtown Newcastle with Holly and Jerek buying beads so Jerek could make himself a rosary. We walked outside, stopped on a pedway and began to pray.
How could this be happening? I had just had dinner with Jeremy the night before. A dinner that he had treated me to, where I unpacked my broken heart to him and cried on his shoulder. Thats how good of a friend he was!
The days that followed were a whirlwind. Luckily our other friend that had been in the water was rescued by chopper, but they couldn't find Jeremy. I had decided to stay glued to Christinas side (my room mate). We would walk the shores of the park where he had gone missing, calling out his name. We would wander through the bush hoping to find any sign of life. On the 2nd day we sat on the cliffside and I said this to God "Show me a whale if he's still alive." I kid you not, what seemed to be hundreds of whales started to breach the waters surface. I was filled with so much HOPE! I believed with my whole heart my friend was going to come home.
Only now the search and rescue had transitioned into a body recovery, and after a few more days that was called off. Now it was time to plan the memorial. I was devastated.
After the memorial I sat on my bedroom floor, crying my eyes out and angry at God for giving me false hope.
How could you?!
Why would you?!
Why would you show me ALL of those whales if Jeremy was not alive.
I was angry, I was hurt. I trusted you.
Then came his answer, in the most gentle of voices.
Tessa, you asked me to show you a whale if he was alive. Right now he is more alive being here with me, than he's ever been being there with you. (Hence the hundreds of whales.)
I was dumbfounded. It was truth.
In death, my friend was more alive in Christ than he had ever been before. He was perfectly content, overflowing with joy, painless, fearless, everything anyone could ever wish for - he was experiencing.
This is the best we could ever ask for - eternal life with the Father.
So rationally I started making demands. I want to know everything that will come from his death for your kingdom, that could not come if he were to have lived. One day you will show me!
Only to my surprise that day came very soon. Jeremy's parents started a ministry called 1.21
It is based off of the scripture that Jeremy had tattooed on his chest - Philipians 1.21
This ministry has reached thousands of people with the Gospel of Christ, and I am excited for them all to one day get the opportunity to meet Jermey in heaven. Check out www.onetwentyone.com
October 12, 1984 - June 16, 2008