(photo credit: Jensen Photography; Jeff and Cait Jensen)
Good evening, friends.
Yesterday was an incredible celebration of Erin’s life. Thank you to everyone who came to the service to show love and support and to honor her memory. Truly, she would have loved it and I'm certain it was exactly what she wanted (mainly because she made her wishes quite clear☺️). All of it was achingly beautiful, but the most important thing about the day was Erin's not-so-hidden agenda- to point each of you straight to the hope she had in Jesus. She took great care to make sure each of you had the opportunity to experience what allowed her to LIVE OUT her mantra "Victory Either Way". That's exactly what she told Pastor Phil Carnuccio, and what he so clearly and beautifully communicated yesterday on her behalf. Erin's desire for all who have followed her on this journey was that you would hear that message. Please, if you were not able to attend or watch live yesterday, consider spending some time over the next week and watch the service. You will be so blessed. You can find it HERE. (The service starts around the 36 minute mark so don't be alarmed when you see 2 hours, 7 minutes.)
Pastor Nathanael Manthey shared a beautiful poem he wrote, which I have posted below, for anyone who may want to read it again. Through unimaginable grief and sadness, Katie, Jeremy, Ben, Cambre, Lane, and Steve spoke about their relationship with Erin with strength and bravery that will surely make you cry, but will also make you laugh (a lot). And, Kate, Steve, Ellie and Brenna honored Erin with gorgeous music. It was the perfect tribute.
After the service, a number of you found me to introduce yourselves and it was so nice to meet so many of Erin's friends and family members that I hadn't yet. I was happy to see some of the faces behind the comments and well wishes. I want to take this opportunity to say "Thank you" again. Erin handed over this responsibility to me and it has been an unexpected gift that I will always cherish. You have been unreasonably kind and gracious to me over the past 16 months. You have shared your gratitude over and over and I cannot begin to express how much it has meant to me that the words I have put on these pages has touched even one of you. It has been my joy and honor to serve Erin and her family on this platform. I, like so many of you, am forever changed by her village (that's YOU!) and our warrior. As a collective, you are a true and pure reflection of the goodness of God in this broken world and I am so grateful to have borne witness to this miracle. I saw it unfold with my own two eyes, heard it with my own two ears, felt it with my own two hands, experienced it in my own heart and soul. Now, I wait in great anticipation to see what beauty God will surely bring out of these ashes of pain and despair. I will tell the story of how our good God made a way when there seemed to be no way and will trust in His promise to turn all things meant for evil for our good. “The story isn’t over if the story isn’t good.” Erin’s story is far from over- He has blessing after blessing in store for her people.
I want to acknowledge that I'm not sure what will become of this space now. It will live here in the inter webs forever, I suppose. Maybe some day Steve will want to share what is happening with their family, or a few photos of the kids, or a funny story... I will let it be whatever Steve and the kids want it to be. For the short term, please keep following if you’d like information about how we will continue to tangibly support the Selcher family over the next few months. They are headed to the beach for a few weeks tomorrow, and we will most likely re-start meals to help out for the rest of the summer.
I’ll leave you now with some of the words in the final song yesterday- "The Blessing". We stood and sang it as message of hope and peace over the Selcher Family and it was a holy moment. Watch it and be blessed and filled up, too.
And a thousand generations
And your family and your children
And their children, and their children
And behind you, and beside you
All around you, and within you
He is with you, He is with you
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you!"
Poem by Nathanael Manthey:
I miss you guys and I wish I could be there to give you all a hug in person. If possible, could you please forward this to Benny, Steve and your Mom and Dad for me (I don’t have their numbers).
-All my love to you and your family from the crazy kid across the street. I miss you, brother.”
“I never met Erin, but she obviously had a huge impact on countless lives and it was an honor being present yesterday, brother. The strength you and your children showed is beyond admirable and inspiring. I had just started my workout around 6 am this morning outside and was praying for you guys when the sun broke out from behind a cloud. Could have been coincidental, but I’d like to believe it was Erin saying thank you and she’s got this. Then the sun ducked behind a cloud again. You’ll see her in everything you do, she’ll never leave your heart and she’ll be a constant inspiration. You being a former wrestler I understand why you didn’t like, ‘Victory either way’. That’s not a wrestling mentality. If you don’t beat your opponent, you lose. There are no moral victories, but she was able to see victory in what most would see as defeat, because she knew death isn’t the end. It’s the greatest victory when we’re called home. I struggle with it too, but will keep her words close to my heart. God Bless you, brother, we’re here for you and praying for you all.”