At My Olive Tree, we are blessed by your stories of commemorating others. Though some of the stories are bittersweet, these speak to our hearts even louder. When we read how so many have honored lost loved ones, stories of honoring that special person on their birthday is most moving. Honoring a lost loved one on their birthday is a way to keep their memory alive and provide them a legacy.
Read how one woman chose to remember, and how she planted seeds that left her nephew’s legacy in the Holy Land…
Here’s How Honoring a Lost Loved One on Their Birthday Can Turn Bitterness into Sweetness…
Read Katie’s Story below about How She Chose to Honor Her 16-Year-Old Nephew in the Holy Land on His Birthday.
“The pain and memory are vivid. It was December 7, 2018. There I was, sitting in a hospital room surrounded by family and friends, feeling numb, lost, helpless, and hopeless.
“We all knew we needed to leave, but we were unsure how to make our bodies physically move. How could we go without Dax? It seemed impossible, yet there we were—not invited to stay, but not wanting to leave.
“It seemed, at that point, that all of our faith, prayers, hopes, and dreams for Daxton fell on deaf ears… He was gone. And so, after a moment, we left.
“We all went home and tried to piece together a different life—one without Dax in it—but it honestly felt so wrong. I asked myself over and over again, ‘How did this happen?’
“Obviously, it was a rhetorical question. Medically we knew how it had happened.”
Honoring a Lost Loved One on Their Birthday by God’s Supernatural Power…
“Over the next several months, I watched my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew exude a tremendous amount of strength and receive more support than I thought possible.
“Jenn’s Supernatural Grace—I witnessed Jenn, my sister-in-law, speak at her son's funeral with supernatural grace.
“Justin’s Supernatural Understanding—I watched Justin, my brother, invest in others dealing with loss with supernatural understanding.
“Jace’s Supernatural Strength—I watched Jace, my nephew, blossom with a strength that could only be described as supernatural.
“Supernatural. Otherworldly. The Holy Spirit reminded me that He is here walking all of us through this nightmare.”
How Can We Honor a Loved One? Moving on and Not Forgetting…
“The truth is that moving on is hard. All of these unanswered questions whirled through my mind…
- Does moving on require pretending and/or forgetting?
- Does moving on mean that Dax is no longer a part of our life and family?
- Why do I feel guilty about not wanting to be sad any longer?
- Is the guilt because I know that a time will never come when Justin and Jenn aren't sad?
“All of these questions loom. And then the big one…
“Then I realized that even if I was privy to the ‘why,’ I most likely wouldn't understand it.”
Here’s the Discovery I Made | How Honoring a Lost Loved One Leaves a Legacy…
“After months of prayer, tears, and soul-searching, here is what I discovered:
- God is faithful.
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”—Deuteronomy 31:8
- Our tears matter to him.
“You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?”—Psalm 56:8
- Dax is with Jesus. For a time, he is gone from this world, but he is NOT gone from our lives.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”—John 14:3
- For eternity, Dax and I belong to the same family—God's family. Through Christ's sacrifice and atonement, we have been adopted into the family of God.
“Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,”—Ephesians 1:5
- Legacy is important—important to the ones who are gone, the ones who remain, and the ones who are yet to come.
“It was the legacy realization I struggled with the most.
- Where was Dax’s legacy?
- How was anyone going to know what an amazing kid he was and the impact he was going to have for God's kingdom, had he been given a chance?
- How would they know that he would have honestly done anything for anyone?
- Does any of that matter now?
“The only one Dax needed to know, and who needed to know him, is closer to him now more than ever, right?”
Leaving a Legacy…
“After mulling all of this over in my head, it became apparent to me that all of my questions were valid. However, it was the last one that hit me like a freight train one October afternoon.
“Does it even matter?
“Dax’s 16th birthday was coming up in a few weeks, and the thought of it going unrecognized or unnoticed hurt. But what could I do?
“The answer that finally came to me was a resounding YES! It does matter. True, Dax knows Jesus and is known by Him. But what about those who are yet to come into a covenant relationship with the Savior, Redeemer, and King?
“I couldn't help but recall the infinite promises of God in this finite world. Legacy presents an opportunity that stretches beyond our capabilities and reaches into a world we never thought we would, or could, impact.
“In short, leaving legacy is our Great Commission. Dax is still the hands and feet of our Lord. I see the fruit of it each week at church through lives changed by one boy.
“That's when God laid a project on my heart. He revealed a way that I could sow into God's Kingdom in Dax's name, leaving his legacy of bearing fruit and helping others in the very land where I will be reunited with him—Jerusalem.
“The very thought of it exhilarated me… A physical representation of all that Dax was when he was here—strong, bold, generous, and deeply rooted right where God wanted him.”
The Legacy Dax Will Leave because Katie Chose to Honor Him in the Holy Land…
“His legacy will be an olive tree planted in the King's Valley that produces fruit for the Jewish people in Jerusalem.
“Dax’s legacy will help…
- Israel recognize Christ's unwavering love.
- Fulfill prophecy.
- Others abide in the restoration of God's Kingdom for the promised return of our Messiah!
Hope Restored by Honoring a Lost Loved One…
“What a glorious day that will be when our bodies and souls are reunited, and we can all worship together again. But until that day comes, I want God to know that I hear Him nudging me to keep going. He still has work for me to do.
“God is continually reminding me that He is good and sovereign, and that a thought is just a thought unless it is backed by action. So, I am taking action rooted in faith for a boy who will continue to impact so many of God's children.
“Happy Sweet Sixteen, Buddy. I love you… To infinity and beyond!
“Love, Aunt Katie”