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Good Friday, April 14, 2017

Is. 52:13 – 53:12; Ps. 22; Jn. 18:1 – 19:42

Losing a loved one can be very difficult.  You may feel angry, lonely, bewildered or any number of other feelings.  Fifteen years ago my brother Michael was diagnosed with cancer; two years later he lost his battle with that cancer.  During this time I had just started my life post-college:  working, making new friends, figuring out how I wanted to live my life.  When I heard the diagnosis, I was very upset and moved back to Tampa.  Struggling with how to handle this, I started making decisions that I don’t regret but if continued would have sent me in a whole different direction.  I also started attending a weekly Bible study that a very close and lifelong friend recommended.  It is here that I met a new group of friends and a minister that would pick me up and stand by me in a special way.

When the time came for Michael to go home, I was in a good place and did not feel any anger or loneliness.  I was at ease with the situation and knew deep down where Michael was and was actually happy that he wasn’t hurting any more.  I still miss him and it can be difficult to speak about his death, but because of my family and these new-found friends I was able to cope with this loss.  I am still very close to these people and know that if I am in need they are right there for me as I will be for them.

–Nathan Pawelkop