There is no way to describe how it feels to learn that your loved one has died. Everything changes in that moment. My life was forever changed on June 7, 2015. My wife and I were asleep when the phone rang. Our son, Dewayne, had had a seizure. Minutes later, unforgettable cries of grief echoed through the receiver and pierced my soul. Our son had died.

By 6:00 a.m., we were on the road, heading to Atlanta to be with our son’s family. Like many do when they’ve lost a loved one, Sue and I wrestled with the unanswerable question of “Why, God?” We couldn’t understand. Our son was making a difference in this world. Why would God take a godly man who loved the Lord with all his heart and served Him daily, and leave evil people to roam this earth? It just didn’t make sense. It was all I could do not to grow angry. But I knew that allowing bitterness to settle in my heart would bring nothing but destruction.

We had just turned onto the Florida Turnpike and I was doing my “why, God” thing, when the Spirit of God spoke these words to my heart: “My purpose for Dewayne is complete. I am taking him home.”Although these words didn’t take away my pain or bring my son back, they did bring some comfort as they confirmed what I already knew: God was in control. He knew everything that was going on; none of this had taken Him by surprise.

The next few days were a whirlwind. The funeral itself was an amazing celebration of Dewayne’s life. I’ll never forget when the first song began to play. It was such a powerful praise to God that I leapt to my feet, lifted my hands, and worshipped my Lord. The whole congregation stood with me, and together we honored God and the life of His precious child. There were at least two salvations as a result of that service.

After the whirlwind settled and we returned home, we were left to face our grief. Fortunately, God brought many amazing people into our lives to stand with us and hold us up. We are forever grateful.