Life and Death of Ben Breedlove

Early this morning, (around 2:38 AM) my attempts to fall asleep had failed, so I wanted to check the news on my laptop and see what was going on in the world. The first story that popped up was a story titled Teen’s video goes viral after death. I clicked it thinking that it would be interesting. Needless to say that I would be changed by someone I never knew, by someone I never met.

Ben Breedlove was 18 years old when he died on Christmas Day in Austin, TX. He suffered from HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) a heart condition that causes the myocardium (the muscle in the heart) to thicken, causing problems when pumping out blood. A week before he died, he left two videos (This is my story:Part 1 and Part 2) talking about how he had cheated death three times.

I saw the videos, and I also looked at the videos where he and a few of his friends give advice about different things. I began to like him. He seemed so happy, so full of life, even though he might not live the following day. He accepted death, but until then, he lived life, and that to the fullest.

Realizing all of this, I started thinking, Am I okay with death? Am I living life to the fullest? Am I making a difference? For me personally, I would have to answer either no or sometimes. As a Christian, I should be able to confidently say yes to those questions. What can I do to change this? Find my identity in Christ, know that my life is in God’s hands, serve in every way possible (without burning out, a post about this will come soon, I can feel it!), and lastly, love God to the fullest.

I never met this young man, but he has changed my view on life, as well as many others. My prayers go out to his family, friends, and community.

Ben Breedlove’s Obituary

I hope to meet him one day in heaven.

Advertisements

The Technicalities of Christmas

What do you normally think of when asked to describe the Christmas story (not to be confused with the 1983 movie A Christmas Story)? Often times we think of Mary travelling by donkey while Joseph led the way, inn keepers turning away a very pregnant Mary and her husband, a wooden stable, three wise men, etc. But some people like to say that there probably wasn’t a donkey, there was no record of any interaction with inn keepers, if stables where even wooden then, or the fact that there could have been a caravan of people travelling that were wise men/magi. There are so many details or things that have been added to the story that are important to a certain degree, but we lose sight of what really matters.

So, what is it that truly matters in the Christmas story? It’s the fact that Jesus stepped out of eternity and became a man. That God gave up His Son so that we may have a chance to spend all of eternity with Him. That Jesus gave up every right to be selfish, and decided to be one of us.

But how does all of this link to the baby in the manger? That baby grows up to be Man on the Cross. He grows up to be Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Man who will come back again. I fear that many of us forget to have that baby grow up, that we don’t connect Him to the Man that rose again on that first Easter morning, the Man who gave up His life for us. We need to see that connection, that growth, because if we don’t, then Christmas can become another commercialized holiday.

This winter season, will you let the baby in the manger stay there? Or will you let the Child we call our Savior grow up?

The choice is yours…

  • Further Reading:
  • Isaiah 7
  • Matthew 1:18 – 2:12
  • Luke 2
  • Isaiah 53
  • John 3:16

A Young Life

I went to a four year old’s memorial service earlier today. I am not going to lie to you, it was heart breaking. This little girl was so vibrant and full of life, but she was born with an intestinal disease that would cause her to be in and out of the hospital throughout her life. Her mother is devastated. This young life ended during the week of Thanksgiving. How can the family go through the holiday season the same anymore?

Karlee (the little girl) touched many lives during the time that she was here on earth. She made everyone smile! And her death came quickly and caused much pain. Many people would say that she never got to live, that her life was cut short. But do we really know that? If you met her, you could see that she was living life to the fullest, even while in the hospital. God has a plan for all of this, and even though much pain has hit many, especially her parents, God has not forsaken us. He is still in control.

One of the things that has completely changed my life through this is that Stephanie, Karlee’s mother, wants to give out of her loss. “Karlee loved playing in playgrounds. I want to build a playground.” I have no idea if I would ever be able to do something like this, let alone say it after losing my only child. But this just shows how God is working in her life, even though it is hard right now.

I would ask that you look at Stephanie’s statement, and just see how God is working in your life, whether things are going great or not. Whatever the circumstance, you will see just how blessed you are and how present God is in your life. If you can, please pray for Stephanie and her family, it would be greatly appreciated.