Trevor Heinrich (a life unrivalled)

Trevor Heinrich (a life unrivalled)

The question is not of who won or who lost. The question is why did the cancer have to be such a sore looser? My friend, Trevor is home with Jesus.

It’s easy to say clichés like heaven couldn’t spend another minute without him or he’s in a better place and we’ll see him again one day. It’s easy because they’re true, but it doesn’t make the ache any softer for a wife who finds herself missing her best friend and her lover; her some much more then I could ever ponder. I know the little I knew him in comparison leaves an ache in my chest and tears in my eyes. My wishes to spend more time, write music and sing with him like we planned before the his voice was, for those dreams, silenced. But heaven and hell both know that his voice could not be silenced! He climbed higher then Everest, and reached father then the coast and around the world with his smile, his passion, his joyful exuberance. His faith was stronger than anything I’d ever seen and his gentleness was to the atomic level, only to be rivaled by his compassion like the ocean and his love vibrant and present as color itself. He thought deeply, dreamed wildly, followed his dreams so rigidly and tenaciously, he would push through steadily until the task was complete.

And though I struggle at moments to breath, I can’t imagine the chest of his Family who’s breath can only be replaced as the cries of sadness and grief are retracted forcefully to be followed by silence or tears or choking over the next emotion unable to be predicted or seen. Their family member who’s life on earth was not left unlived has been cut shorter then they would have ever imagined or expected. But his legacy and memories will never fade. He will never cease to be missed. They will know laughter again. They will breath easier, but he will always be a part of them. Grief will never become past tense, but the tension of that grief will loosen its grip for most days.

The thing of it is, we do not want to forget. The future is mourned not because he’s not with this moment, but because tomorrow’s reality is the same as today’s. The dreams made with him are now ours to trail blaze. In his memory, we gaze into what our friend would have done if he had even one more day. We must not waist our precious days in fear of what might happen. What if the things we set our minds to don’t turn out as sweet as we wished them to.

But what will happen when we look at ourselves, years later, in awe of a man who lived his life as closely to Jesus as he ever could, at that’s all we do? Will we not be moved to live more beautifully, love more purely, fight more passionately, and dream more wildly?

Or will we let ourselves return only wishing, but never being?

Trevor has changed my life. The hours I’ve spent with him have been few and far between, but they were rich in beauty, vibrantly refreshing, enlightening and full of permission to dream. I met him in 2015 and I say goodbye on the 24th day of June in 2019.

It has not fully set in, and I can’t begin to think I could scratch the surface of how special he is, but this is my account of Trevor David Heinrich:

He greeted me with sincerity, shared moments intentionally, exchanged art and encouragement mutually and humbly. He dreamed and encouraged me to dream with faith I hadn’t seen, laughed uncontrollably. He rock climbed skillfully and never gave up, pulling me to become better, even before his dream to climb to Everest’s peak. He let me crash on his couch, sat down with me to have coffee, mid hike accross the US as he raised money. He shared his friends in a Bible study and sat with me, embraced me, and affirmed me in the man I was and was to be. We watched a play at Sight and Sound before he would work there. We climbed some more after he had been going more head on towards his Everest dreams. I sat with him after I got him ice cream. We ate it together. It was peanut butter cup. It was supposed to be dairy free, but that accident became his cheat in his week. We laughed so hard, after he said, “This is so good! I can’t believe it’s dairy free!” We looked at the package, noticed my mistake and lost it. I felt bad as his laughter was interrupted by pain and coughing, but these are some of the moments I never want to release. I saw him marry the woman of his dreams. The light in his eyes could have challenged the sun as she walked towards him; when she took his name. I cut his hair, and spent time with him and his wife. He showed me the things that he was still passionately doing. A gift he was making for his beauty. The Kombucha bottle anticlimactically did not explode, but surely made a mess. Stella and him alike encouraged me and showed me true love and sacrifice. I prayed for him as I followed his story. He never let himself get bitter. He never lost his smile; that smile no one can forget. His heart was the purest. I wish I could have spent more time with him. I wish I could go back and play the times we did have, but my times with him are only a sliver his story that show how amazing he is. His legacy will not quickly fade, and his impact will surely never be counted or measured; it will continue to grow day by day.

The cancer took his life on earth, but it did not take his spirit. Trevor won the race. He is healed. He is whole.

When You Can’t Hold On (Poem)

When You Can’t Hold On (Poem)

My grip, tighter then a vice, yet it cannot hold back the drip after drip, the blood running through my fingers, down my arm and beading from my elbow. What a terrible way to go, just hoping; praying that I might stop the flow. The thoughts racing through my mind, cursing myself, knowing the consequence could have been avoided and the afflictions are rightfully mine, yet still wishing the past three minuets could have a rewind and retry; although I know myself all too well, that even if I had twelve tries, I would squander each one, just like I have this time. I’m not a just a victim, but a slave to my own vices, and this wound inside of my chest will not heal; Not because it cannot, but because addressing the scars is only an attempt to mend only the product of my mixed up and broken heart.

from one infected hand to another, this vice grip I’m holding will only stop the bleeding, while the infection seeps into every other part, and spreading even to the brain, and once it gets there, it festers. It builds up pressure like a balloon, not relenting until theres release and devastation.

By that time, the damage has been done, and I find myself again, dressing wounds with infection, reconnecting my cycle of remorse and repentance, if that word hasn’t lost its meaning yet.

I don’t know how to change what I’ve found myself in, but I know this vicious cycle isn’t it. It isn’t anxiety and fatigue, followed by temptation, selfishness and loneliness increased, to thoughts to actions. It is not that because I’ve lived and seen it and that’s not what I want to be; a fraud, a bad example, a hypocrite, or a liar; half hearted, tired, and hopeless or dictated my shame.

I know that my savior is somehow knocking on my door, and I’ve rejected his love for a counterfeit bluff. How can I come when I know what I’ve done, and even worse, weighed options, and still chose the world. All I can do is let go. All I can do is let go. Whatever that is going to mean, I’m need to let go.

Loving Impurely is Still Love

Loving Impurely is Still Love

Picture yourself in a world void of love, something like our social media pages, yet worse. Imagine that every person had no motive that didn’t directly benefit themselves. That every action close to love was known to be fraudulent and skewed, in order for the person intending to use the other to walk over. To some of us, this twisted fantasy doesn’t sound too far off from reality, but none the less, I am convinced that, if acknowledged or not, each and every one of us have received love at one point or another. You may have received it from a parent, guardian, teacher, stranger, partner or friend, but you indeed have received and recognized some sort of love.

I say this because we all love differently. As I pondered this truth, I remember my one friend telling me that when he was into drugs, he would “help out” or show “love” to some of the younger (elementary, middle schooled, freshman) kids by hooking them up with a little extra weed then they paid for. As he has been clean now for years, thanks to Jesus through Teen Challenge and personal encounters with Him, he said he thinks back to that and how twisted his perception of love was.

I see people trying to show love through putting out for a partner because that’s what they want. I see people trying to show love through calling someone a name or bringing them down in the name of good fun. I see people trying to show love by spending all kinds of money, to telling someone their lifestyle is ok even through it is self destructive, saying they’re loving them the way they are. In the same way, I’ve seen people love through serving, spending time, giving, listening, comforting, and so many other ways.

In all these different scenarios, these people are loving the way they have observed another love. If they first hand observed this love or observed it from a video or book or what have you. This really had me thinking; are any of these motives really pure? Can humans really love for the sake of nothing other then the person receiving something beneficial and true without expecting anything in return?

I was hoping to say no, because I can’t think of almost any times I served someone not expecting or hoping for a thank you, money, recognition, friendship, a girl’s reciprocal emotions/interest or any number of things, but I can’t say that the love I’ve shown in these places were in any way malicious. Not to say they never have been, but to love without expectations is perfect love, but love with positive motives, that benefit the other mostly with side effects that elevate oneself is still love.

But what if we want to love more purely? How do we as humans acheve a love that may not be fully pure in motivation, but is really beneficial to another, and is really love? The easy answer? We must encounter love from Love himself!

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7

Before I encountered Jesus for real, I wanted to give people advice, and it was always fine, but it wasn’t out of love from and for Jesus. As I got to and get to know him more, I am more able to walk out that love. As I read about his life and about his character throughout the entire Bible, I learn even more about how to love. coming back to a previously stated concept, we love how we observe love. I want to observe the number one lover, incomparable to any other, so that my love, though possibly impure at it’s roots, are coming from the purest source of love.

Are you interested in receiving and giving this kind of love? (me too, I’ll always mess up and need to return to this!) Ask Jesus to show you his love, beyond just his rules, but show you his love! Admit your wrongs and ask him to take all of the weight that goes along with them, and take a step of faith! God honors a humble heart and responds to a willing heart! You’re never too far gone, you’ve never crossed him too many times, cures with his name more then he can handle; you’ve never said he’s not real or worth it enough to stop him from wanting your life, your heart, your spirit and all of your insecurities and shortcomings. He is patiently waiting for you. Give it all to him! It will not always be EASY, but you will NOT regret it!

 

Contact me or comment if you want to talk more about this life changing decision! God bless you.

My Life is NOT My Own

My Life is NOT My Own

Life.

This word has been presented to me year after year by platform after platform. I’ve been told it’s found in letting go and I’ve struggled with the thought of my life being out of my control, my life not being my own. This notion has always been in my mind because of repetition in teaching and songs, written in my poems, but never being written on my hear in more then dry erase on a white board.

Since a young age, I lived for the spotlight. Being the youngest, being told go away, you’re too young or not yet were sucker punches that to me then, didn’t make sense. When your identity is in being along, being alone doesn’t leave much identity in the mix.

As grew up, where acceptance lacked, I gained in grit, and a determination to find a way to be known by the likes of anyone willing to notice. With each step into a new year, I tied myself to a new tactic, from sports like baseball and gymnastics to humor and wow factor. I pursued women, lust and pornography to try and fill the empty feeling my shallow friendships and rejection from the last girl couldn’t fill within me.

This lead my into a hatred of myself and my own body, my own mind and identity. My christianity was my life in the light, my vice in conventions and retreats, but it was my shame in the evenings and in the deleted history from my phone screen, but no matter how hard I’ve tried to delete that history, the memories and shame would never delete.

My comfort soon came to me in routine. This routine was comfortable, like being in a prison cell. The routine creates normality, but not because it becomes better, but because there is survival in the numbing, but no, no there is not living. I would start out the week with a community, broken, yet free, spotted with others like me. I would fill my mind with words and quotations, to later fill my schedule with anything that would give me my fix, pick any from above, whatever one I could get. If it was the word of God, I’d meditate on it, to later forget, and be filled with loneliness again, to turn to another vice much more destructive.

See, religion is all fine and dandy, and in the scripture, there are rules that have helped frame me into a moral human being, but without Christ Jesus, those were just words. Words that cut me open and showed me how dirty I really was inside. But oh how life is different on this day!

FLASH BACK: 2014, filled with pain, emptiness, and a glimmer of hope.

FASTFORWARD: 2015,  a year of thanksgiving, renewed life through Jesus Christ, realizing not just everyone else, but I was loved and adopted by my creator, nothing inside could change that he is love and he is light. I became a friend with my savior.

FASTFORWAR: 2016, the pain and emptiness had not been dealt with in full back from 2014, and struggles came and went, and complacency was my reality, but not my intent. Perseverance and self control were in the development stages, as I re-indulged myself in some of the sin I claimed freedom from just a year prior, as I re-applied shame and condemnation daily, like that old Coppertone sunscreen. It went on thick, but the more I rubbed it to try and hide it, it sunk deeper in to the pores of my being.

FASTFORWARD: 2017, a year starting with not wanting any friendship with complacency, not just interested in intimacy with my creator and king, but desiring to give him everything.

NOW: My identity in him is the only thing I’ve ever found to be satisfying, and as I give away my life, I find myself so alive, a truth that only God knows why, but he promises it to all who are willing to give Him their hears. Now when I start to fall into thoughts or actions of lust, personal condemnation, self pity, or identity in people and things, I come back to Jesus quicker then ever, with surrender. I know where life is, I’ve known where life is, but I now confess it with my mouth AND believe it in my heart; Jesus Christ is Lord!

I am not only saved, but set free. If you can’t say the same, I challenge you to join me.

More Than Just a Kids’ Song: Jesus Loves You

More Than Just a Kids’ Song: Jesus Loves You

If you grew up in the US and ever went to a VBS or Sunday school class, you definitely know at least the beginning of the song “Jesus Loves Me”. If you now doubt the claims made in this song or possibly never really believed them, I can totally relate. At one point, I thought, “who cares if the Bible tells me. I want to know for more reason then a book telling me.”

Over the years, I thought about the lyrics to this song a criticized it:

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak but he is strong
Yes Jesus loves me
Oh, yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so
As I think into my life though, I begin to see beyond just love because my Bible “telling me so.” I know that to some, the Bible doesn’t hold much weight, but you can relate to wanting to know something that’s real.
Why does Jesus love you and me?
Where this question can start being looked at is you. You know yourself probably much better then I know you, but I do know, that throughout your life, there have been times where, if you’ve given credit where it’s due or not, Jesus has given you second chances, displayed his beauty to you through his creation, and has given you oppertunities to recognize him and even has given you the invitation to have him as your good father, your sacrifice and savior, your pilot and even your best friend! Now, like I said, you know you, and I know me, and if I look into my life, I do not see a deserving candidate for such an offer. I actually see the opposite: I see a selfish, impulsive human that tries his best to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, but fails every day at it.
When we take a look into our own lives and focus ourselves on the goodness of God, and even look into other’s lives that have lived faithfully to his words and commandments, we see him keep his word and our focus begins to shift. Focusing on the question “why do bad things happen to good people?” and blaming God for actions humanity consciously makes is counter productive to our own growth, because He’s letting us make our own decisions, something I see as incredibly gracious instead of making us into robots or striking us down when we make mistakes. He even allows bad things to happen to us to draw us closer to his side and even provides peace in the process. Every time, it is worth it when it’s done by the side of Jesus. There are countless testimonies that attest to this truth. Contact me if you would like to hear firsthand from cancer survivors, X-drug addicts, dealers and smugglers, X porn addicts, people who have conquered depression or even people that are going through those struggles as we speak.
Moses told the Israelites this as they were going into the land God had promised to them:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

We read on and hear of God’s faithfulness and the ways He was with them, and still protects them to this day. And for us today, Jesus promised this to those who love him:
15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17 ESV
Jesus has given his spirit to anyone willing to receive him and love him. So as I look at Jesus’ faithfulness and accept his love for me, may I no longer wonder if he loves me and why there’s tension or un-fulfillment when I’m trying so hard, but may I ponder the following questions:
Do I love Jesus?
Am I willing to let his love into my life and give him an opportunity to change my life?
If we only know because the Bible tells us so, and if it is true, isn’t it worth giving him a chance at our heart? I have and I would encourage your “YES” more than anything in this world!