Austin isn’t here anymore to imitate Jesus Christ,
but we are. This is our moment.
but we are. This is our moment.
Happy 21st Birthday Austin!
Normally, people ring in the 21st bday with a legal drink but I got a wild hair that David and I should walk 21 miles in honor of Austin. It was planned the day before, thus no training done for it. We let our community group and a few other friends know about it, and they joined in along the way. Others prayed and laughed at us and hoped we’d finish. Also, this was a safe way to see friends along the way in the middle of COVID. The Lord gave a us a beautiful day, and we walked up and down the Katie Trail, across the M-streets, Lakewood, and around White Rock Lake. We passed all the places we have lived in our marriage of almost 24years at this point. Anita St., Winton St. and back to Broken Bow Rd. Thank you to friends who walked with us and brought us water and food and ultimately a lovely dinner that night! We are grateful for the many friends and family who remember Austin with us and grieve still with us. We are constantly reminded of the love and care God has shown us through our friends and how His love sustains us. Charlie and Sam were both in school and face-timed throughout the day. We got uglier as the day went along. David wanted to lay on the ground in the last 3miles, and my knee wanted to lock up, so I couldn’t stop. David and I make a good team and God has given us a persevering spirit. We won’t say we don’t wish we could simply take Austin to dinner with his buddies and celebrate. We do not forget Austin ever, but today, we moved forward- 21miles! (BTW-this actually is the furthest I have gone in a day.)
Austin had a stinkin’ positive attitude and such a good encourager of us all! I want to keep his spirit alive and doing crazy things sometimes to remember Austin.
We love you Austin! Happy 21 years- I think God shared some of His best wine with him.
Team Silva still represented in 2019. No big organization this year but still good to cheer friends & family on at the Dallas Marathon last Sunday & run some ourselves. (Jack says it’s the “Austin Marathon” in the video)
Steve Pezanosky, my brother-in-law, did his first marathon! Christy came for her 2nd half. Andrew Savage, Austin’s small group leader, is a repeat marathoner. Our neighbor, Patrick Cowden, ran the half in honor of his daughter, Mary Caroline, and Austin. Thank you for those who continue to remember Austin with us. He always blesses our lives even in the sorrow of not having him with us. Love, the Silva Family. #alwaysfivesilvas #livelikeaustin
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2a
I think of Austin every day. What would he be doing? Were would he be? I see his friends and know he would be among them, but I also believe he would make his own path.
I guess that’s what each of us are doing. Making our own path. We take things with us on our journey. I’m taking Austin with me. But, I’m also with other traveling with others. I enjoy them, and I am thankful for them.
Even though Austin is with me, he’s actually also gone on ahead of me. Like Joshua, he has scouted ahead, he has seen and he is in the eternal land of milk and honey. That is my destination. I have a lot to look forward to. Worshiping Jesus, but also being reunited with Austin and so many other loved ones!
Though my body longs for heaven, the good news is that I don’t have to wait until I die. Jesus' name means “God with Us”. He is with me now. The Holy Spirit lives with me. He is the One “who never leaves me or forsakes me”. (Deut 31:6)
Therefore, the journey continues. Lord, for today, help me remember your truths. Help me remember I am never alone. Help me have peace and comfort knowing that.
This is such a special place for our family and church to serve people with special needs. Camp Barnabas really affected Austin in desiring a sacrificial servant heart like Christ. I had the privilege of being a Cabin Mom and helping support the missionary kids and campers. I have been told the missionaries like me because I have good snacks all the time. I have loved also serving along our church staff and other adult volunteers who choose to give this week to serve both campers and often their own small group kids. (Shout out to Lauren and Holly!- Sam’s leaders) Sophie Schott was my co-lead in 2018 which has been the sweetest bond.
Sam and Charlie have had the gift of helping one on one with their campers to ensure their safety, encouragement, fun, and remind them how much God sees and loves them! They were rock stars and loved the relationships with their campers!
David has come to visit each camp as well and loves to visit with the campers! Even our nephews, Jack and Christopher, have come as camper and missionary!
Covid did bar the camp from happening in 2020 but we are hopeful for the return in 2021!
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14. Celebrating the value and dignity of all people!
This blog is titled #LiveLikeAustin. It's a collection of memories, thoughts, and ideas that will hopefully help us to live like Austin. Honestly, it's still so recent and the days are still so difficult, it's hard to even know what that means. It's ok if you cry along the way. We do. I'll try to separate what I know from what I don't know.
I know that Austin loved the Lord, and he wanted others to know Jesus, too. He knew the main way to do that was to study the Bible. He was surrounded by friends who were like-minded and those who didn't always agree with him. He enjoyed them both. He was a normal teenager who was still "in process" and still had lot's of rough edges. Although it seemed to come easy to him, he did work hard at his studies. He was proud to be a Lake Highlands Wrangler and enjoyed the physical activities of tennis and running. He loved an adventure, a practical joke, and a good laugh. He loved his family, but he was also looking ahead to his next adventure...college. That wasn't to be. Instead, he got a greater adventure...HEAVEN!
I don't really know why he had to leave us so soon. The Bible tells me we are in a broken world, and there are many examples there of those who left this world abruptly. I will continue to to search for clarity, but ultimately, God's plan is greater than mine. I will ask Him many questions when I get to Heaven, but I will likely be so excited to worship the King and see Austin and many more that I probably won't care about the answers to my questions.
So, we are left here. Ultimately, the main things that mattered to Austin were the things that matter to God. From this point on, my view of life is longer than the days, months, and years here. Eternity is what matters most. Austin would invite you to go on your own spiritual journey and make your own determination if God matters to you in your life. We're here for you if you want to explore that together!
Thank you for loving Austin and our family so well, and desiring to explore what it means to live like Austin!
So technically this is Sam's 16th in May 2017 so last birthday pic of the three of them so we know we'd still have this chocolate birthday bundt, sing and open presents and it may have been in Dallas or where Austin landed at college, most likely UT. We will always celebrate your life! We are so grateful to call you our son forever. #alwaysfivesilvas Your life reflected joy, laughter, faith, love...stinkin' smart and cocky at times, but overall a great encourager...great big brother...faithful friend...competitive with grades, sports, games...challenged us to be our best..right perspective though with his priorities with the Lord and how the rest fell.
So selfishly, I am asking for a birthday present for him(us). The Lord is in the business of redeeming lives and if Austin's life, whether you knew him or not, has impacted you toward our Father, would you tell us? We know God is sustaining as we still miss Austin every day. Thank you for loving and supporting us.
So wish I could hug you right now and have you try to stand a little taller than me as you finally beat me in height. Thankful for you having some amazing company in heaven. Tell Meemaw happy birthday today as well. WE LOVE YOU!!! Mom, Dad, Sam, & Charlie.
As summer winds down, we’re so thankful to spend some time at the lake with friends....yes, they were Austin's friends first, but really all our friends. Would Austin have had a big party at the end of the summer?.....I'm not sure, but I know he would have had enjoyed being with everyone as all were getting ready for the next thing.
We're thankful for these friends, their families, and all the others not pictured here. We're thankful for the sustaining hand of the Lord and how He uses His people to comfort. We look forward to seeing the paths God takes these young adults down.
Leave a comment and share what you've learned this last year or a a word of encouragement. You'll know where to find us next summer! Praying always!
Here's the link to all the unedited photos:
Loss is hard. The why's are hard, too. Processing this outside of God leads to flawed answers. Processing it with God can be frustrating. Watch this video on how the Evans family is processing loss...
So, I have been fairly silent on FB for awhile. I want to be thoughtful of my words & check my motivation. This has been a year of wrestling with the Lord and slowly learning what it means to daily surrender my will to His. I am trying to walk in obedience believing in the goodness of God, that He is trustworthy, and that my only hope can be found in Him. I intellectually can say these things but it is a daily battle to believe them in my heart.
I am so grateful for the patience and faithfulness of so many friends and family in the way they have walked this devastatingly, painful road of losing Austin in our lives on this earth. I know y’all are an example of how God is carrying us. I am reminded over and over again how broken this world is and how desperately we all need Jesus.
I am also so especially thankful for the people that have cheered, prayed, and lovingly helped Sam & Charlie! We have survived this year. We have many things to be thankful to the Lord for.
Please know that we still would not have chosen the days that God chose for Austin. We are walking in weakness but strengthened by God.
On Friday, the 15th, the anniversary of Austin passing, we joined with a group of friends at sunrise. David sweetly lead us in worship with the help of Jeff and Lynsey Strese. David Penuel shared a message briefly about the hope of spring time coming after this year of winter. Then, we walked and prayed and remembered. Thank you to our amazing super community Group who helped organize and host in a days notice, especially the Breedloves opening up their home yet one more time.
These are the two songs we sang.
The scriptures that we focused on were Lamentations 3:18–24, 2Corinthians 12:9–10,
Romans 15:13, and Hebrews 12:1-2.
I hope these verses & songs encourage your souls as they do us.
Well, six months since Austin left us, end of the fall semester, Christmas just around the corner, and I'm sorry to say there are no easy answers for this difficult journey. Here are a few things I have learned and a few thoughts from the last few months.
- It's ok to be sad. Holding it in is worse than letting it out.
- Don't be afraid to share your grief with a friend or parent. They are probably sad, too. It's hard to go through this alone.
- If you had a faith before June, Austin's death is likely challenging it. Ask hard questions to someone you respect. Don't give up. Others have walked this road.
- Going to visit Austin's gravesite is hard at first, but it does give me some peace. I know he is not there, but I like to think we meet there.
- Use this time to deepen your faith and seek after the God that Austin so fervently believed in.
- We miss Austin. We don’t shy away from taking about him.
- As time goes on, I consider what character traits of Austin do I want to emulate from now on.
- We'll never move on, but we can move forward over time. Always honoring Austin and taking steps one day at a time (#livelikeaustin)
- We’ve read a few books on grief this year, we’re happy to share.
- Mrs.. Silva and I struggle, too. We don't have all the answers, but we are here anytime to help you process.
The journey continues. The holiday passing won't change that much. Let's keep walking together and encouraging one another until we get there!
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” - Romans 8:28-30
Our bad things will turn out for good. Our good things can never really be lost. And the best things are yet to come. - Jonathan Edwards