Austin isn’t here anymore to imitate Jesus Christ,
but we are. This is our moment.
but we are. This is our moment.
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
Run like Austin. Live like Austin . That’s what these people did. The runners ran with endurance. The supporters cheered with enthusiasm. Ultimately, all to honor Austin, and he was honored. In my view, also honoring the God Austin so faithfully followed. We’re so thankful for those who were able to participate in the day.
There were here so many encouraging stories of people to pushed themselves beyond what they ever have before. (lots documented on Facebook) For those that didn’t run, they had fun, encouraged one another, and had the adventure of a day supporting friends and family. We are so thankful for friends and family who love us and Austin so well!
It's hard to believe this photo is from last year. There is no doubt many carried him in their hearts today.)
Austin has already run his race and received the ultimate prize. As parents, sister, and brother that is still so hard to say as we love and miss him terribly. After a fun and fulfilling day, we still come home to an entry room and so many memories. For that reason, that is why we are so thankful for Team Silva. Getting through these difficult days are a marathon in themselves, and we still have many miles to go. We are thankful for all who help lessen the pain of a hard year. Only the Lord can give us a lasting hope and peace. Keep praying for us.
"let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus," - Hebrews 12:1-2
The holidays are here! Sigh...
I am glad the holidays are here. I'm just not happy that Austin is not! But that is the same every day. We have had so many things happen in the last six months, and I'm not happy he is not here to share them. That's just the way it is! We have so many memories of Christmas past. So, the tree goes up and the decorations are pulled out, but it's not the same. It never will be.
What are we to do? Austin would be wearing his eggnog onesie around the house right now...even at 80 degrees in Texas. He would have already enjoyed his first eggnog of the season. He would have already pulled out the record player and listed to Elvis Christmas (we did that the other day!)
My beliefs say he passed away and went to heaven. Do I really believe that? If I don’t, then I really see no need to celebrate Christmas. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. That only means anything because he came into this world as a baby, and he lived a perfect life and died so that I might have eternal life. Believing Austin went to a Heaven to the Jesus made available to us means I can still celebrate Christmas.
The question is, "Do I really want to celebrate Christmas?" I'm not so sure. If I embrace the Live Like Austin idea, then yes, I will celebrate Christmas. For now, only because I know Austin would. The real Christmas miracle would be if the Christmas spirit would come alive in me again. Pray that it will one day....
We love taking photos. We so thankful we have so many memories of our lives and all the things that have occurred. That will continue. We love our photos that include Austin. They don't look much different than all the photos we take these days. At times, the make us sad as we remember what a gift we lost. No matter. They are sweet memories, and we're forever thankful for our years and memories with Austin. Here's a link to a few photos.
18. Can I just say that I'm not too happy about Austin not being here for his 18th birthday! It really sucks! OK, I got that out of the way. Turning 18 is not suppose to be like this. We had many more plans. Of course, Austin did NOT want a party for this or graduation. So, his birthday comes no matter what. He's not here. We are. So, we remembered and honored Austin.
Bitterstweet. You know the bitter part. Here's the sweet part:
- Friends giving us a photo album with many pictures and letters. (come see it anytime!)
- Playing some fun tennis in Austin's honor. (Suz and I won!)
- Enjoying some buntinis with all our favorite Wranglers at school. (I never tire of the Wranglers or buntinis)
- Chowing on some Cane's chicken with senior Wrangler moms. (even though Javar says Bubba's is better)
- Visiting Austin with the family at Sparkman-Hillcrest (all five of us together for a few minutes)(marker coming soon!).
- Hanging at the Breedloves with community and Austin's friends. (best party favor...the air fresheners Austin had in his car!)
- The love we share with all of you...for Austin and each other!!!
Coming home, looking at some photos (turning 17 below), a short cry, then off to bed. We never stop missing Austin continually. Always thankful for every moment we were with Austin.
"I thank my God every time I remember you." Phil 1:3