Yes, I’m in a bubble. A bubble filled with images and memories of a brother and friend who I miss dearly. This man, my brother, Greg Crowe, was instrumental in my walk with Christ. He was a remarkable father to four beautiful children and a faithful, loving husband and son.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to write as I go through the textbook stages of grief. The loss on March 12 of our dear friend will change the world. It’s changed mine and it will certainly change for his children as well as numerous family members and friends. Now I know just how painful it is when I hear someone else who has lost a close loved one. I’ve lost friends before but this is so different and so hurtful.

I know that Greg is with Jesus in Heaven. I know his pain is gone and I’m glad of it. But I am struggling, I’ll admit it. I’m so sad that I can’t get to this place of happiness for him because I am still blinded by tears and I am struggling in my discussions with God.

I’ve been involved in a small group discussion about a book from our pastor Mark Batterson. It’s called The Circle Maker. I even started a prayer journal. As I wrote down my prayers over the past few months, I felt like I could endure and keep praying and felt assured that God would fulfill them. I admit I wasn’t sure if I was asking the right things but I was sure they all came from a good place in my heart.  

But then when Greg died I felt like God not only did not answer my prayers, he did things in His own way that made it hard to hope or pray for anything. When I asked Him to heal Greg’s back pain, I didn’t mean for God to take him to Heaven. When I prayed for Greg’s financial troubles to be fixed, I didn’t mean for God to take him to Heaven and leave the rest to us. When I prayed for reconciliation between Greg and his wife I didn’t mean for God to take Greg to Heaven and end permanently that relationship on earth.

So I’ll admit it. I’m afraid to pray for anything else right now. But I will and I have been.  

Because our life goes on and I need God more than ever. I need Him to get me through the days. I need Him to throw His comforting arms around my nephews and nieces and other family members.

I also need Him to heal my friends. I just found out that my old friend Beth has been fighting cancer. Jeez, what a week. But her call to me in my time of need despite her own tragedy reminded me of how good my life is. I’m not in top physical health but I don’t have cancer. I have a home and a supportive loving family and friends. And I know that someday I’ll see Greg again. I’m just seriously bummed that it may not be for a very long time.  

God I really miss him. This sucks. I’m confused and I think that’s normal. I don’t know how long it will be before I stop crying for him but I’ll keep praying. Even though I’m not sure why it happened or what God has in store. I just have to hope. Even when it seems like there is none. Keep your hope. Keep your faith. Keep asking God for help. It’s what Greg would want for all of us and it’s what he did every day of his short life.

In Loving Memory of Gregory M. Crowe
October 31, 1965 – March 12, 2012

If you are so inclined to help with Greg’s four young children, we are taking donations to help pay for immediate needs such as COBRA insurance, rent, and counseling. We have also set up a fund for the kids’ college. Please contact me or reply to this post if you wish to donate. And we very much need your prayers. God has given us many kind and wonderful friends who have been very supportive and we thank Him and them for everything.

An Excerpt from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson:

By circling, I simply mean that you keep asking until God answers. I’m afraid we give up too easily, too quickly. One thing that has helped me stay consistent and persistent in prayer is a prayer journal. It’s the way I document my requests and His answers. It also insures that I give God the glory when He delivers.

Now let me offer one warning. God is not a genie in a bottle and our wish is not His command. His command better be our wish. Prayer isn’t about getting what we want from God. The ultimate objective of prayer is to discern and do the will of God. But if you pray in the will of God, for the glory of God, all bets are off. And what was true 2,000 years ago is still true: God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God.