Last night I received some of the hardest hitting news I’ve received in quite a long time. My dear friend, mentor, and basically grandfather-figure, Ed Hetrick, died of a massive heart attack. Brian and Mom had both called and left me voicemails saying we needed to talk, and both of them just had “that tone.” The one that makes you sick to your stomach because something has gone wrong. When Brian told me, I had to hang up after, what, maybe 10 seconds but it felt like a lifetime. Ed had died. Ed Hetrick.. what??! I had just told Ashly THAT DAY that I couldn’t wait to get home to ask Ed to pray with me over something that only he would understand. I’d been looking forward to coming home to see him for the past two weeks because of all the wonderful voicemails he’d left and phone conversations I had with him. The last time I saw Ed was January.. who knew it would be the very last time?!

I’m not gonna lie.. All of this hurts really, really bad. I know God has humongous things planned for future of Sterling and its members, and that this is all a part of bringing glory to Him. That’s wonderful, and praise God for that! But it still hurts, you know? When you lose someone who has invested countless hours into your life, it just hurts. The thing is, I know I’m not the only one Ed did this for. Ed invested ALL of him into God first and then other people. It’s just who he was. I’ve never met anyone else like him, and I highly doubt I ever will. Heck, even posting this blog seems pointless. He always kept up with this, and would typically call me after he read every post. I’ll never forget the time he called me crying because he’d just read about my call to China. He didn’t want me to go, and it brought him to tears. I’d never been so touched in my life. Ed cared so, so, so, so much about every person he knew. If I wind up being a fourth of the person Ed was, I’ll be thrilled. I really do feel like I have to completely readjust to life. I lose a cheerleader, a biggest fan, a friend, someone who was like a grandpa to me.. I can’t even put into words what’s going through my mind right now. I’m going to miss him asking me, “So have you found a Mr. Hannah yet?” EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to church.. I’m going to miss the words of wisdom.. I’m going to miss everything about Ed. But who am I kidding.. What’s this “I’m going to” business.. I already do…

As with any death, I guess the lesson is always the same.. Don’t ever wait to tell someone how much you appreciate them, how much you care about them, and what you feel for them. You never really know how much time you have before the sand runs out. Don’t ever go to bed angry at someone. Ever.

Go hug someone and tell them you love them.

Pray for the Hetrick family..


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