January 12th will forever be a day of reverence in my heart. 3 major milestones for Craig and I happened over the course of 3 years.
January 12, 2013 I received an invitation from Craig via Facebook inviting me to, his newly founded band, Backroad Anthem’s concert the following Saturday. Since I was friends with a couple of the band members, I decided to go…and the moment Craig found out I was recently became single, he snatched me up
January 12, 2014 I won Miss Arkansas USA and Craig surprised me by coming on stage (even though he wasn’t allowed to-typical Craig) and proposing right after I’d been crowned. I thanked God over and over for his blessings, and cried because I was so thankful and humbled.
January 12, 2016, on the other hand, was the hardest day of my life. But even so, I will still choose to thank God over and over; and even though it caused me to cry, I am still thankful and humbled by the love that God has shown me. A year ago, today, I buried my husband, but I was given the sweetest blessing of a overwhelmingly beautiful memorial service held and webcasted by @crosschurch to 42 countries around the world
And now, today, January 12, 2017, I can look back on this year and say that God has taught me SO many things. One of the most important lessons being that Joy is much like love in that it’s not just a feeling, but also a perspective that we choose to have; it’s a lens that allows us to see God’s everyday blessings and reminds us that we are loved. Therefore, over the years when I look back on 1/12/16 I will choose to look through the lens of Gods love, so that I may be joyful when I see all the love poured out in the midst of tragedy, and the impact the Gospel had all over the world because of Craig’s story. Thank you Lord for that opportunity. And thank you every single person who worked so hard last year to bless Craig’s family and honor Craig’s life. Thank you 100x over from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget all that you did…
And for anyone unable to watch Craig’s Memorial Service that night (or want to join me in re-watching), here is the link
Love you all, and God Bless
Helen Elizabeth Strickland