Jay & Kelley Reapsome- serving with CRU/Bridges International at Penn State
February 16, 2014
On the surface, yesterday looked like a typical Saturday in February. We worked around the house while keeping an eye on 5 inches of fresh snow piling up on the existing accumulations. When the storm was over, Anna and I headed to her indoor field hockey tournament from which we returned at midnight. It looked like a normal day.
However, this day felt anything but normal. While watching Anna play I found my thoughts drifting to a certain apartment in Mechanicsburg where our daughter Lacey, her brother Jon and several friends were packing up the things she will be keeping in storage for now. So many decisions, so many beautiful but sad reminders of life with Christopher. While longing to be there, but living in a reality of distance, severe weather and prior commitments, I could but plead with our loving Heavenly Father for His grace, peace and comforting presence to sustain and encourage Lacey.
On February 1, 2014, Christopher Seiff, Lacey’s husband, was discovered several hours after taking his own life. Nobody saw it coming. In fact, Chris lived out his favorite verse on a regular basis. Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Chris was involved at so many levels in their church body. Discipleship, youth ministry, building sets for Easter and Christmas productions, missions trips, game nights with other couples, prayer and outreach. He used his Facebook posts to spread the Truth. “He was a servant with the grin of a pure-hearted man.”
And yet, his last Facebook post revealed a sense of unhappiness in himself, “I’m sorry please remember who I could have been.” Somehow Chris did not grasp our deep respect, admiration and love. Somehow, in moments of human weakness, raw brokenness and spiritual attack from our enemy, the father of lies, Christopher made a terrible and irreversible decision. By the time we discovered it, he was already in Paradise with his Savior, unhampered by the restraints and burdens of this life.
Lacey and all who loved Christopher are left with a ‘new normal’ not of our choosing. Waves of grief, anger, brokenness, doubt and questions come to the surface and overwhelm us without warning. Some of us have begun grief and survivor counseling to help us process our loss. Lacey has been well supported through prayer and God’s strength as she takes care of so many details and decisions. She is working to remove the items she will keep by next weekend while also renting a room in Harrisburg. Lacey will join 2 other women in an apartment in mid-March on a month-to-month basis. She continues to work as a youth admin at her church but is hoping to leave the Harrisburg area in the future.
Please pray: FOR LACEY; continued grace and wisdom in decisions, dependence on the Lord, discerning God’s plan for her future, healing and restoration of physical, spiritual and emotional resources. Peace and comfort through the days ahead. Starting over.
FOR ALL WHO MISS CHRIS; comfort healing and peace. That God would ‘redeem’ this tragedy and use it for His glory, bringing many to Christ. The WE ALL would learn the lessons God would have us learn through this difficult time. That we will walk intimately with Christ.
The song “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsongs has reached into our souls in these recent weeks. We heart it on the way to church today and then sang it during worship a few minutes later. We are comforted and thankful that we walk with Christ through these deep seas. (Which metaphor has also brought to mind the hymn “It is Well”.)
You are such a blessing and we are so thankful for your investments in eternity. The spiritual battle is great and the Lord is mighty to save. We gladly partner with you to reach the world!
In His firm and comforting embrace,