On Monday, August 17th, I received the news that Reid Bowyer’s earthly journey had ended.
Reid Bowyer was a man of honor, integrity, commitment and faithfulness. His life was always making much of Jesus. His contagious laugh was one of a kind and big bear hugs were unmatched. He adored his family, served his community and loved watching his Cavaliers play on Friday nights.
He ran his earthy race faithfully and obediently, ultimately meeting his maker face to face in fullness and in complete healing. Reid was freed from a year long battle with Glioblastoma. During his fight with cancer over the past year, Reid fought gracefully and humbly.
Meeting Reid for the first time when I was eleven, I had no idea of the impact he would make on my life. As as my youth pastor during middle school, he made you feel like nobody else at that moment mattered. His mile long grin from across the room would lift your spirits in any situation.
Right before his diagnosis a year ago, Reid lead Chandler and I in premarital counseling and helped us in setting the foundation for our marriage with every intention of preforming our wedding. Sitting with him in Panera over the course of those three weeks, he taught us that marriage isn’t always perfect. Marriage can be messy and isn’t always glamorous, but some of the most challenging things in life are worth the biggest investments.
When thinking about Reid and the eternal impact he’s made over the course of his life, Philippians 3 came to mind. In this passage, Paul is speaking to the Christians of the Philippi church and urging them to press on toward a common goal. Paul knew that a race is won only in the present moment, not in the past or in the future. His will was to do God’s will and not his own. Likewise, Reid pressed on with an urgency that was only Heaven-minded. He worked with an eternal urgency.
I can’t imagine this life without his smile or words of encouragement & wisdom, but I know that he was entered at Heaven’s gates on Monday with open arms and I know he heard the words “well done.”
Reid, thank you for everything you have done for me, my family and the entire community of Spartanburg. You served often and served well. Your life was making much of Jesus and in every circumstance. I am so thankful to have known you and to have had you in my life. Because of you, I live intentionally, love more deeply and laugh a little harder.
While I am assured that he is rejoicing with his Savior, my heart has still been extremely heavy this week. It has been heavy for two families that are suffering the loss of a son (& son-in-law), husband and father. Mourning the “Reid-sized” hole in my life will never go away.
Out of loss and grief, however, comes joy. Reid’s death was not in vain. We can be assured that in death comes eternal life. We can sing in the middle of the storm and raise a hallelujah. From the ashes, hope will arise.
Please be praying for Bowyer family in the days to come. My heart grieves with you and would selfishly do anything to have him back with us, but we know that Reid has labored towards the goal of eternity his entire life. He was a good and faithful servant. He got it right.
Until we meet again, RB. In everything, I will stick to the task.
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