Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Tribute to the Man I Love, Stewart Bieber...

As most of you know, my best friend & husband, Stewart Bieber was killed April 17th...

I am so full of so many emotions as I walk through this journey of healing, and I wanted to write a tribute in honor of the Man I Love....

Stewart deserves every bit of honor that I could ever show him. He is one of a kind, & we certainly had a love that was one of a kind. We loved eachother fiercely & had formed a beautiful bond that was strong, & growing stronger everyday... We are dreamers, & had many plans and hopes for the future. One being our log home adventure!





But life changed in an instant for me that day....




An instant that has forever set me on what looks to be a new course, a new journey, in a new life. It is one of the most painful experiences one can endure. And it must be fully embraced and accepted. There is no way out... But in the midst of this great loss & pain, I am discovering that there is also a peace, & even a beauty to be found in the suffering....
Stewart knew what his purpose was on this earth. Stewart also knew that even though he lived every day with such vibrancy & passion, he knew that what happens on the other side is where true life begins... This life on earth is a mere breath & shadow compared to the eternity that is to come, & what we do in this life is preparing us for our eternal destiny.

What we do in this life echoes for eternity...

There is great peace in knowing that Stewart lived his life with purpose, & an even greater peace that I will see him again soon...

The beauty is in the simplicity of God's love for each of us. For some reason, in the midst of tragedy & pain, when we are at our weakest, is when we can see God best, if we will open up and let Him in. His love for us is amazing... He created us all uniquely, with individual gifts & talents. And if we recognize that & receive His love, there is a beautiful connection that is made between Heaven & Earth, between the God of the universe & each of us. A divine connection that allows us to be infused with love, joy, hope, peace, strength, power, & wisdom; not only so we can experience God on this earth & commune with Him & know Him, but also so we can pour every bit of that out to others...

We live in a world where bad things happen; horrible things happen! None of us our immune to pain, suffering, & loss. If you haven't experienced pain in life, get ready; because you probably will. But it's not really a matter of WHY bad things happen...

It's a matter of WHAT are we going to do with it? How are we going to let it change & grow us? How can we use it for good, not only in our own lives but in the lives of those around us? Even though we live in a messed up world and there is such tragedy & loss that affects us all, God has made provision through His Son, Jesus Christ...
Not only can we experience Life after death, we can also experience abundant life here on earth.

God has made provision for us, so that even in the midst of the most horrific pain, there is a joy, a hope, a peace, & a strength that is not of this world that can carry us through. Rather than being destroyed by affliction, it can make us stronger; because in our weakness, He is strong. It opens us up to grow in ways we couldn't otherwise, to experience God in ways we couldn't otherwise.
There is great beauty in that....

I will tell you that Stewart died that day doing something he loved; backwards barefoot waterskiing... He was yelling "Yeeeeee Haw!!!!!!" at the top of his lungs with such passion & joy! It was instant, & he never saw it coming. For that I am truly grateful...
















What a glorious death for a man such as he. A man so full of passion, life, & adventure that it seeped out of his veins & his smile, infecting everyone in his midst.










The impact he has made on so many in this world is remarkable. Stewart will truly be missed by many. In the 8 years we were married, I thanked God every day for Stewart, because I was totally aware of what a blessing it was to be his wife.












I thank God now for the impact Stewart made on my life & the imprint he has forever left upon my heart...
Stewart's life made such an impact on everyone who knew him not only for his passion & adventure, but also his faith!

He was a rock! He stood on what he believed & never wavered, & was also so wild & free!

Free to be who God created Him to be...

There is much peace in knowing our individual purpose in this life... Stewart faced all of life's challenges with such courage & boldness. I am so thankful for his strength...

As I continue to walk out this journey, moving forward & exploring my new life, I will be remaining true to our dream of building the log cabin. It is something that I want to do, not only because I want to honor Stewart & make him proud, but also because I feel it is something I need to do!





As I think of Stewart, I am always reminded of our favorite movie "Braveheart." A quote that rings true in my spirit is this:

"Your heart is free... Have the courage to follow it..."
Building this cabin without Stewart here is a daunting task to say the least, yet I know that I now have Stewart's strength in me, as well as an inner strength not of this world that is made perfect in my weakness. Of the many things I learned from Stewart, I also learned that "can't" is not in our vocabulary. And "if you have a dream to do something, then quit talking about it and do it!"
And so it begins... The beginning of the log cabin blog journey from here on out... A story of a wild dream, an amazing love, great tragedy, and the dream that lives on... A blog that is now physically missing one very important piece. Yet Stewart's life, his passion, & his spirit are totally immeshed throughout it all.











I am so thankful for all who have been walking alongside me on my journey. I would love for each of you to walk through this adventure with me. I don't know exactly what it will look like, but I am expecting great things & excited about the outcome!
I know Stewart would love that the dream lives on. He would love that the blog continues. He would be thrilled that I let God be my Rock and His strength be my guide, to move forward in this life with courage and boldness. So stay tuned!! We are about to get started. Many of you have offered to help in any way that you can. Know that I thank you for that, and could use it.
Someone recently asked me the question,
"How do you eat an elephant???"

Well, the answer is

"One bite at a time..."

That is my approach to this log cabin adventure...
And so it begins......

video

To Stewart,
You are the man I love. Thank you for always bringing out the best in me, always encouraging me to be a better person, to always have the highest character & integrity & to follow my heart...

Knowing you & being loved by you helped me to blossom & grow...
Thank you for protecting me, praying for me, & encouraging me. Thank you for keeping me safe, for loving me, & cherishing me. Thank you for making me feel beautiful, wanted, needed, & valued. Thank you for encouraging me to be me. Thank you for your life, your character, your freedom, your wild heart, & for sharing all of that with me. Thank you also for helping me to find all those things in myself.

I love you. You will always hold a very special place in my heart....
As I continue on my journey in this life, I will think of you and smile. I will remember the good times. I will live life to the fullest, passionate & free! I will love people. I will be bold. I will be fearless. I will live life with joy & peace. And I will always remember the amazing beauty of you.....
Your lover & best friend,
Raquel