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......

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,


  1. Oh Rach. It's beautiful. Simply beautiful. So honoring of Stew and simply beautiful. Thank you so much, again, for sharing your heart. Your faith inspires me far beyond anyone I've ever met, and I mean that. I love you very, very much, and I can't WAIT to see what God does through this cabin. I really hope that one day I can be a part of it somehow. I love you, friend.

  2. Wow, Rachel! I marvel at the amazing testimony that God has empowered you to have. I am so excited to see what comes from all of this and to help in any way that I can with the cabin. I am praying for you and all of the people who will be impacted by your life and witness!
    His love is unfailing, R

  3. New tears are flowing, my friend. It's beautiful. so beautiful. I love you, girl. To God be the glory!

  4. Beautiful tribute, Rachel! Someone linked me to your site...though you don't know me, I live in Auburn, AL and like you, am a widow of a man I loved with all my heart! He died suddenly (too) of a heart attack 10 years ago...and we were builders of a log home, also. Though I have moved on from that home in Salem, AL, it is still part of our beautiful history! I am also a lover of Christ JESUS who has sustained me through these years and who my Mike loved, too! Would love to talk with you more. I have several Blog sites on, and one is primarily for widows...called LIFE Can Be GOOD AGAIN! Please check it out and maybe we two can connect about these several commonalities we have. If you subscribe, I will be sure to get back in touch with you...but I look forward to following you on the building of your log home! How far is your town from Auburn??

    Looking unto JESUS,
    Sandy Brunson

  5. Dear Rachel,

    I found your blog a few months ago, and was amazed on the beautiful log cabin building accomplished by you and your soulmate.

    Eventhough you don't know me, I just wanted to drop these few lines to Thank You for the inspiring tribute to the real meaning of love.

    A New Door Opens.

    Dan and Colleen
    Lake Norman, NC

  6. I am so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. My heart is heavy for your loss but very excited that God is glorified through your tragedy. I don't know either of you, but it is a Blessing the Lord has allowed all of us into your lives and adventures. May God keep your spirits up and your eyes fixed on Him.

  7. So Beautiful Rachel. Fresh tears for you today. Such strength and courage you have and thank you for being open and showing your passionate love you have for Stewart and life! I love you!

    Kelley Perry

  8. Thanks for the beautiful words Rachel! Seeing Stewart again always changes me and having you in my life continues to impact me. I feel lucky to have known him and lucky to have you in my life. I'm excited about helping out with the cabin!

  9. Rachel, I'm a friend of Julie T's; I thank you for sharing your grief, for not wasting it but by allowing us a glimpse of your wonderful life with him and your courage as you work on this "elephant" of a cabin. Your words are just full of wisdom, beauty and hope. I look forward to keeping up with this journey of yours and will be praying!

  10. Dear Rachel, we've never met but your story and that of your dear husband Stewart has touched me. I am married to a man I've love completely and follow him fearlessly. But your story reminds me that loss is inevitable. To think of walking the journey without him makes me deeply sad and since reading your story I cry daily. Clearly I need to reaffirm my faith in the Lord and his loving plan for me. in doing that I will no doubt find peace. thanks for sharing your story and helping me grow in my Faith. love and prayers, Pauline

  11. I was in the life group with Stewart. He was such a blessing. I have told you this before but my husband and I would like to help with your home when you begin. We are the ones who came by the Sunday your were chinking. Please let us know when you get this project started. We live just 2 miles from your home site. We are retired so have more time than some. God bless you.

  12. 知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。..................................................

  13. I am a friend of Alison Roth.. I read your blog and I am so touched by your story and your strength. You are an inspiration to many and I believe Stewart is with you daily.. I married my soul mate and thank GOD every day for him. Thank you for reminding us all to Thank God for every moment we have..
    I hope to meet you some day!
    God bless you

  14. I think of you and Stuart almost every day. I enjoyed the "coffee enema advise" and the awkward walk we all shared after THAT revelation... anyway ... haa haa... I wanted you to know that I have been praying for Stuart and you to have peace and closure. You are a very strong person. I wish we had more time to hug... love you lots, Robin