Eight years ago, today, I found myself outside of a hospital. I sat in the grass and wondered where my life was going. I knew God had to be up to something special to let such a terrible thing happen, but I couldn’t fathom what it could be.
For those of you who do not know, it was on this date in 2004 that my best friend died in a car accident. Laura Wollenhaupt was my college roommate and band mate. We had a very special friendship. So it was painful, to say the least, to have a front row seat to the horrifying accident that took her life.
While I sat in the grass outside of the hospital, where her sister was having surgery, I prayed. I asked God why He had taken Laura. It didn’t make sense to me. Of all of the people on the interstate that day, Laura seemed like the last one who should be taken. I have only known a handful of people in my entire life who loved Jesus as much as Laura. I have known fewer who have done as much to advance the kingdom as her.
Laura was incredibly involved in ministry in the US and in Africa. Her future was full of possibilities.
After a lot of prayer and mourning, I came to a heavy conclusion. Like the tradition of the Olympics, Laura had run well with the torch and it was now time for me to carry it for awhile. I don’t know if I can say that her legacy is mine to pass on, but I know that I have a high calling. That’s when God brought Ephesians to mind. After explaining God’s mysterious plan, Paul called Jews and Gentiles to “lead a life worthy of their calling,” (Ephesians 4:1).
I’ve been thinking about this passage and about Laura’s accident this week, as I look forward to another year at The Black Forest Academy. While Laura did predict her death in an oddly specific way, she did not give her life. Jesus purposefully gave His. By His sacrifice, I know that I have a high calling.
If God could take Laura, He must have been pretty confident about the work He could do through a bum like me. If God could offer a precious sacrifice, like the life of His son, He must have had something special in mind for such a depraved individual as me.
I’m in Germany to know God better and to make Him known. While I deeply mourn the loss of my best friend today, I feel an odd sense of anxiousness for the ministry that I will be doing this year. I have a high calling and I have not forgotten.