Thursday, January 2, 2014

Why taken at 17?!


Dear Katelyn ,
I doubt you’d remember my name, but the kids at school call me Jae.
Today I saw your name in the news….you were killed from a sledding accident at your friends. Tuesday, December 31, 2013 you were taken from this place.
Katelyn, you’re dead.

Gurl, I’m a crybaby. Why’d you have to make me cry again?
I try to stop thinking about you.
But I can’t. You’re constantly on my mind.
It’s hard for me to eat…or even function for that matter.
I’m glad there’s spell correction on this thing…cuz my shaky hands keep hitting the wrong keys.
I saw you at the school so many times.
I ran track with you, too.
Your boyfriend, Alex, you’ve been with for so long, lives only a few miles from our place.
Katelyn, you were only 17—a junior! Why’d you have to leave so early? You ever think it wouldn’t be fair for people to live without you? 

I can envision you walking through the hallways at school.
You were so beautiful.
You had this beautiful long, black hair that hung to the middle of your back with thick side bangs you’d bobby-pin back when doing anything active.
You know I was jealous. ;)
When I get up to heaven can you teach me how to do my hair like yours?
I really loved your smile, too.
And that cute dimple on your right cheek? I wish I looked like you.
How’d you get so damn pretty? 

I wish I coulda called you my friend…but we were actually acquaintances.
 We only talked a few times.
And we exchanged smiles once in a while.
But we never hung out.
Why hadn’t I officially introduced myself?
You were so perfect, why didn’t I take time for you?
There was something about you that made you look just a little sad..and I wasn’t there to ask you what was wrong or to comfort you.
Why didn’t I do that?
We could’ve got to know each other so well! We had so many of the same interests. Why did it take me so long to realize this? 

The last time I saw you, we were getting ready in the locker room—you for a run with Alex and I for basketball practice. 
I didn’t realize it was the last time on earth I’d see you.
Why hadn’t I said anything more? 

I remember you one time as “Student of the Week”.
You were the tennis captain.
You were good at all sports.
You were so fit and athletic.
You were on the speech team with my brother.
You played music for the high school band.
You played a role in many of the high school plays.
I don’t think Alex coud’ve asked for a better girlfriend.
Or your parents for a better daughter.
Why was your life cut so short?
I want to think God made a mistake…
Your parents are shocked and at a loss for words.
Your boyfriend might choose suicide just to be with you.
Your friends, Katelyn, they need you!
With so many heartbroken because of the accident, how is something good going to come out of this?
When I settle down and get a chance to rethink this through, I’ll see that maybe you’re so much happier up there in heaven.
But…right now….
I just miss you so much and hope to see you in heaven sometime.
When I get there can we go out to coffee then maybe a sleepover or something?

I love you Katelyn Hank. <3 
XO, Jae Connolly


Saturday, July 27, 2013


Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou dost hold my right hand. Thou dost guide me with thy council and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  ~Psalm 73:23-26

Just another day. Like copying the page of a journal and pasting on the next. Nothing changes.
She finds herself yet another night screaming. Screaming to no one. Screaming into an empty world.
Her fists are clenched tight. She stares into the moonlight. But the earth is blurred—her tears have started to fall once again.
The wind tosses her hair into her eyes. She falls to the ground and beats her fists. She takes stones and bruises her hands. Her wrists are already swollen, cut, and bleeding.
She remains crying. She finds no strength to stop.
The wounds on her heart are deeper than any that scar her body.
It’s called pain.
It’s the pain when you feel you’ve lost all hope.
It’s the pain when you feel you’ve been torn in two.
It’s the pain when you feel there’s no healing.

Flashbacks crash through her head that make her feel weak to her stomach.
Her head is now buried in her bleeding arms and her knees are pulled tight to her chest.
She sits there alone on the cold ground. The chilled wind touches her skin, but she doesn’t seem to notice.
She listens intently for something….anything to give her courage, strength and healing. But hears only the silence and the sound of death calling for her.

The memories of the past have come back and hit her with full force. All regrets. The word “pain” has been forever engraved on her broken heart.
Too much had come to her in the past year—more than could be handled. So much she kept up inside her. So much she didn’t or couldn’t let out. All of it became too much and seemed to have burst inside her.
How long should she hold on to life? Was it even worth living? This chaos seemed too much!
As she sat there the clouds thundered like the rage and hurt within her. And the rain came down like the tears from her eyes.

She kept listening. She heard nothing. But in one moment her head was lifted. A soft voice was heard through the storm calling to her and a phrase she had once repeated over and over came to her “Bring me your heart, no matter how broken. Just come as you are, when your last prayer is spoken. Just rest in my arms for a little while, you’ll feel a change my child.”
She felt herself being lifted up. The clouds parted and a ray of light came down over her.
In front of her, a man reached out His hand, took her hand in His, and whispered in her ear “You’re safe now”. They ran in slow motion and were soon blotted out by the bright light. Everything seemed to pause in action and the world was silent.

A crack of lightning was heard and she was shot back into reality.  She was still sitting there. Thunder and lightning still surrounding her…but this time? She felt no pain. A feeling of hope was there. The heart that was once empty and completely dried up was now filled. And the wounds of pain were now healed and turned to scars—not ugly scars…but beautiful scars.
She saw that eternal love, grabbed hold of it and wouldn’t let go.  She felt strength. She felt healing. And she now found she was able to become the ultimate overcomer—to let go of the past and live the beautiful life ahead of her.

There is healing. No matter what the world throws at you, don’t give up. Keep fighting. Defeat those dragons. Climb those mountains. Hit those curveballs. And do something a brilliant friend always reminds me to do…..“SMILE”. :)
And whenever you feel you can’t go on. Go back to the place where this girl found hope. You’ll still see her looking up to the sky, arms outstretched, spinning in slow motion, and wrapped up tight in God’s love.

She found healing….I’m sure you can, too.