Do I know you?

That question was asked of me in Starbucks this morning. Do I know you? You look so familiar and I see you everywhere. I had to explain who I was and when I did, they immediately put two and two together. As soon as I said…I’m Trey Erwin’s mother. But I did get a very nice compliment out of it. He told me I looked very pretty today. I’ll take that!

I got in my car and thought, one day, I won’t be known as Trey Erwin’s mama and that’s okay because I’ll always be his mama. I watched his testimony this week on my computer for about the 50th time. This time, I looked at his eyes. They blinked so slowly. I remember how he felt that day. So tired and weak. But in true Trey fashion form, he didn’t want the tape from his port to show from under his Polo. But seriously, in this eyes, I saw the passion of what he was saying. I knew that he meant everything he was going through he did not want to receive any glory for and wanted God to receive it all. No one, NO ONE, knew Trey better than his mama and his dad.

That thought has been looming on my mind all day. Do I know you? The words of Jesus come to mind in Luke 13:23-30. In the Message, it is quoted:

23-25 A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?”

He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’

26-27 “You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’

28-30 “That’s when you’ll find yourselves out in the cold, strangers to grace. You’ll watch Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets march into God’s kingdom. You’ll watch outsiders stream in from east, west, north, and south and sit down at the table of God’s kingdom. And all the time you’ll be outside looking in—and wondering what happened.

In the New American Standard – Jesus says in Luke 13:23-28:

23 And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

Jesus is very, VERY clear that those that are not saved will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  He even says, I DO NOT KNOW YOU!  I thought about that this morning when then gentleman spoke to me, I do not know you.  Oh my goodness.  What if my Jesus said that to me?  What if He said that to Trey?  I am so glad that I have peace I know that He didn’t.

There is a reason I posted the two different versions.  Sometimes, the Message just tells it like it is.  Yes, we are all just hanging out, minding our own business and not paying attention to what Jesus has to do in our lives.  But one day, there will come a time that we will need to know everything about Him, NOW.  Trey knew that urgency and hoped others were getting that message.

I remember when I was younger my sister would say that she was ready for Jesus to come back any day.  I would say NO! NO!  I’m not married yet! I don’t have children! Well, my tune has changed.  I now see through God’s eyes how the world is saturated with Satan’s lies and filth and my greatest goal is to gather as many as I can, as fast as I can, and run this race to Jesus!  That’s exactly what I told Trey as his heart stopped beating, run to Jesus buddy, as fast as you can.

Now we are left here to deal with Satan’s temptations and thankfully God’s forgiveness and grace.  But I assure you, only, ONLY if you are a Christian can you overcome Satan’s power with Christ by your side.  Satan tempts me every single day to give in and just admit I can’t go one more day.  I won’t do that.  I can’t do that.  I have a husband and a son who depend on me and I on them.

The great thing is Satan will never win.  God already has and He knows me, by name.  He knows my husband and both of my children.  So Jesus, if you would, you can come get me.

First Day of School

It’s the first day of school for Collin at Collierville Middle as an 8th grader. Big man on campus. His last year there. So many memories come flooding back to Trey’s last year at CMS; teachers, football, projects, friends, puberty! All of the same things Collin is experiencing. My prayer is that Collin will be able to have fun this year. Collin does not like school, AT ALL! There is so much pressure on him because of his ADD. I think some of the pressure he puts on himself if he’ll just listen. Oh, wait, he’s 14. That’s right, they know everything. That much I do remember about Trey.

All of Trey’s friends are starting their senior year today. It has already brought tears. But he has a parking space with a special friend, so he’ll be with him every morning and afternoon as he goes to school then to football practice. There will be a class or classes that will have an empty chair and someone will look at it and think of him. Funny things will be said and they will think – that is so Trey. Someone will get the books he had and they will grin. When there is a silent moment in the morning, he will be remembered as being in heaven, instead of homeroom or in pain.

I won’t receive that phone call in the afternoon after football. He always called me and said – Mom, I’m home. I’m going to get me a bite to eat and take a nap, then start on my homework, okay? I would say okay, have you taken care of the dogs? Yes ma’am, do you know what we are having for supper? Honey, I have NO IDEA! Okay, love you mom. Love you too. Make sure Collin starts on his homework when he gets home. Mom, I’ll try, but he never listens to me. Trey, just tell him what I said. Okay, okay. Bye mom. By hon.

I promise – Just about EVERYDAY – the same conversation. And now, I have the same conversation with Collin. Little different outcome, but still the same basic conversation. I just can’t tell him anything to do over the phone. Instead, we will talk about his day. As long as the dogs are not still in the kennel when I get home at 5:30, I’ll be happy!

Two parents – two different sons, to a point. Collin is becoming more like Trey. And that is certainly not a bad thing. He’s growing up. He’s going through that “I don’t smile” phase. Ugh. That’s an 8th grader. But he sure does smile when he’s with other people. Trey was the same way.

We have been talking to Collin more and more about how he IS like Trey and that is not a bad thing. I had a precious conversation with friends, Greg and Marcella Bouldien. Greg put on Trey’s braces and is now working on Collin. (Insert short story) We have a small bond with this family. Nick Bouldien wore #13 at Collierville. That number was my number growing up in sports. When Trey came on to the JV team and Nick was graduating, Trey wrote Nick a letter and asked his permission to have his number, if I remember correctly. No, I didn’t tell him to do that. That was just Trey. Moving on…. We were talking after the scrimmage Friday night about Trey and Collin and how Collin can say Trey was MY brother and to be proud of his brother. Greg brought to my attention the scripture in Proverbs 22:1 ~

“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.”

It just hammered home for me that ERWIN is to be a name that Collin should be proud of, but first, his identity is in Christ. So, as our kids enter this new year, my prayer is that they will have their identity in Christ first who will lay the foundation for everything else. In turn, I pray our kids will learn to lift up His name higher than their own. Be BOLD! It’s hard to live like Jesus in school.

I have set my alarm on my phone to pray for Collin, CHS, and GBC (Germantown Baptist) at 8 a.m. every morning. In the hustle of our day, we forget to lift our children daily to the Lord. I want Collin to survive this year much better than the last. And if I have it my way, I would love for him to END his 8th grade year at graduation just like Trey did. Five of his friends wrote T.R.E.Y.! on their stomachs and as he walked across the stage at Germantown Baptist, they lifted their shirts in the balcony.  Oh yes, I have pictures! That’s brotherly love right there. And one of those friends, Tim Few – in 8th grade – was also at his feet when he met Jesus.  Choosing friends wisely NOW is so important.  We never know when we will meet Jesus.  There was nothing unique about Trey.  He was just chosen by God to spread His name through suffering.  We are all called to do just that!

Students – Trey would tell you to live each day at school as if you were going to meet Jesus that day!  And, GO DRAGONS!

This picture is from Trey’s 8th grade graduation.

Trey 8th grade