Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Love of my life is with the Lord...

As some of you know, Preston Newby, my beloved husband and best friend went to be with his Savior and Lord on Monday night or early Tuesday evening.  We were driving up to B.C. to see my family.  As we were somewhere in the middle of Washington all the cars in front of us came to a quick stop and began to swerve to the left to go around a giant elk who had just been hit. Just ahead of the moose was the car who hit the moose. Front window smashed and no one was getting out of the car.  So Preston being the amazing man he is said we had to stop and help. He ran across the road and began to call 911 because someone in the car was bleeding when another car who didn't see the elk swerved left instead of right, and hit Preston. It was by God's grace that I had turned my head at the time he got hit. But after I heard the crash I turned around to find my beloved laying on the road. I ran to his side and just held him, he still had a heart beat but was unconscience.  He looked so peaceful. As I held him I sang to him, prayed and cried out to the Lord.  I began to shake so intensely that I lost his heartbeat and I do believe that he passed away in my arms. Because when the paramedics got there they began cpr right away, but it was the Lords will to take him home.  As terrible as this is I have such a peace that this was Preston's time to go home to be with the Lord.  His life motto was, "TO LIVE IS CHRIST, TO DIE IS GAIN" and he is with Jesus, his Lord and Savior!!!! He has escaped this world and I think we're all jealous of him!!! And I have the incredible hope that I will see him again. 
The Lord really prepared me for this, the last few days when I read the Bible I kept opening it to the Psalms. And four times in three days the Lord lead my eyes to verses that spoke of finding your strength in the Lord and that the Lord is my strength. I actually thought it was so unusual that I asked God if he was preparing me for something and then told him, "I hope you're not!!!" But He was and now I am grateful. From the first moment Preston got hit God filled me His absolute and perfect strength.  It was such an intense and very real feeling .  Never have I ever felt closer to our God.
Preston's passion was always to serve the Lord with all his heart.   He did this everyday being a youth pastor and just a Christian in general.  He died serving the Lord and what more perfect way to go? I know the Lord welcomed him into his arms with such Joy. We joked that in Heaven he went straight up to Jonathan Edwards, CS Lewis and Paul and was like, so what did you mean when you wrote this.... although I'm certain just being in the presence of our God he knew far more than he did on this earth!   
Preston was the most incredible person I have ever known. I've said this even before his death.  He touched SO MANY lives, everywhere he went. Everyone who met him just loved him. He had a short life, but a full life. 
One of his goals in life was to write a book and the other night I asked him what he was going to write about.  He said that if he could get one message out it would be that we NEED to have a passion for the Lord, a real and constant daily passion, we need to find our joy in the Lord, in the good times and the bad.  And that in every single moment of our day we do we need to glorify the Lord.  His life was evident of this passion that I hope we all can put into action.  Believe what we believe and live it out LOUD. 
This is the hardest thing I have ever felt, the pain is endless and my life will never be the same, but God is good, he has a plan for our lives, for me, for Jacob and for our unborn baby (I am 10weeks pregnant, due in April) I put my strength and hope in God every second and it has made this far easier than without.  I am reminded of Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know, have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God
The Creator of the ends of the earth
He will not grow tired or weary
His understanding no one can fathom

He gives strength to the weary
And increases the power of the weak
Even youths grow tired and weary 
And young men stumble and fall

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength
They will soar on wings like eagles
they will run and not get weary
They will walk and not be faint. 


38 comments:

Leanne Marie said...

Tara,

You are one of the most amazing women I have ever had to privilege of being friends with. Our hearts and prayes go out to you. My you find rest in the peace Jesus has given you. My you feel His loving arms around you.

If there is anything Jeral and I can do now or anytime in the future please let us know

We love you guys!

Leanne

Ty said...

i updated my blog and wrote a bit about this. we'll be praying for you at our staff meeting today!

lots of love:

Tyler & Charity

Anonymous said...

Tara you are an amazing women, the words you wrote for Preston were so beautiful. I am so happy that we have such an amazing Savior and that he has taken you into his arms in this time. I can't describe the feeling I felt after reading your entry, I wanted to be angry and be mad at God. But to read that he had prepared you and that he protected you in those last few moments really shows the love he has for us.
I am so sorry for your loss, I hope you keep strong and never stop relying on the Lord.

Our prayers are with you and your family.

Amber and Jeremy Arnold ( Walde)

Erin said...

Tara,

Our family will be praying for you. I admire your strength and faith!!

Leanne said...

What a beautiful tribute to Preston and also an amazing testimony of the reality of God in your life. Praying that your faith will remain strong and you will continue to be at peace.

B-Huggz said...

Tara,
you may not remember me, or my husband, we were at BBC with you, we now live in Ontario. Please, just know that we are praying for you, we are so moved and touched by this, it may very well change our lives forever also. Our prayers will be with you.

"For i believe WITH ALL MY HEART, that earth holds no sorrows that heaven cannot heal"

-Barclee and Stuart Huggins

Maria said...

Tara, I don't know you... but Tyler and Charity are pastoring at our church and I clicked over here to read your story. I'm crying for you... don't forget to cry.

I praise Jesus for his tender mercies to you and how he is keeping you together through the power of the holy spirit. But don't forget to cry. Jesus cried because of death - even though he knew he'd conquer it. Hang on to your faith facing your pain. If you didn't know already, you're about to find out how real our saviour is.

Your post reminds me of Paul's words as he echoes the prophets Isaiah and Hosea;
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

"Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58

A sister in Christ who will pray for you.

Shelly and Jared said...

Tara, I praise the Lord for giving you such strength, and for using you for His will in a time when you could so easily just keep your faith inside.
Love you!
-Shelly

T said...

Tara,
You don't know me, but I am a teacher at West Hills Christian. Some of my students go to Lake Bible and knew and loved Preston. There is definitly a heavy cloud in the classroom, but also a hope because they all know he is with the Lord. I have been praying for you and will continue to pray for you. My eyes fills with tears as I write this because my heart hurts so much for you.

Holly Smith said...

Tara, I dont know if you remember me but I was a girl in your cabin at camp when you were a leader. I also worked with Malory. I just read your story from the briercrest big red link, Im attending here now. Im shocked to hear this and amazed at how God is working within you. keep strong and take care of your child. Wish I could call you. Will be getting others to pray and will be praying myself for you. luv, Holly Smith

Ranae Janelle said...

A friend posted a link to your blog. Altho I don't know you I am crying with you. So often I find it difficult to allow the joy of our Lord to be my strength, your story is a testament to your faith and an inspiration to others. I pray that God will continue to blanket you with his great peace as you walk this road. I will continue to pray for you, Jacob and your unborn child during this time. I cannot begin to imagine but being a wife and Mom the sadness I feel along with you is great. I will pray for continued strength and courage as you face the coming months.
Blessings, In His great love & care.
Ranae

Anonymous said...

Dear Tara! We are so very, very sorry to hear of Preston's passing! What a gift though that you were able to hold him during his last minutes here on earth! Larry and I both have memories of a very, very nice and sincere young couple! Be assured of our prayers - blessings and a huge hug - Joan and Larry Ballantyne

Anonymous said...

Tara, I don't know if you remember me. I knew Preston at BBC and I run across your blogs every so often. I just wanted to know that I am praying for you and so sorry to hear about your loss. You are so strong and I encourage you to cling close to Jesus through all of this. Much love, Jodi (Chambers) Rogers

Lindsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsey said...

Tara, I have been in tears all morning. Thank you for this post. I can't imagine how hard it was for you to type it all out.
Can someone (or you) email me funeral times, etc.? address of where to send money, cards and flowers?
Ben's parents are in Portland and I know they would like to attend the funeral if it is in the area.
It's is true, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength"
My prayer is that people will come to know Christ in all of this. That Preston's legacy will encourage people to have passion for the Lord.
I love you Tara. You are such an inspiration.

Lindsey Spiegel
Lindseyspi@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Tara,
I dont know you but i was reading BigRed and i came accross a link to the journal article and your blog. I know how it feels to loose someone that we care deeply about. I am amazed at how your blog is full of praise towards God instead of complain and resentment.

I will be praying for you :)
Audrey

Nathan Smith said...

I had the good pleasure of suffering through 4th-year Greek with Preston at Multnomah. He was a wonderful guy, and I am sad for your loss. We will be praying for you.

Christy said...

Hi Tara, I just can't get over your amazing strenght! Our God is sure great to give you such incredible strenght during this most diffcult time! We rejoice with you in knowing Preston is singing praises to our Lord in heaven! WOW!! Please know many prayers are being lifted for you and your little family. Love in Christ, Christy Kelly

Sarah H. said...

Tara,
I found your blog through the facebook page for Preston. I am a friend of Claudia's. When I heard about what happened my heart hurt for everyone involved, especially Claudia. As I heard more about what happened, my prayers grew because I am in a very similar place in life as you. I have a 15 month old son and am 12 weeks pregnant with our second. So I wanted you to know that even though we are strangers, this sister-in-Christ is lifting you up in prayer. I pray that the Lord will continue to sustain you through this. So people from all over are praying for you.
Sarah Hammersborg

Anonymous said...

Tara,

I didn't have the strength at church last night to say something about Preston, I'm weak and can't stop crying I know he is dancing with Jesus right now and probably telling me to stop crying.

I just wanted to say Preston brought joy and excitment to my daughter each Thursday she looked forward to youth group and she would be sad and mad at me if she missed a night. Now, I regret not taking her to youth group every Thursday. We sure miss him, and I would have to agree with everyone "Behind every GREAT MAN is a Great Woman"
xoxo

God Bless,
Perla's mom

happytoknowhim said...

Hi Tara I don't know you but we prayed for you at our Wednesday evening Bible Study. A couple that went to Briercrest with you shared your loss with the church. I am praying that the Lord continues to comfort and strengthen you in the days ahead.

Melanie said...

Tara,

I've never met you or Preston, but my parents know you through church. When I heard about what happened I broke down and cried for you.

As I look through search pages and all the news stories, I can already see how God is using this for good. As many people Preston helped in his life, he is helping even more in his passing.

I can't begin to imagine your pain, but I want you to know that your family's story is reaching all the way to Boston and affecting us here. You are amazing people, and I hope someday I'll be able to meet you. I'm praying for you.

Melanie Morris

Jill said...

I work at Sunset Presbyterian Church in Portland. I am so sorry for your loss. God's care for you is amazing. We are praying for your family. Just take one moment at a time and let God minister to you in each one. I will be praying for you and your precious children.

I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from. It comes from the Lord.

B-Huggz said...

i am praying for you today, all day, for strength to make it through the funeral. ♥

Anonymous said...

Tara,
Its Kim Connelly I worked with you at the Credit Union. When I heard about Preston's passing I felt compelled to let you know how sorry I am and to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I was in shock and had to rewind what I just saw on TV to make sure it was real. I am hurting for you and Jacob and the rest of your family right now. Your strength and courage through this is amazing and very encouraging. You are truely an amazing person. I know your strength and faith will carry you through this tough time along with friends and family. From what I have seen and read already I can see how much both you and Preston have and will touch the lives of others. Take care of yourself you will be in my thoughts.

Kim
kimncaleb13@aol.com

MP said...

We have never met but our lives have not intersected because of Prestons life. Our pastor announced at our service today what happened to your family. About your loss, Prestons gain. I have checked out your blog and what a beautiful spirit Preston is and you are too...I know your son and the babay on the way will carry that on.
All this is so I can tell you that many are praying for you and your loved ones. Many people you don't even know. Praying God will continue to make His presence known in your heart. Praying you will feel Him carry you on those days that are harder than the others.
May the Lord Bless you and keep you Tara......Blessings ALWAYS!
Malissa
Woodland Park Baptist Church

Chris and Jolene Knapp said...

Tara, I am Ben Spiegle's cousin. I have raed about what an amazing life your husband had here on earth. My husband Chris and I will keep you, Jacab and the new little baby in our prayers. Know that many people are praying for you, and greatful for the good works that your husband was part of.
Jolene Knapp

HopelesRomantc91 said...

Hey Tara, it's Reuben. I was reading this, and I remembered what he said the night I met him. He challenged us with, "do you really believe that what you believe is really real?" And I'll always remember that, because it's easy to remember (hahaha), and because I could hear in his voice that he really believed it, that he really believeS it. I'm making a playlist of songs that bring him to mind. If you're interested, I'll print it out for you and give you a copy, but it's completely up to you. See you tomorrow night, I hope! God bless you. Thank you for being the wonderful wife for Preston, the wife that God saw as his perfect mate, the person who would make him happy every day, for the rest of his life. We all love you, Tara, and we all keep you in our prayers. Thank you for being strong for us, for being a light in this world for us to follow. I want you to know that this has given life new meaning to me, and it has given me a new passion and fervor for the Lord. It hasn't been a week, and I feel closer to the Lord, and I feel a new passion growing in my heart, to use Preston's exemplary life as a model for my own. I will never forget him, and I will go to his grave site whenever I can, and I won't miss the anniversaries for the world. God bless you, we love you.

See you at church, hon,
Reuben

Lowana said...

Hi Tara,

You may not remember me, but Preston and I were friends at Briercrest back in the day. I am so very sad for your loss and could not help but cry for you. May others see that the Lord is truly real as He comforts you.

Lowana (Wallace) Porter

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kent Robinson said...

Hey Tara,

Though we may never understand the depth of your pain and sadness, please know that myself and SO MANY OTHERS share your pain and sorrow. Paul said in the book of Romans, chapter 12, "To look out for one another in preference and honor, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints. And you are one heck of a saint my dear Sister! ;o] If you need anything Tara, please let me know. We at church are all here for you and Jacob. Our hearts and souls still ache for you. May GOD just love all over you & Jacob and your new baby! Take care, Kent

Alicia Hadley said...

Tara: We have never met, nor do we know anyone in common except our Lord Jesus Christ. My name is Alicia Hadley, I am a missionary in Mexico. A friend of mine forwarded me your story, but with no way to write you. I requested that my friend get me an email for me to be able to contact you because even though I don't know you, I share in your pain, as the Word says when one member suffers we all suffer and also because I understand your pain. Last year I lost two loved ones in accidents, one automobile and one helicopter, one was 20 yrs. old and the other was 27 yrs. Both loved the Lord and their absence and lost has forever changed my life. The pain of their absence doesn't cease to ache, but the joy of knowing that they beat me to the Father...only makes me jealous! Even though no one can truely understand your pain...as Proverbs says, I just wanted you to know that you aren't alone and it is in these times that God promised to be our Comforter...and I hold Him to His Word. That is the only thing that can get you though the valley of sorrow, the only thing that can help you get up every morning...His comfort and the hope of eternity. If I never see you on this earth...I hope to see you there. May God's peace WHICH PASSES OUR UNDERSTANDING and His love carry you and your little ones through this time. Never lose hope...the best is yet to come.

Alicia Hadley said...

Sometimes it's hard to understand,

Seems like God's removed his mighty hand.

When all we have are tears and pain,

And memories are all that do remain.

How could this happen to us?

Who for His sake have given so very much?

How much can one human heart bear?

Where is God, is He really there?


But then I see a picture of a cross,

See a Father mourning his own loss.

As His only Son hangs there and dies

The slowest, cruelest death they could find.

The tears are welling up in His eyes,

As he covers his ears to muffle the cries

Of His precious Son being crucified

By the very ones He was bringing life.


I'm sure He wished they would have finished fast

That way the pain and torture would pass.

But the Father understood and had a plan

And had to remove His mighty hand.

The story doesn't just end there…

Even though the night was long and hard to bear.

Morning came and so did new life,

And death was conquered; the son was alive.


So death was defeated and has no more sting;

Because of this Father's precious offering.

Yet I know He still remembers the pain,

Of seeing His only son be put into that grave.

He understands the pain and loss we feel;

And how this all just seems so unreal.

Though now we might not see His mighty hand,

It's there holding us in His perfect plan.
-Alicia Hadley 5/5/07

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. My name is Jody Stacy, and a friend of mine, who is a missionary in Mexico,(Alicia) forwarded an email regarding what happened to your husband. I hope that you don't mind my sharing some things with you. Yes, I may be a stranger to you, but not to what you are going through. For my 20 year old son, was tragically killed in an automobile accident last year. I see similarities in what happened to both your husband and my son. Josh, was a dedicated Christian who had such a strong passion for the Lord, as your husband did. The Lord used Him to touch the lives of so many people. He was the youth leader in our church, and ministered so many times to young and old through music, and leading worship. His life seemed to just radiate Jesus everywhere he went, and with everyone he met. Just as your husband did. He was and still is an awesome guy, and while I know and rejoice that Josh and your husband are now together in heaven, we are still here longing to be joined with them. In my experience I have come to see that there will always be a hole, there will always be an empty place in our lives, that our loved one once filled. But also our loved ones will always be alive in our hearts, in our memories, in our dreams, in our lives, as we continue to move on step by step and live our lives before Christ, as my son Josh, and your husband, Preston, would want us to, living it with the same passion and zeal
as they did. This is what keeps me going. Some days are better than others, as we walk through the pain and grief, but after a time the intensity will lessen. You will find that what once was normal, will now be defined in a new way. I am encouraged by your walk of faith through this time, and will pray for you and your children to have the continued peace of the Lord, and that you will know that "..my grace is sufficient for thee..." 2Cor.12:9 God will see you through, he will see me through.
God Bless,

Jody

Bonnie said...

Tara, you don't know me-God has connected me to you from a friend of a friend of a friend. This is so new to me that I don't know what to say, except you are an inspiration to me right now. I am 9 weeks pregnant with a beautiful little girl who will be 2 in 2 weeks. My sweet husband was killed in a single car accident on an icy bridge two weeks ago. God is holding me up, but I am so tired. I will gain strength by reading your entries. Please contact me if you wouldn't mind through facebook message so I can give you my e-mail address. Thank you in advance. Your husband sounds like a wonderful man. In Him, Bonnie Culp

Anonymous said...

your story has touched me, "to live is Christ to die is to gain", no truer words have been spoken now and days. Lady your faith in our God is so amazing, it has inspired me to share this with others. when before i came to the Lord ,i lost someone close to me and and traveled a road of darkness and hate. but you did the exact opposite bless you, and your family. jeez, how great is the love of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

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Veteran Vendors Corporation said...

Hello Tara,

I was just recently accepted into Farmers "Reserve Agent" program.

I am a Christian and I really enjoy helping others. Like your husband, I have crossed highways many times to assist others.

I have tears in my eyes as I type this because I pray I can carry on the Blessing that was shared with your family. I pray I can be that person that makes a difference not just an income.

I know God brought me to Farmers.

Enjoy a Blessed life Tara.

Mike R. Roland
Bakersfield, CA