A Devotional Story Update and Tribute

A Devotional Story Update and Tribute November 29, 2022

A few years ago, I wrote a devotional book called Find Peace. In Day 9, which you will see below, I shared the story of close friends – “Lara and Aaron” – who were walking with love and grace through the excruciating experience of learning that Aaron had early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Since that time, Aaron has been on a long and heartbreaking goodbye. But he and Lara never lost their love. Aaron prayed for our family even when he could no longer communicate. He worked to keep up his cheerful spirit even when confusion painfully clouded his mind. And he loved his sweet wife even when he could no longer tell her so. He is a true hero.

And Lara . . . she is even more of a hero. She has loved and served through the exhaustion and emotions of watching her husband’s capacities slowly disappear.

Today, I can share that “Lara and Aaron” are actually our amazing friends Lisa and Eric Rice – who many of you know as our co-authors and co-researchers on For Young Women Only, For Young Men Only, and For Parents Only. Lisa was also one of the key writers who helped draft multiple devo days in Find Rest, Find Joy, and Find Peace. And until his illness forced him to step back, Eric and Lisa were also our main video production company. For most of our ministry, if you saw any sort of video of me and Jeff, Eric was the genius behind the scenes.

I share this update, and this excerpt from Find Peace, as a tribute to our friend, who on Friday went racing into the arms of Jesus. Jeff and I are dealing with complicated grief. The anguish of losing a deep friend. The sadness for what Lisa has had to carry and will have to carry as she forges ahead without him. The deep sorrow for their kids who lost a dad way too soon. Comforting our own kids as they grieve the loss of a much-loved godfather. And yet . . . even in the middle of these tears, we are shouting our thanks to the heavens for the life of our friend, who now has a new mind and a new body and is more ALIVE than ever before!

Eric Rice ran his race so well. He was hilarious and adventurous and wise. And he lived a life of Christ-like love through all the hardship. We miss him so much. But we are also so grateful to know that, because of Jesus, we will see our friend again. (You can see Eric’s obituary here.)

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