6 years. it seems like yesterday.
i lost a dear, sweet friend in college...laura treppendahl. after RUF that night she came to my house to play games and sing kareoke. when she left i was the last person to get a hug from her. if i had known that would be the last hug i ever got from her...it is exactly how i would have wanted it to be. that was one of the beautiful things about laura. when she hugged you, she meant it. when she said she loved you, she meant it. nothing ever became monotonous with her. she did everything with such emotion...because she knew that she wasn't promised tomorrow. at dinner that night laura talked about singing at RUF. she said that singing Holy, Holy, Holy was like an appetizer to heaven. we would usually sing it as the last song and they wouldn't play instruments on the last verse. she described it perfectly!
we used to meet every thursday afternoon for coffee on the balcony at square books. she and i would sit and talk for hours about how we always overcommit to things...obviously i haven't changed much in that area! laura introduced me to palmer's cocoa butter chapstick...the greatest chapstick, hands down.
i could go on and on about laura, but a friend of mine wrote something about her that is more beautiful than anything i could dream of writing.
this was written by johnathan keenan. he was roommates with laura's boyfriend, dallis.
if you don't read anything else on my blog....read this...
The name Laura Treppendahl may not be a word in your ear that sounds
familiar. This person is simply another name whose identity is
unknown, a mystery, someone that you will forget once you have read
this. But to others, when this particular name is whispered,
ironically, mystery is still in the air. The identity is known, but
without words that seem fitting.
She is the person in your life that smiles simply because she knows
no other expression. She laughs because she finds that is soothes the
soul and that it makes her smile even more. Her presence in a room
brings great joy, yet comfort for the ones who do not have the social
graces as others. She always exudes happiness when she sees you. It
seems almost fake, but when you begin to see how she works, you
understand that she truly is ecstatic to simply say "hello." When
speaking with her, at that moment in time, you are most important. She
possessed the wonderful gift of listening. But more importantly, she
was compassionate when listening. If you were sad, she was sad; if you
were hurting, she probably felt your pain; when you were excited, she
elevated even more excitement. Her humbleness is perplexing, her
willingness to serve others is convicting, and her ability to love
others is gripping. The name Laura Treppendahl is now a familiar tone
to some of you because you can think of that person in your life who
exemplifies these wonderful gifts.
All these characteristics sum up a person who was in love with Jesus
Christ. The profundity of Christianity baffled her. She understood
grace, which happens to be the most perplexing concept of the entire
Bible. How did she grasp the idea that God sent His Son to the cross
to die a horrible lonely death for her? Well, it was by faith. Deep
down inside her tiny little frame, her heart beat to the sound of
God's drum. From before the beginning of time she was one of God's
Dallis Ketchum, another name that is foreign, except maybe the first,
which is a pretty familiar city, but other than that no identity is
captured from the sound of the name. He is my roommate, truly one of
my closest companions. We know each other well, very well. He is in
love, enamored, smitten by Laura Treppendahl. I do not know the
feeling he possesses for her, because I have never been in love, but
from what I can grasp, I want what he has. It is not the cheesy
romantic love that the Entertainment industry conjures up. It is the
gospel-centered love for another person that strangely exist between
two Christians whose first love is Christ. It is the sacrificial love
Christ so perfectly displayed amongst His people. It is the ability to
see the other person the way Christ sees them, perfectly radiant,
possessing something they were created for, Holiness. It is not the
romantic feeling (which changes as easily as the Seasons do), but the
concept of Love. The concept that says, you know what, I am going to
love you for your sake, not mine. I am going to serve you not because
you deserve it, but because you don't deserve it. I am going to be
patient with you because God is patient. I am going to humble myself
because Christ humbled Himself. I don't understand love, but I write
like I do because I have witnessed a unique relationship that taught
me more than I asked for.
Dallis Ketchum wanted to spend the rest of his life waking up to
Laura Treppendahl. God said no, I have other plans for you.
On February 7th, Laura Treppendahl was killed. She was "called home"
as us Christians like to say. Why she died, I have no idea? Why did
God take her away from Dallis, I don't have the slightest clue? The
mystery of God's sovereign plan is just that, a mystery. But I must
and will continue to find comfort in the doctrine of a sovereign God
who by His own divine Will rules the universe as He pleases. You say
"comfort?" How can this be comfort when a drunk driver killed my best
friend's second love? It is comfort because I believe if God did not
exist as a sovereign ruler over all then that means no one rules,
which means that this world would be in major chaos. It brings peace
to know that I am not in control. But this does not nullify the
feelings I have and don't have for the divine tragedy that happened.
My friend lost his Love. I do not know what pain exist in his heart. I
do not understand the agony he goes through day in and day out, the
silent yet awful sound of sleepless nights that brings more tears and
more heartache. I try, but nothing happens. I see him hurting, I hear
him crying, yet, I have no feeling that matches his. Guilt is the only
pain I feel. I feel that I grieve without pain which makes me believe
that I am not actually grieving, because I do not understand what he
lost and what Christ gained. I miss her tremendously, her beautiful
smile, but my grief for her is slowly turning into a quiet little
peace, but it has turned full force towards my beloved roommate whose
pain is foreign and whom I have no remedy for.
It has been a surreal moment in my life, these past couple of weeks,
but time continues to pass and the days are beginning to get back to
normal, but one thing that remains the same, Laura Treppendahl is not
here. She is in perfect condition, Holy and blameless, illuminating
the radiance of Christ and if we happened to see her now, we might be
tempted to worship her because she reflects the image she was created
for, Christ. May you find comfort in the friends you have like Laura
Treppendahl, but more importantly, may you find rest in the Name of
Jesus Christ, by whom we long to be with. I leave you with this quote
from C.S. Lewis on Heaven: "Your soul has a curious shape because it
is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours
of the divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the
house with many mansions. For it is not humanity in the abstract that
is to be saved, but you-you, the individual reader...Blessed and
fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another's. All
that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His
good way, to utter satisfaction...Your place in Heaven will seem to be
made for you and you alone, because you were made for it."