I never expected the feelings I have right now when a friend text me at 8:30 this morning and asked me to check Facebook.

A college classmate lost his life last night in an accident. And tonight the whole state grieves.

As I’ve processed this today, I’ve pondered so many angles.

First, his sweet wife and baby girl. A young couple celebrating the first year if their miracle baby. A girl they wanted so bad and fought so hard for. A girl they treasured, cherished and celebrated in every single moment.

I’ve always appreciated the vulnerability they shared through their blog and the transparency they created by using social media to celebrate life and connect their faith and family to the world.

When I knew I was moving to NWA, I was so excited to be in the area where a familiar face would deliver the news. Although I was sad that my move here, was the same time as their move to LR, I knew it was a dream to be in that market and closer to home. So you couldn’t help but be excited about their new journey.

As an outsider, I feel bad that I even dare try to process something that is so much more personal to a family and yet I feel like this amazing couple created different family groups all around them. Their friends, their Arkadelphia family, their KNWA family their blog family, their twitter family, their NWA friends, their OBU family, their new KTHV family.

And today all these families grieve in a different way. Yet, they are perplexed by a common thread of why and search for reason.

What an amazing testimony as you read account after account from new co-workers who have only known a man for 6 weeks and yet grieve for a lifelong best friend. They are those kind of people. (I’m challenged personally to evaluate those same 6 weeks in my life and wonder how I could have filled them more with less moments about me and more moments about those around me.)

Tonight I’m challenged to make sure I fill my moments and days to the full. That I always make sure people know how I feel about them. To be more present in everyday moments. To brag on the people in my life that I love and am proud of. To use whatever level of influence I have to make a difference. Most importantly, to leave the world a better place than I found it and to invest in the people around when I can.

I’m challenged by the life of a respected man, a dad, devoted husband, loving brother, faithful son, recognized community leader, professional, fellow alumni, big dreamer and man of influential faith.

Julee, Preslee, Lisa, Andy, Turners, Bells, Wingfields, we are praying for you. Prayers of understanding, comfort, peace. It’s hard to understand “our good, His glory” in these moments. And yet I wonder as I observed one post tonight with over 9,000 likes about Matt’s love for you and his undeniable faith that many will know what drove him to be a great man.

Please pray for these sweet girls and their families in the many days to come.