A Personal Moment and Tribute: Damon M. Estell
During our first church service of the year, our Pastor, Rick Sherer, began a new series titled, "2013: Be Steadfast and Excel".
In Pastor Rick's message he admonished our congregation that 2013 will be a year of shake-ups. He said that God revealed it to him that during this year, some major things will happen and they will happen quickly. He went on to say that a lot of people who began the year with us would not be here at the end -- spiritually and/or physically. He instructed us to not grow weary in doing the right thing because in the end, we will reap the rewards if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).
Pastor Rick’s message was not intended to be one of doom and gloom but one of hope and encouragement to remain steadfast and not lose sight of our faith. As he put it, 'either you will be shaken or you would be the one doing the shaking'.
Yesterday, our family lost a very good friend, Damon M. Estell. He succumbed to the complications of a heart attack at just 42 years of age.
While his actual death came as quite a surprise because it seemed so sudden, Damon had been battling a series of health challenges for quite some time and the heart issues were a part of that.
Thursday, I was laughing and talking with Damon. Today, he is no longer here with us. Talk about quick!
Damon was a man of great character, tremendous faith and integrity. When others turned their backs on my husband and I because they were in offense, it was Damon and his wife, Rachel, who were there for us. He made it crystal clear that my husband and I were his family and that he wasn't shutting us out. He called people out on their issues and they knew where he stood. Not only that but, he was firmly grounded in his faith.
When I learned of his passing, the enemy tried to tempt me to mourn. He didn’t win that! Instead, the first thing that I found confidence in was that Damon was a true Believer who lived out his life according to the Word.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
I Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV)
His wife, Rachel, is doing well and is putting her own faith in action. Though the tears roll with the realization that she has lost her husband, she says she keeps reminding herself that she had a wonderful life and marriage with him.
Their children, Hannan (11 years old), Ephraim (12 years old) and Dominique (20 years old) are walking out the things that their father instilled in them. They are all holding up well. In fact, Ephraim is the one who reminded his mom to stand on her faith as the paramedics performed CPR on his dad right in front of him.
So while, it is quite sad that we won't see Damon for a while, the better part is that we know that his passing is not the final act! (Praising God as I type this) and that we will see him again. Even now I can hear his voice and some of the funny things that we would joke about.
So yes, the tears come, simply because there aren't many men like him (thank God I have one), and thinking about all the good times that we had with him. I know that if he were given the chance (which in a sense he was, as he was revived three times from Saturday night to Monday), he wouldn't want to come back here.
In sharing something funny Jazmyn said as she recalled when Damon taught their class one Sunday and played a game with them. "Ephraim and Hannen should be happy because now their dad will win at the statue game because he can't move. He's able to stay super still". ha, ha. Kids say the darndest things.
Miss and love you, Brother! We will see each other again!