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If you read this….please take a moment to tell someone special to you how much you love them.

Please.

Late last night we found out that our sweet youth pastor and his entire family were killed in a car crash in Nashville.

Four brilliant, beautiful, wonderful lives snuffed out in an instant on a busy freeway.

And I sit here typing this to you with tears streaming down my face…..

…..because I wish.

I wish I would have told him of the amazing impact he had on my children.

I wish I would have told him his jokes made me laugh.

I wish I would have told him generations of families will be forever changed because of his leadership and how he allowed God to use him.

I wish I would have told him what a light he was in a world sometimes full of hurt and heartache and overwhelming sadness.

I wish.

“Today is a new day.

Make the most of it.

Tell someone you love them.

Smile at someone.

Give a hug.

Hold a hand.

Or just listen for a moment and be a friend.”

                                                           ~unknown

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Comments

    1. Image for Debbie Debbie

      So very sorry for your entire congregation, Karianne. Be assured ..."to be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord.". Someday yu will see this family again. In the meantime, keep the faith. May God bless yu as yu process this grief.

  1. Image for Sue Sue

    I am so very sorry...what a devastating loss. I want to believe he knew how much he made a difference and above all - it sounds like he lived his life in the way the Lord called him to. I know how vital our youth ministers were in helping my teenager make the right choices. All of you are in my prayers. Sue

  2. Image for Linda @ It All Started With Paint Linda @ It All Started With Paint

    That is just so sad. My daughter tells me she loves me (and I reciprocate the I love you's) every time she walks out the front door. She told me she does this 'just in case, because you never know.' Your post today is a beautiful tribute to what sounds like a beautiful person and his beautiful family. Linda

  3. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Mike and I sat and listened to the television news reports about the crash last night and discussed how devastating that must be for a community and extended family. Our thoughts are with you and we are lifting your church up in prayer.

  4. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Life Is So Very Fragile. We often times forget about it until such a time as this. Sending you all lots hugs and prayers. Take care.

  5. Image for Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle

    Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come, so fill today with life and love, within your heart and home. Kari, I'm sure your pastor and his family knew how fond you were of them. So sorry for your community's loss.

  6. Image for Debbi in Michigan Debbi in Michigan

    I will say prayers of comfort for your family and your congregation. Give thanks that they were Christians. This verse has given my comfort in the recent death of my brother: Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death

    1. Image for SuzyMcQ SuzyMcQ

      A family perishing in a moment is a tragedy, no matter their religion. I give thanks each and every day for all that is good in this world, no matter it's religion. To have a belief in all that is good, is good, no matter it's religion.

  7. Image for Martha Martha

    hi Karianne, I'm so sorry for how you feel. I know because I lost my son 2 1/2 months ago, he was 31 and leaves behind a beautiful wife, a sister, and two brothers and a mom. Who desperately wish we could have a do over. But we can't . But what we can do with the grace of God is be a little more friendlier with the grocery clerk who snapped at me, or smile at the mailman when I see him delivering a package to my door and has to be out of her car, or listen with sincerity to my neighbor who is having marriage problems, and say a prayer for the banker who is waiting for a doctor to call her back for a test result. I pray that God will give you the Grace to live your life for the families of your youth pastor, and wonderful sons like mine

    1. Image for gina gina

      We should all be a little kinder, shouldn't we? Especially when we don't want to be. We should shine our light in honor of those who aren't here anymore.

  8. Image for Lois@pineridgehills.com Lois@pineridgehills.com

    Dear Karianne, I am so sorry for this heartache you and your family and your church are going thru. But now more than ever, you need to stand together and sing his praise. We are all taught to trust in the Lord, but in times like these, that trust needs to be stronger than ever. Celebrate your Pastors life rather than his death. Feel the sadness for those he knew and loved but more so for the lives he will never get a chance to touch..... Hug each other a little bit tighter and listen to each other a little bit longer..... Hugs, Lois

  9. Image for Sally Sally

    Oh Honey - I am so sorry for this loss to your family. Keeping you all lifted up in prayer. Thanks for the reminder to embrace the here and now, and tell people how much we love/appreciate them. xo ~Sally

  10. Image for Amber Amber

    I have been following your blog for a while because I knew you were in KY - but I didn't realize how close you were to me until I saw this. I am in Benton and while I did not know this family many of my friends did and have been sharing the story online. What a tragedy. There are just no words to heal the hurt that many are feeling right now. Thankfully we have a God that comforts us through the storms. Prayers for all.

  11. Image for kipper kipper

    That is so sad, my sympathies to you, your family and the congregation. I want to think that the youth pastor and his family made a great impact on many lives. The people they touched will use what they learned from Pastor and his family and in turn, influence other people, share their love of God and enrich many lives.

  12. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    What overwhelmingly sad news....and what an overwhelmingly sincere tribute. My heart is sad with yours... When one member aches....we all feel some of that pain. I pray mercy and grace for you/yours/all...

  13. Image for Vicki Daugherty Vicki Daugherty

    I saw this story on our local news, Louisville, and thought how sad and what a loss it is to so many people. We cannot question God but this is so very difficult to understand and to explain to teenagers. I hope this family's love impacted your kids enough that they can get through this time of sadness. Prayers up for your church family. Vicki in Louisville KY

  14. Image for Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    My heart breaks for you and your church family. My prayers are with you this morning. Prayers for peace and healing and wisdom for those walking those precious teens through the loss of those who were so special to them. Melissa

  15. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I'm crying too -- for the loss of good lives and the loss of opportunity. We can ask why -- we'll never know. Our family has always told each other "I love you". When my mom was in the hospital -- complications after surgery - MERSA. There were hard decisions to be made. My mom was barely coherent I told her I loved her. Her last words to me was I love you too, Marisa. Don't ever put off telling someone how much they mean to us -- KariAnne -- I love your goodness, your spirit, your courage, and your kindness. You are a person who will always give instead of take. I am grateful you are in my life. Much love to you and your family. Abbracci, Maria

  16. Image for Meryll Meryll

    Praying especially for your church staff this morning, as they try to lead your congregation on this heartbreaking day, in the midst of their own grief. Also lifting up your youth group - losing the leader who's been guiding them must leave them feeling utterly lost. May God wrap His arms around all of you and give you comfort and peace. Our church family (8000+) is standing with you.

  17. Image for Lynn in Florida Lynn in Florida

    Karianne- What a tragic and devastating loss for your church and for your family...I am so deeply sorry for the pain you all must walk through. The fragility of this life, and the pain we must sometimes endure is so hard for we humans to understand. We ask how this could happen to such good people. But for those of us who believe in God, and in His Son, we are able to endure life's immense pain, because we have the hope and promise of Jesus that what we experience in this world is not the end. We have an eternity of peace and joy awaiting us. This promise brings us peace in the midst of our suffering, and we can feel joy for those lost, knowing they are with our Father. Your pastor is also with his entire family....not some left behind to grieve...a silver lining to a very dark cloud. Lastly, Karianne, I believe that the ones we love in heaven are watching over us, and they can and do hear our prayers, so find peace in believing that your pastor is smiling at your beautiful tribute. You are doing exactly what he would tell you to do, by spreading the light of your beautiful spirit in this troubled world. His final legacy to your children, while certainly painful, will be the lesson to embrace life every single moment. They will carry that with them forever. Take heart, sweet friend, and find beauty and joy in the midst of the storm...you will be in my prayers. With love,

  18. Image for Regena Fickes Regena Fickes

    I am sorry. God will be with all of you. Keep remembering where they have gone. They are not lost, you will see them again.

  19. Image for Kerry Kerry

    Oh Karianne, I am so sorry to read this news. In times like these, we ask ourselves "why, Lord"? And for now, we may never know the answer. But, what we do know if that our God has a plan and purpose. Our God is a loving God who never leaves our side. Cling to His Word and the hope that comes with knowing He is forever with us. Praying for you, your family, and your church family as you move forward one day and one step at a time taking with you the memories of this family and that lesson that we must never forget to cherish life - cherish people - cherish every day, every moment, and every second in time. Blessings and hugs, my friend . . . kerry

  20. Image for kelly kelly

    I am so sorry. A terrible tragedy, impossible to understand, horrible to comprehend... my prayers are with you and your community during this time.

  21. Image for Julie N Julie N

    My thoughts and prayers to you and your family and church congregation. Live each day to the fullest and love without boundaries.

  22. Image for Sylvia Sylvia

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and all the members of this church, who have lost not only God's servant, but his entire family. What a shock and heartbreak this must be for you all, as you try to understand why the heavenly father has called him home. I have made it a practice to always tell my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren that I love them whenever we speak or see them, since we never know when we are called home.

  23. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Hugs and prayers. I make it a point of telling my family that I love them whenever one of us is walking out of the door. It's something I started when my son started driving, and now he waits for it before he shuts the door. I don't want there to be any regrets. But I hadn't thought of it in the wider circle of people who have an impact on So thank you for reminding me

  24. Image for Jill Jill

    So sorry for the loss of such lovely souls who made such an impact on you, your family, your church family and your community. May the community's love for your youth pastor and his family bring you all comfort during this difficult time. Thank you for taking the lessons of this tragedy, and reminding us to express our gratefulness and love to those who mean so much.

  25. Image for Diane Diane

    Such sadness and tragedy for you, your family, your congregation and the community as a whole! KariAnne, I'm sure he knew your love, your respect, your appreciation ... afterall, it's you KariAnne, and we know you don't hold back. But this serves as a great reminder to all of us to cherish the moment and the present. HUGS!

  26. Image for Betsy@coastal-colors Betsy@coastal-colors

    Sweet friend, what devastating news! I am lifting you, your family,church family and community in prayer! I'm so sorry! Thank you for sharing this and reminding us what is truly important! Sending love and hugs your way! So sorry I haven't been able to visit as much lately; Dad fell and has been having a difficult time getting over his fall.

  27. Image for sammijo sammijo

    I am so sorry for your loss. I want you to know that you are loved by many, and an inspiration. May God keep you in his tender care.

  28. Image for Cheryl Ann Cheryl Ann

    This is the saddest story, so sorry for your loss. I wondered about who this sweet family was when i saw the story of the crash on our news here in Nashville. My prayers are with you and your community. Cheryl Ann

  29. Image for Cindy Trobaugh Cindy Trobaugh

    Feeling Your sadness and sending Prayers..A beautiful Person once told Me that what You needed to or wanted to say to someone who parted they will hear when they get to Heaven...hope that brings You some comfort. Cindy

  30. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Oh, Karianne...I am so sorry. What a tragic loss not only for your family, but for all those whose lives he touched. Hugs, and thoughts and prayers sent your way.

  31. Image for Scottie Scottie

    Oh honey! My heart breaks for all of you- your family and the church. It also rejoices that they are all together in heaven. Love and lots of virtual ((hugs)) for you.

  32. Image for Dana Fulton Dana Fulton

    How awful!! It's hard to see God's plan in the midst of such pain, loss and sadness. I am praying for your family and your church family during this terrible time. You are loved!

  33. Image for Shannon M. Shannon M.

    My prayers for your precious children and the young in his flock. May God send His Angels to comfort and watch over all of you. I pray He lifts up those with broken hearts and mends them, I pray he surrounds your children, your church, your community, and all that loved this precious family with great love and compassion, as only He can do. I pray He gives you the strength to get through this battle. All my love. Amen God gives his hardest battles to His strongest soldiers.

  34. Image for Jane Jane

    I am so, so sorry for your loss, Karianne, and that of your family as well as the pastor's, and all who knew and loved him. Many prayers are coming your way. Jane xx

  35. Image for Ann C Ann C

    So many have said it so much better than I could. Love and learn and love some more, that's what He wants for all of us. My prayers go out to everyone involved by this tragedy. I lost a good friend yesterday, too. But she was 89 and ready to meet her Savior. God speed to all.

  36. Image for christiann christiann

    I , like everyone else, is very sorry to hear about this tragic news.. For me, I need to permit my sister to repeatedly tell me how much she loves me. I don't have to go into details, but we lost 3 siblings within a 4 year period and our mother 4 years ago..My prayers are for everyone connected to this tragic loss..

  37. Image for Belinda Belinda

    My sweet friend, I am so sorry for your loss, as well as everyone who knew this beautiful family. This is a lovely tribute from you. These things really make me stop & think of what really matters, because no one knows what tomorrow brings. My brother & I haven't been close for a while, but I'm going to let him know that no matter what I will always love him. Thank you for the sad but meaningful reminder. Prayers. Love, Belinda

  38. Image for Lisa W. Lisa W.

    I am SO sorry to read this, I can't imagine! Prayers and a little extra hug for you! May their memories stay in your heart and get you through this tragedy!

  39. Image for Cheri Cheri

    KariAnne I have no words that seem the right ones for this news. My heart breaks knowing the incredible loss and sadness this brings to so many. Please know you and your church family are in the hearts and prayers of many. Much love and prayers Cheri

  40. Image for Khadija Khadija

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I will start right here by saying how much I appreciate your blog and all of the people who participate. You all brighten up my day. Thank you, thank you, thank you all!!!

  41. Image for Carol Carol

    I heard the news...I saw the family picture...I saw the word SERVANT on the shirts of both boys, and I wondered... Then comes your blog and now I know that "It is Well With Their Souls." An earthly loss, but what a testimony they leave. That's what it's all about.

  42. Image for Winnie Winnie

    I'm so sorry for your family and all others whose lives were touched by this man, KariAnne. Unbelievably sad . . .

  43. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Dear sweet Kari Anne, I just want you to know that I am praying for you, not only for you but for your daughters, your son, and of all the teens in the youth group who I KNOW are devastated! Please know that we will continue to lift you all up before the Lord in the days, weeks, and months to come. I love you! I really do! You are truly a ray of sunshine in my life. So thank you, thank you for being a light in the darkness!

  44. Image for Hollie Hollie

    Prayers for your church family and those who have been forever touched by this tragedy. I live near the accident and know that as soon as we heard we were all praying for those involved. Neighbors were reaching out via text/phone/ social media all in an effort to start praying. I am so sorry for the loss of such a beautiful family.

  45. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Oh, sweet KariAnne, I am so-so sorry for your loss, the church's loss, and the family's loss. Such a tragedy. So heart-breaking. Praying for you and everyone.

  46. Image for Jill Wendt Jill Wendt

    I absolutely gasped when I read your article today. I cannot even imagine what you and your family are going through right now. I read every single one of the comments written by the people, whose lives you touch everyday. What an amazing group of women. I am sending my prayers to you and your family. And...I too believe that your youth pastor and his family, knew how much you loved them.

  47. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I am so terribly sorry. With a heavy heart, wishing you light and love. And for what it's worth, I have a feeling your Pastor knew how you felt. xo

  48. Image for Detra Detra

    Wouldn't you love to live in a world where we all told everyone what they meant to us. "I can only imagine" I love you lady and am praying for you and your family.

  49. Image for amy watson amy watson

    Oh my...Karianne.....there really are no words, l am so sorry for the heart wrenching loss that your family and community have suffered, l tried to put myself in your shoes when l read this, we too have a young pastor with a young family, they have enriched so many lives, l just can not imagine the pain, you must believe that our God does not make a mistake, and he needed them with him, his job was done in ways that we don't know or will ever understand, know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers...

  50. Image for brenda brenda

    my hsb always reminds me of the previously quoted scripture about being present with the Lord and emphasizes they have seen the face of Jesus ~!!!!! and would not trade that to be back here for anything knowing we will know that joy one day.

  51. Image for Lisa Jordan Lisa Jordan

    Karrianne... I am so sorry to hear this devastating turn of events for this precious family. I cannot even imagine the pain those who love and care for them are feeling. May God, our Father in heaven, bring comfort to all who seek Him in their time of grief. In Christ's name... Amen.

  52. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I type this comment through tears. Nothing can be said to explain such a horrific passing of events. No words (none at all) to make sense of lives taken this way. Accidents happen and we must go on. I am so sorry for you and your family's loss. I hope you are able to find strength from all of your blog supporters. Fondly, -Lisa

  53. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    I am so sorry to hear this, Karianne...I know this is a huge loss for so many. I think you did just tell him all of what you wanted him to know, and it was a beautiful tribute to them, as well. I am sending prayers for peace and comfort...xoxo

  54. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    This is such sad news, and the reason my family always tell each other we love them and care about each other, Tim never leaves for work without giving me a kiss and I never leave the house without kissing him if he is home because you never know what might happen

  55. Image for Christine Christine

    Dearest Karianne, This made me tear up along with you. I am sorry that you're hurting. Prayers for your wonderful pastor and his family, and for you, and yours, as well. God bless. Xox Christine

  56. Image for Teresa Teresa

    KariaAnne- What a devastating loss to your congregation and the families involved. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Also, prayers for all the first responders and emergency personnel who I know never get use to witnessing tragic accidents like these. Sometimes we get so busy we forget how fragile life is and we never know what each day might bring. I just read the touching article about this wonderful family and take comfort in knowing that they are together with the Lord.

  57. Image for Susan McMullen Susan McMullen

    Oh KariAnne- I am so sorry. There are no words. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your family and your congregation.

  58. Image for Tracy Smith Tracy Smith

    So very sorry for the loss of a family who impacted your world so positively. It's a sad day indeed when people we know and love aren't here anymore, because we miss them tremendously. Having said that, how uplifting is it that all these people who read your blog offer up condolences!? That struck me almost as deeply as the loss of your friends and youth pastor. With everything that we see day in and day out that's negative, a person starts to lose faith in humanity. Seeing all these responses brings that back for me. God Bless you Karianne, may your heart be full of happy memories of this family. God Bless all who have offered your support to Karianne and her family, you've helped me in that too. Lots of love and prayers to all! <3

  59. Image for Gracia @ Gracious Offering Gracia @ Gracious Offering

    KariAnne, What sad news! Praying for your church family and your sons...May God somehow use this tragedy to change lives. My parents were killed in a car accident years ago. The shock is hard to wrap your mind around. The best book I've ever read about grief and loss is "AGrace Disguised" by Gerry Sittser, a Whitworth Univ professor who lost his wife, mother, and one of his daughters in a car accident. And, yes, never miss an opportunity to tell someone what they mean to you. May God's comfort and peace be very real to you all.

  60. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I have been so sad for your church all day. My heart simply hurts for you. We celebrated our music/youth pastor's 10th anniversary today, and I couldn't help but think of you guys. Lots of prayers going up for your sweet church family.

  61. Image for P P

    As a long time ED nurse, I have seen the sudden death many times and the terrible grief of the family and friends. No matter how long I have worked, it does not get any easier. There are no guarantees you will be here tomorrow and if it is your time to be called, it is your time. We are here for whatever time allowed by God. Love your family and friends and never stay mad long. Enjoy the beauty of every day and be thankful for the gift of time. And always lean on the faith.

  62. Image for Dee Dee

    Praying that God will wrap his loving arms around you, your family, your church, and your community as you process this very tragic loss and grant you all peace. Karianne, your beautiful smiling face told him all of those thoughts and your gratitude for his role in your lives surely. I will continue to lift you all up in prayer. Ciao, Dee

  63. Image for Betty Betty

    My condolences to you and your family. This past year I attended a Memorial service where they released butterflies and the minister read the following quote " A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment, it's glory and beauty belong to our world . But, then it flies on again and although we wish it could have stayed, we feel blessed to have seen it." My thoughts and prayers are with you your family and church family. Betty

  64. Image for Cindy@DIYbeautify Cindy@DIYbeautify

    Oh KariAnne, what a terrible terrible tragedy! Praying for you and your church...but especially for your 4 children (and the other youth in your church) as they process their grief! I've experienced loss and the stages of grief aren't pretty...they're downright messy...but SO necessary to healing! I will keep you all in my prayers as you grieve. And please know that I'm sure your YP knew you loved and appreciated him...we will always have "I Wish" and "If Only's"...it's part of being human! Please don't be too hard on yourself! Sending Love, Cindy

  65. Image for Janet Janet

    Oh, Sweetie - I can't wrap my head around such unspeakable grief...an entire family gone. I'm praying for peace that only comes from Him for your precious family.

  66. Image for Colleen (Lilac Drive Designs) Colleen (Lilac Drive Designs)

    Karianne, I'm so sorry to hear this. Heartbreaking and unbelievable. I read all of your wishes and I personally believe that your youth pastor knows how you feel about him. It's hard to wrap your head around how something so horrible can happen but I believe they are at peace and safe together and their spirits will live on in all the lives he and his family touched. Sending prayers and hugs to you.

  67. Image for Darla Bunyan Darla Bunyan

    I am so sorry for your loss! My daughter attended youth group there from time to time, and she told me about it yesterday. (Small world) Be assured, they are way better off than we are right now, even though that does not make the grief any easier. Prayers to you and yours.

  68. Image for Tonya Schoepf Tonya Schoepf

    I am so sorry for your loss, it is up lifting to know he and his family were Christians and carring out Gods work.

  69. Image for Deborah Deborah

    I didn't get a chance to read this until now and am so sorry to hear this for you, your family, and everyone who knew them. I was a PK and was also a youth pastor so I know how close the church family is. How devastating. What a tremendous loss. PRAYERS

  70. Image for Tardevil Tardevil

    So sorry for your family's loss. I'm sure you are all devastated. Just found out one of my friend's cancer has return and spread, and it's not good. She just turned 50 last weekend. We have to live while we can, for sure.

  71. Image for janpartist janpartist

    I just read this and I feel awful for you. But, rest assured that all of what you wish, he knew, he knows. They all know.

  72. Image for Bluwatergal Bluwatergal

    Kari honey ~ what a terrible thing for you, your family and your church family. I am so sorry for your loss. In the midst of the tragedy you see the importance of letting people know what they mean to us. The family members, teachers, church friends, co-workers, and even our pets. We should never miss an opportunity to let them know that they made a difference, because you never know when it will be the last time you see them. I learned this too. And I also learned that even if you tell them after they are gone, they still hear you because it comes from the heart. So you did more than wish with your post. You spoke from your heart, and so it was sure to be heard. All the best. Bwg ~~~

  73. Image for Shirley@housepitalitydesigns Shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    How so truly, truly tragic and devastating....you always wonder why...why such a beautiful family is no longer here to make a difference in the world....to be here to inspire as they did....only God knows...I am so very sorry for this loss to you and your family....my sincere and utmost condolences.

  74. Image for Deena Deena

    This past weekend a local school teacher and her husband were killed in a head on crash and also their two children are in critical condition. Both people in the other car that hit them head were killed also. Ages, 22, 25, 42, 43. Two teenage kids left without parents and other families left without loved ones too. I didn't know them but the whole community is saddened to hear this. Just think of all of the lives that are affected by this. So sad. I'm sorry to hear about your pastor and his family.

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