Saturday, April 6

Saying Hello to a Final Goodbye - Written by my husband for Stephen Jackson

I cant imagine a more emotional week than this one has been. This week has had some of the lowest lows, followed by the highest highs that life can throw at you. I lost my best friend on Tuesday and it was absolutely devastating, not only to me, but to everyone that called him a friend and brother. I wrote a eulogy and was planning on speaking at his funeral when i got a call to come back to Dallas because Taryn was in labor. On Friday, i met my son and my emotions shot through the roof with happiness. These types of life events really make someone think and ponder what life is all about. After reflecting and observing, I have kinda formulated my own analogy that makes sense to me in understanding how we live life and how God can have an everlasting effect on our lives.

I feel like Life itself can be viewed as our own person vehicle that we have the freedom to drive as fast as we want to anywhere we want. Each and everyone of us has a 'vehicle' that is individually our very own, but the problem is that we are driving our vehicle without our sense of sight. We drive around aimlessly in the pursuit of accomplishment and self satisfaction in hopes to arrive at a final destination of happiness but we can never really see the direction in which we are headed. Because we still possess our sense of hearing we use that to listen to people that tell us what is the best route to get to the happiness to which we seek, but without our sight we never really know for ourselves if happiness is at the end of the road we are on. God possesses the sight that we need to see where we are heading in life. When we ask God into our life he restores our sight and it's only then that we actually see the direction to which our lives were heading. When he comes in, we are instantly awakened to the fact that some of those voices that were relying on to guide us in the right direction were coming from the faces of demons whose only objective was to lead us on a path away from God and ultimately to our own demise.

I, myself drove around without my sight for quite some time, narrowly missing obstacles and dead ends until I asked God to come into my life when i was a Teenager, at which time he gave me what i needed for guidance and intended purpose and clearly lit the path to everlasting life. Of course there have been times along the way that I decided for myself to close my eyes and listen to those misleading voices only to awaken and notice that i was headed straight for a brick wall. This type of 'I don't need guidance' and 'I know where I'm going' attitude has happened to everyone at some point or another and my best friend Stephen Brooks Jackson was no exception. He too allowed the voices in his life to lead him down numerous paths of destruction and off of the straight and narrow, following a path that could only ended in chaos and devastation. My best friend was one of the friendliest, most caring, charismatic, giving and loving people that i have ever had the pleasure of meeting, He spent his life making others happy and was an absolute joy to be around, but my best friend refused to ask The Lord for sight. His 'vehicle' was incredibly beautiful, immaculately kept, and was what we all hope that we can model our lives around, but it really doesn't matter how beautiful our vehicles look from the outside if we cant keep it on the right path.

I talked to Stephen last week and he told me that he had chosen to get his life right with The Lord and was excited that he was on the right path. His life was beautiful and now he had it on the road to an everlasting life. Nothing anyone has ever told me aside from the words, "Babe I'm Heading to the Hospital, it's time for our son to meet us" that I heard from my wife has ever had more of an impact than hearing him tell me those words. He had chosen God to lead his life! Until this week I thought that if you had asked God into your life and really meant it, that you would have no problem seeing the obstacles in the road and your life would instantly be on the right path, but Jackson has shown me that I was completely WRONG! When he asked God to give him sight, he was making 90 miles per hour down a road that dead ended into a brick wall, but he was just going too fast to swerve. He saw the dead end coming at him and tried to turn from it, but with all the momentum he had hurling him in that direction there just wasn't enough time to turn away. I am sad to say that my friend didn't make it, but i have comfort in knowing that because of his decision to accept Christ into his heart, I will see him again on the other side in the promised land.

My son, Jamison Glenn Jackson Mahaffey never got to meet the great man that was his Uncle Jackson, but for the rest of his life I will tell him about all of the great times that I shared with him. I will tell him how very large and strong he was, how he was always our group's bodyguard everywhere we went, but how gently he touched his mother's stomach just to feel him move while he was in her womb. I will tell my son about his infectious smile, his extreme generosity, how he cared for his friends more than he cared for himself, and of how much love he had for others. I will spend hours telling stories of the times we shared while he was with us and why he should stand proud for having 'Jackson' in his name. I will tell him everything I can about the Man, Stephen Jackson, and I know when the time comes that God takes my son out of his carseat and puts him in the driver's seat of his life that his Uncle Jackson will be in the passenger seat, manning the radio and helping to guide him through the tough times when he shuts his eyes!


Justin Mahaffey

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