About this Blog

The purpose of this blog is to encourage your personal, daily walk with Jesus Christ, by seeing Him through the eyes of Mark Rodriguez. Updates will be made regularly so please subscribe. Most posts are taken from Mark's private journals or written by his mother unless otherwise noted.

Friday, October 9, 2015

What will your Homecoming be Like?

Today is bittersweet. I am going the NCS Homecoming game and Mark won't be there. Many of his friends will be coming home for this, and I am so, so glad. I have missed them all.  Each of them has a little piece of him with them and when they come together it is so beautiful.

9th Grade Homecoming Court

Mark won't be at the homecoming game tonight.  My memories will be though. Beautiful ones that make me thankful and humble that I got 17 years to be with such an amazing human being.  Thankful that somehow our family and our community have survived  THRIVED through this as they have loved us and one another.

So I honor those memories of what I have had. What amazing times and such joy. My heart's treasure box is overflowing. 

I have been taught recently to "look for God's hand in everything." You would think when someone loses a child, this would be a difficult thing to see, but that hasn't been the case at all!  I have seen it proven over and over that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.  His hand is always within reach. 

So guess what I get to do tonight? Guess what beauty the Lord has given me? Tonight, I get to watch my handsome, Will walk out onto the field as part of the homecoming court with one of his childhood friends.  I get to see him perform in the drumline led by one of Mark's best friends. I get to see how love has triumphed over the evil in our lives as we tailgate and celebrate coming together, and I can rest in a community that knows what I have lost and lets me still pursue joy.

What will your homecoming be like?  When I am especially down, I let my imagination wander to Mark's entrance into heaven. With his death being instant, he had no time to think about the imminence of the meeting, so I love to imagine him exclaiming "WOAH!"  and then the jumping and fist pumping that I am so familiar with. (If you have forgotten how silly he was and most assuredly still is, check out the elliptical video again) And then I imagine that after a wildly exhuberant entrance, the awe would overcome him and his knees would hit the ground. You know, when you suddenly realize you are in the presence of greatness?  Does he worship? Who does he see first? Does God let him stay on his knees or does He say "Get up, Son, we love that excitement and joy around here!"

I imagine my homecoming differently. I have a feeling I might crawl in...sort of like a marathoner that is determined to finish but just can't run anymore. The knee gave out and the muscles are torn, but darn it, I will cross that line. I don't think I will be jumping up in down but rather saying "Thank goodness.  Finally, I'm here. I'm so tired.  Please can I come in and rest?" I laugh at the contrast between myself and my young son.

But here is the beauty, no matter how we enter Heaven, we will instantly be rested.  Scripture says "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28  And this kind of rest doesn't mean, oh good, now I can sleep.  No, it means it is as if I have slept and I am renewed, restored, healed.  And I will instantly regain the energy and joy and all of the losses I have had in this life will be completely paid back and overflowing.

I can't wait for that Homecoming.  And one of the best parts?  Mark will assuredly be at that one.

As I hit publish today, I will head upstairs and put on my school colors and pack up for the tailgate.  I will carry my sadness but I will CHOOSE JOY. And I will be sure to post all the ways that God shows up for me tonight.  Let me know how He has shown up for you. I would love to know.  


  1. Leigh, thank you so much for the post. You said exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thank God He has given you wisdom beyond your years. I lost my wife of 39 years on 9/10/2015, she was a Godly woman that at her homecoming is like Mark: on her knees with overflowing thankfulness to our Lord Jesus! Of course I miss her with all my heart. Good days then terrible days. But like you God is teaching me to carry my sadness but to CHOOSE JOY. I see so clearly now that we are just pilgrims here, this world is not our home. God lends us loved ones for awhile then in His great wisdom decides it is time for them to come home for their rewards. I will not meet you here in this life, but I so look forward to meeting you and Mark at the throne of God someday. I love you in Christ. Greg

    1. Greg, I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and reminding us that there are others who are choosing joy while walking through the hard times of this life. Blessings, and see you in eternity :)