Above All That Is

Things can become more than what they are through the meaning we associate with them. A wedding ring, for example, may only be made of precious metals and diamonds, but to those who bear them it represents their eternal connection to another person who they care deeply for. A bond that is said to reflect that of the relationship Jesus has with the church. In my opinion, a tattoo can work the same way. They too can represent a deeper and more fulfilling meaning. This tattoo on my left arm represents a truly remarkable person that lived an inspiring and Godly life. A person who made a real impact in my life. A person who will forever have a place in my heart.

Christina Victoria Grimmie.

I started following Christina my senior year of high school, back in 2009, when I came upon her cover of “Never Say Never” by The Fray. I was so captivated by her voice and demeanor. As I followed her, I grew more and more in awe of the person she was and who she was becoming. I loved that she made loving her easy. She was so active and so engaged with her followers, always encouraging us to be ourselves and block out everything else. I was just happy that I could be along for the ride. I loved that we had a lot in common. We were around the same age. She loved music, I loved music. She loved art, I loved art. She LOVED video games, I LOVED video games (Zelda!). She loved Jesus, I…well, I didn’t love Jesus then. That was really the only level that I really couldn’t connect with her on.

It wasn’t until January of last year (January 2015) that I proclaimed Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. At first, the feeling was complete bliss. I was happier than I had ever been in my entire life. I was saved, my sin accounted for, by the sacrifice my Jesus made, for me. The feeling is unlike any other and I thought it was going to last forever, but I was wrong. You see with faith comes doubt. It’s a battle. Just like good and evil, light and dark. My faith suffered and over the past few months I allowed myself to fall further and further away from Him. But, grace is a beautiful thing. It is by God’s unyielding, unfailing, and unchanging grace that I am saved. This is something that nothing and no one can ever take away, from me, Christina, or anyone who calls upon His name.

1 Peter 5:10 (NIV) — 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

This truth is so comforting. I know I am not perfect and I know I never will be. I’m going to mess up, again and again. And I may not be where I want to be in my faith at this moment, and I may never get there, but I know that I will always have Him. That’s an incredible feeling. Honestly, the coolest thing about all of this is the fact that I have never met Jesus, and yet I hold so much faith in Him. I love Him and I will follow him forever.

Similarly, it wasn’t in God’s plan for Christina and I to cross paths in this life either. But, I love her for the genuine impact she had on who I am as a person. I love her for the life she lived. And Above All That Is (Random), I love her as a sister in Christ!

I know I’ll meet her one day. Eternity is a long time after all! But, for now, once again I find myself inspired and encouraged by her. By her life. To be myself, love everyone, and LOVE Jesus more than anything. Right now, this sucks and I don’t know what the future holds, but it’s in God’s hands…so I feel fine.

It’s as Christina said,

“Don’t let go of good times. And let the bad ones know you feel fine.”
1 Corinthians 15:20–23 (NIV) — 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

For Christina:

Like countless others, you made such a difference in my life and I am eternally grateful for that. For the time that I followed you, you made life easier. I’m sorry if that’s dumb, but it’s honestly the most fitting. You brought joy, laughter, and entertainment into my life that is unparalleled. I am so blessed to have even known of you and I feel bad for those that never knew you at all. I wish I had more to say, but I don’t and I know that’s okay because I KNOW that I’ll see you one day. You are home now and until He calls ME home…goodbye, my friend.

Philippians 1:21–23 (NIV) —21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;

God bless you, Christina Victoria Grimmie.

With Love,

Ricky Bennett