I looked out and it was the most beautiful sunrise. It was about six-thirty in the morning. I thought, wow, this is Easter Sunday and it’s such a beautiful day. I just thought, this is my worst day but it’s six other people's best day.
When Luke ran away, he was eighteen. He was upset about the rules that we laid down so he ran away and I couldn’t make him come back. He ended up in Miami and he told me he was going to be modeling. Luke was, he was a beautiful young man. He was athletic and had a big personality. He told me a little bit about it and I started to look up some of the names. I said to him, “I think this person that you mentioned, it sounds like they are involved with pornography. He said, “No, no. They said, it is underwear shoots and you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to.
Later, once we got Luke back home, we realized that wasn’t true. They put him on a plane and took him to some house out in the desert. They didn’t even know where they were. They were given drugs and alcohol.
There was a picture that surfaced on the internet that someone found out about that was in the community where we were. They sent it out to everyone in that community via text message. That was devastating to him. He felt like that would follow him for the rest of his life. It really depressed him. He was doing all that he could to seek the Lord. He was going to church all of the time and going to Bible studies. He actually met Franklin Graham. He came to our community and was going to do a crusade. He told Luke, God is going to do big things with your life, you have been through a lot.
Three weeks later he came to me and said he was really struggling with suicidal thoughts so we put him on some medication. I remember walking in one day from work. He was laying face down on the floor with his shoes off and his head, his hands on top of his head just worshipping. I thought, wow, what a gift. I know that this is real, that he is really seeking the Lord.
On the Saturday of the last day of his life, he posted a picture about 2:15 on Facebook with his brother and he said; Turkey hunting with my brother and the day is beautiful with a big smile on his face. Then within six hours he had shot himself.
I looked out and it was the beautiful sunrise. It was about six thirty in the morning. I thought, wow, this is Easter Sunday and its such a beautiful day. I just thought this is my worst day but it’s six other people’s best day.
Just a year before when he was seventeen I took him to the drivers license place. There was a big sign that said, “Kentucky organ donor association.” He said, I want to do that. I said, well, okay. Tell the lady when you go up there to get your drivers license.
They told me that he was the single largest donor in the state of Kentucky. Nobody else had been able to donate all, well he actually donated seven organs to six people. One person had a double lung transplant from him.
So, anyway that was miraculous and it was one of those ways that God said, I will work everything for good.
Luke was told; God’s going to use you in a big way and He did. He used him to save these other six peoples lives.
It turns out that shortly there after that medication was taken off the market because they said it increased suicidal ideation in young people eighteen to twenty-four.
When all of that happened and the community found out about it and they were sending this text everywhere he wanted to go somewhere and start over. He wanted to go where family was and when we called and talked to them about that, they basically said they didn’t want him to come. They I think weren’t sure what to do about the situation but it came across in the moment as “we don’t want him.”
I was very angry and I didn’t talk to my family for the next five weeks. The next phone call I made to them was to tell them that Luke had killed himself.
It wasn’t until one of those moments that I was lamenting to the Lord that they rejected my son. They didn’t want him. He said, “Yes Karla, I know how you feel. You didn’t want my son always. That was one of those like, pierce me in the heart moments. It made me realize that who am I not to extend forgiveness to my family? Because it all comes down to forgiveness and that’s the whole reason that Christ came and died for us. It’s the whole reason that I can be joyful that my son’s in heaven.