About 2 months ago Tim and I lost one of our very best friends. I am now just feeling like I can write with clarity what I want to about him. Jason Young was the kind of person you could first meet and think you would never be really good friends with, but it didn't take me any time at all to realize that he was exactly the kind of friend I would like and need. I met Jason my first day of my sophmore year of college. He was my resident assistant and was checking me and my best friend into our room. He went through everything very thoroughly and was just about to leave as we were signing the contract and he farted really loudly. It cracked us up and he just laughed it off. However, I will never forget meeting him because of it.
Through out that year Jason was not only a good RA, but he really helped me grow as a person, confronting me when I was wrong, helping me when I was heart broken and sad, and helping me navigate my way through the struggles of college life. He was always someone I knew I could talk to and that his advice would be godly and biblical. At the same time he was mentoring his roommate, a kid from California, a punk of sorts, that later became my husband. I owe so much to Jason, just in this; that he helped lead my husband into a deep life impacting relationship with God! I never got to thank him for this, but I think he knew.
One time in college a bunch of us went out to eat at a deli together. They served huge baked potatoes and I got one. Jason, the jokester that he was, challenged me saying, "There is NO way you can eat all of that! I'll pay you $10 if you do!" I wasn't one to take a dare, but didn't exactly like Jason's lack of faith in my eating ability, so I ate it all and got a check from him that was made out to "Marci 'Big Eater' Watters." Jason also aided an unruly group of guys in giving me a swirly, but wrote a note saying, "Please forgive us!" and hung it on my door after I took a good thorough shower! He was a funny guy!
Later Jason and Tim and I continued our friendship, we found things as a group to do, as common friends even though Tim and I were dating. I never felt like the "girl friend" or third wheel with them, as Jason was my friend too. After a time in Tennessee Jason came back and taught Tim and I how to kayak. He was a bigger guy, but he could roll his kayak effortlessly and after many session the two of them taught me too. Thanks to Jason, I have a "bomb proof roll!"
Jason had a few personality quirks, but the one that I noticed first was that Jason could talk just about anyone into anything, he always did this with godliness, but still could do it none the less. Jason was a really hard worker, almost to his detriment. He would work so hard, serving, ministering that he would get stressed out and neglect his needs. It always made my worry for him. He was also a really great cook and was very creative in the kitchen. I learned a lot from him. More than anything Jason loved the Lord and sought to serve Him. He was never too busy to be a friend to ANYONE.
That is what took him to Tennessee to serve at Confrontation Point Ministries, despite the not so appealing location and no social network for a young bachelor. While there, Jason served faithfully and made the best of being "alone". During this time he came back for our wedding to be "our best man" as we called him with affection. He really was such a wonderful support during our wedding. Of course, not long after our wedding vows were said, Jason called to try to talk us into coming and working in Tennessee. He succeeded, and it was the best thing that happened to us. We got to see Jason fall in love with Joy, his wife, and experience serving God along side them. As couples we got together for dinner often, would let our dogs play and would sit and gripe about Crossville, our lack of spiritual challenge, and the quirks of living in the south. Good times!
I could write forever about those days, but when looking back they were really made great by the people around us, with out Jason, Joy, and others, they would have just been days to fill. But with them, they were full, fun, exciting and growth producing. I think the hardest part of our friendship with Jason was leaving Tennessee and leaving him and Joy. We felt like we were abandoning them. Despite that we all moved on and it was always refreshing to know that any time day or night a call could be made and it was like no time had past and no miles were between us. It was hard being friends from a distance, but also so fun to see Joy and Jason grow, continue to be faithful at CP even when it was so hard and to see them become parents and hear first hand about the joy and excitement their daughter brought him! The last few months Tim and Jason talked often, about life, about dreams and about struggles. It was good and a gift from God.
I think that is what also makes his death hard for us. In many ways it feels like he is still just out in Tennessee, and that we haven't gotten to talk in awhile, but when we really think about it, we know that their won't be any more calls and that the plans we made to visit will have to wait a bit longer. Tim told me after Jason's death, "I just want my friend back. I want to hang out and talk about things that really matter, and I know he is really the only person that I could do that with." We just miss him!
The above photo is of Jason (in the back ground, Tim is in front) on our wedding day. I love how happy he is for his friend! That is so typical of Jason!