Second Corinthians 10:17 says, “But he who glories, let him glory in the LORD. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.” Unfortunately self-exaltation seems rampant throughout Christianity, particularly within the ranks of Christian leaders of one sort or another. How different the situation would be if the Holy Spirit was truly in control. When promising the disciples of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “He [the Spirit] will guide you into all truth…He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me.” Let each of us who know the Lord determine that whatever else we do, we’ll yield unreservedly to God’s Spirit to honor Jesus Christ in all our ways.
We celebrated our wedding anniversary on July 12th. We are grateful to the Lord for giving us 41 years together! It’s wonderful to spend this many years with your best friend who is full of love and devotion.
Later in July we attended an event for the first time — Cheyenne Frontier Days — World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo and Western Celebration! We have lived in LaGrange for 16 years and never been. We went with two other couples that we work with at Frontier and it was lots of fun.
In July we were blessed by the generous gifts of friends to be able to attend the annual Grace Conference at Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church in Lake Zurich, Illinois. Dr. James Scudder formed the church in a store front 45 years ago and we held meetings for him back then in those struggling days. The messages and workshops were encouraging and the music was outstanding. It was also great to reunite with some of our former students and friends from Florida Bible College and Frontier School of the Bible. It was a very special time for us. Next year's theme is Servants of Purpose through Grace— maybe you'd like to consider attending!
With the unsettling happenings of the last four months our routine has not been quite normal. We are sorry we’ve been slow in posting news — it’s been difficult to keep up with everything. We will try to get back on track with regular news, but if it sporadic, we hope you will understand. Our board has suggested we do what we can and not feel pressured to keep the usual schedule.
Losing a child is not something any parent anticipates happening. We miss Jeff so much, but we are beginning to think about the good memories without so much tearful emotion. We are more grateful than we can express for the prayers of so many. We know that God is hearing and He is giving us much grace and strength — often times through the love and care of friends. Being with good friends, like in the above photo, has made a difference. Please continue praying for us.
Since we live in Wyoming we don't get to see our family or friends from the south and east very often. We are just so far away!
But when in Dallas we were so blessed by those who were able to come to the wake for Jeff. It was held at Jeff and Rachel's home and it was so good being able to visit with everyone and be together. The picture below is of former Florida Bible college students — it was an encouragement beyond words to see these dear friends that mean so much to us.
To our dear friends,
The past month has been one of the most difficult we’ve ever experienced. Our beloved first born and only son, Jeff, took his life on April 11th — the apparent result of a deep ongoing struggle with depression. Ever since we received word of his death from his sweet wife, Rachel, the days and weeks have been somewhat of a blur. But in spite of all the emotional pain, the grief, and the unanswered questions, our God neither slumbers nor sleeps. Jeff’s passing did not go unnoticed by our Heavenly Father and we are confident that Jeff is now with Him — free of all anxiety and hurt. We do not understand all the “whys” of life, but we do know Who allows all things and in His hands we commit ourselves for all the remaining days left to us.
We are so thankful to the many who have ministered to us through your cards — so many notes, phone calls, and gifts that have truly meant the world to us. Your words and sentiments have been a great comfort and an encouragement. We can’t thank you enough for being there in our time of need.
God’s Word continues to encourage and sustain us:
Psalm 27:13, 14: I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 55:22: Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
We thank each of you who have prayed for us during this difficult time of our lives. They are making a tremendous difference. Please don’t stop now. May God bless you richly.
Dick and Kathy
A few days ago I sent out an update on behalf of my parents, Dick and Kathy Seymour, regarding my brother Jeff. Two weeks ago he took his own life—a result of a deep struggle with depression.
Below is the obituary that I wrote in honor of Jeff. Knowing that many of you loved him, we thought you may like to read it.
Once in a lifetime. That’s Jeff Truitt. Those of us who knew him well know that we’ll never know another like him. That’s how he left this world, and that’s how he came into it.
Born Jeffrey Truitt Seymour on October 25, 1985 to Dick and Kathy Seymour, he was a gift. There’s no way to describe the hope that a baby’s cry brings to the hearts of parents who thought they’d never hear it. The scope of the gift they received that day continues to grow, and they will never stop thanking God for it.
Almost immediately, his exceptional intelligence and creativity were obvious. As his sister, I can attest to the precision that refused to let me sing along to a song that was already perfect. I know the creativity that could see a forever-home on a street where the homeless slept in the trees.
When you met him for the first time, these were the qualities you talked about afterward. The longer you knew him—if Jeff chose you for that privilege—you began to see his core. Honesty. Loyalty. Generosity. Love. What started in the boy who left recorded love notes for his kid sister, stayed with the college kid who sent his mom potted roses on Valentine’s Day. He was still guided by that inner voice as the man secretly paying rent for friends who couldn’t keep their lights on.
The best of his friends has said that Jeff “curated his life.” Whether he was choosing a dinner fork, a guitar, or a life partner, he wanted the best. Perhaps that’s the reason he loved only one. On the list of Jeff’s collection of “bests” her name is at the top. Rachel was the love of his life, the one who made his eyes smile, the one he trusted to love him completely. Love him she does, truly and deeply, forever and always.
Although anything but conventional in the way he expressed it, Jeff loved more deeply than most of us ever will. To be chosen by Jeff—to be drawn into his circle and allowed to live life beside him—was an honor that we cherished. Once you got to be one of his people, he never forgot about you, always took care of you, never discarded you, and in his own unique way, always kept loving you. Each of us has a story, a conversation, a memory we cling to in which, however unconventionally, Jeff loved us.
We’ve tried to describe the impact he made, and the corresponding emptiness that we feel in his absence. Connected by the love he gifted to us, we’ve tried to honor him in the best way we know how. But there’s no way to capture the span of his life, nor the lives that were changed because of it.
In the quiet moments, when words fall short, we know one thing: he was once in a lifetime. He was Jeff Truitt.
Survived by his parents, Dick and Kathy, his sister Stephanie (Seymour) Cochrane, and his beloved wife Rachel. Jeff passed away in his sleep on Monday, April 11, 2016.
Thank you again for all of the prayers and comforting words you have said on our behalf. We praise God that Jeff is in Heaven, and we look to Him for strength and healing during this time.
With His peace,
"So for now you are in grief, but I will see you again; and when I see you,
your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take from you your great joy."
~ John 16:22 ~
I write to you today on behalf of my parents. A week ago we received news that that my brother Jeff took his own life. My parents wanted you all to be aware, but have been kept busy in the week since his death.
We did not realize that Jeff had been struggling with depression for some time. Early in the morning on Monday, April 11th he took his own life. His death was peaceful.
Since that time we have been surrounded by family and Jeff's dear friends. We've been amazed at how many people loved Jeff and were positively impacted by his life. Many wonderful and loyal friends of theirs have dropped everything to make sure that his wife Rachel is taken care of, and we have what we need.
Jeff was anything but conventional, and we tried to keep that in mind as we planned a time to honor him with friends and family. Everything was done "Truitt-style" the way he would have wanted. In the next news post is the Truitt-style obituary I wrote in his honor.
The phone call, cards, and emails we've received have been a felt comfort to us. We know that many people feel hesitant in times like this, for fear that they will say the wrong thing. We want you all to know that every prayer and kind word has lifted our spirits and helped us to keep our eyes on Jesus.
We hurt and grieve, of course. He was a son, brother, husband, and friend, and all of us miss him greatly. While our spirits ache for him, and we long to go back and remove the pain he felt, we have hope.
While the next 20 – 60 years without him will be hard, we know we don't have to wait much longer than that. He was a believer, and no longer feels the loneliness and heartache of this world. He is in the Presence of Unconditional Love, and is healed completely. Someday soon we will be together again, "and no one will take from us our joy" — of being with Christ and those who have gone before us.
Thank you so much for all the prayers that you've poured out for us. We ask you to continue praying for healing. Pray for Mom and Rachel as they work to sort out some details, and for Jeff's co-workers as they try to divide his responsibilities.
Again, on behalf of myself and my parents, thank you so much for the love and support you've shown. We grieve, but we grieve in hope and with peace, knowing that the One we trust is the Resurrection and the Life.
Looking to Jesus,
Tom and Grace, who order copies of The Gift over and over, recently sent the following note.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation (rescue or deliverance) of the Lord (Lamentations 3:25, 26).
Life is sometimes filled with obstacles, twists and turns, and dead ends. And if we aren’t careful we may easily throw up our hands in frustration, looking to ourselves or others for solutions — forgetting, perhaps, that God is the great director and guide of our lives. Instead of waiting for Him to reveal His purpose and plan, we too often rush headlong toward what we imagine are solutions only to discover we have gone astray and are worse off than we were previously.
During confusing or trying times it should be our determined goal to wait for Him, to seek Him, and to wait quietly — not fretfully — for the deliverance or rescue of the Lord. Since God is fully capable of saving us forever, He is certainly adequate to solve any of our temporary earthly problems. The key is to allow Him to do it in His own time and way.