Coming out of the Fog

As many of you know, on March 5, 2014 my wife of almost 12 years passed away, from liver failure.  I cannot describe the amount of love and support that my family has received.  This has been, by far, the most traumatic event to ever happen in my life.  Only because of my faith, family and friends have we been able to make it through this difficult time.  My heart goes to anyone that has had to endure times like these without the support that I have been blessed with.  There are so many people to thank that I cannot possibly list them all.  Jackies family: Joe and Linda, Marc and Odette,  Brian and Sarah,  Josh and Eve, Matt and Bridgette, Trevin and Abby,  Anna and of course, Jackie’s parents, Chuck and Char.  Thank you for always making me and my family feel like we have always been a family.  I know I don’t tell you enough, but I absolutely love being a part of your crazy family.  My family with a special shout out to my mom and my cousin/brother Tim Grant.  If I called them and said I needed them they would drop whatever they were doing and immediately be there for me.   I also had a group of teammates that were willing to do anything we needed.  The Brady’s, Morgans, Spiewaks, Birtles, Marks, Allswedes.   Each one of the families provided something that we needed and I can never repay you for it.   I also had a group that went

Andria Mitchell – has been our babysitter for almost 12 years.  She has had her own life issues to deal with but basically took over as being a mom to my kids while I was in the fog.  I could not have survived without her effort and support.

Trevin and Abby Thorn – yes they are family but they have done so much more I can’t list it.  Trevin, thanks for letting your wife also be a surrogate mom to my kids and Abby thanks for helping our family survive.

Kevin Hargis – one of my best friends but we lost touch for almost 10 years but he didn’t hesitate to pick right back up from where we were before.  So many times he would just hangout with me and help distract my brain.

Keisha O’Mara and Cameron Hummel- both have gone through a similar situation and their thoughts and insights helped me at some of my lowest moments.  They have been a strength emotionally because I knew they understood what I was feeling.

Kevin and Sharrah Hacket – Jackie’s best friend I would say.  Sharrah was in the Bahamas when this happened, and before I knew it she had moved into my house to help support us.  Both of your friendships have meant so much to me, but what Sharrah did for Jackie I can’t quantify.  I always knew when Jackie was talking to Sharrah because that’s when she looked the most happy.  Kevin for letting his wife leave with no time frame on when to come home.

Mark and Anna Huber – besides being the reason I was introduced to Life Leadership which is where I meet Jackie.  They also moved into the house and helped me with everything including all of the funeral arrangements.  As quoted in a movie, “I’ am forever your man!”

Mike and Vi Gowen – our kids became close friends years ago and we have been doing things together ever since.  Mike and Jackie had a special brother sister connection and she could tell him things no one else would dare.  They have been more then friends over the years; they have become a part of our family.

Orrin and Laurie woodward – What can I say about a couple that are the reason that I have the life I have.  All of my F’s are great because of Gods grace and this couple.  I will never be able to  fully show my thanks for your dedication and belief.

To all the people I missed and all the people that have sent cards, books, notes, and flowers, your support has been overwhelming.  You  are the true definition of what a community is suppose to be.  I love you and will do everything I can to help you feel the same support. Life leadership truly is doing something special.  Don’t you ever surrender to the naysayers because they will never experience a true community of people.

I decided to start back with this blog because my two oldest boys just completed something that is the essence of what my beautiful wife stood for.  Perserverence, Determination, Strength, Never quit, Be the best you can be – I miss her so much words cannot describe.  I would do anything for one more day together to hold her and tell her how great she is.   Jacob and Eli, your mom would be so proud of your accomplishment and I hope you adopt her strength.  I love you forever Jack ( my nickname that Chris Brady came up with) and a huge piece of my heart has been ripped out and will never be replaced.  Can’t wait to meet you again in glory.  Here’s your two boys finishing their commitment to you and receiving their black belts.

 

61 thoughts on “Coming out of the Fog”

  1. We are forever grateful for Jackie, but you as well! Your example is glorifying to God. In fallen human flesh, we need His grace and His grace is sufficient! Love ya! Stay tough (not emotionally but most importantly, to God)!

  2. Bill,

    Thanks for being such a strong and courageous leader both in life and in LIFE! You and your family are an inspiration and we miss Jackie too! Congrats to Jacob and Eli, clearly you and Jackie’s drive for personal excellence have created a winning legacy of champions!

  3. Bill,
    You have shown such courage to “the community” that it proves that if you love God, He will see you through difficult times, I have been blessed to continue to learn from you and because of that you have made my life better, Thank You!

    Jim Wiess
    (Avon lady husband)

  4. Bill,

    Awesome! Be encouraged my friend. You are a great example of dignity, courage and renewal. Mount up my brother!

    Isaiah 41:28-31

    Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

    He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

    Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

    But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

      1. I love that verse also. It has helped me so much while I am still in that “fog”. LIFE community has been such a strong support for me during the loss of my husband in June & you are such an outstanding example of overcoming. Thanks for keeping on. Prayers are always with you & the children.

      2. As I’m sitting here reading your blog on Jackie and my heart goes out to your family in a great way my friend. May your heart grow fonder as your body becomes stronger each and everyday. I made a promise and I will keep that promise with you my brother . Our Lord will renew your strength and you will conquer anything that comes against cause you are a child of God …. Love you Bill from The Boyd Family

  5. Bill, I can tell that this was written through a genuine heart full of love and appreciation! Well said my friend. Love ya, kb

  6. Bill,
    Your wife said something to my wife and I a few years ago that has helped me overcome struggles like nothing else, not sure that it can be found in scripture but it sums up a large part of it; “Rise above being offended.” That is a small portion of her legacy, given to us, brother.
    As for you, well you have that thing that Radossa has – a look that compels me to perform and says “you can do it – you’re a stud – don’t play small – if there’s a risk of dying, go for it”. Just something behind your eyes, hard to see, but easy to recognize for those who want to know their calling.

    Jer 51:1-12,
    Dan

  7. Thank you for posting that, Bill. We love you and your family so much! Appreciate your willingness to communicate your heart. May God continue to bless you and all that you touch.

  8. Bill Lewis you are such a blessed man to have such devotion of friends and family. This shows what kind of a man you really are and what kind of woman Jackie was. The sting of death isn’t fair and hurts to the very core of our being. I’m so glad we all have such a great hope and expectation in Christ, his death burial and resurrection! This life is just a vapor in time that passes so quickly and soon we will be in glory with those that have gone before us and we will all see the face of the one who loved us first before we ever loved him back. The only thing I think I’ll be able to say is Holy, Holy, Holy, My Jesus, My savior, My redeemer! Jackie is cheering you and your wonderful children on.
    God continue to hold you up in his grace, mercy and extravagant love. God’s got you and the children in the Palm of his hand.

  9. Bill you are the most amazing example of strength and grace. We have experienced so much in life because of you and Jackie. The good the bad and the ugly… ha ha. God truly blessed us the day you both came into our life! Besides our children… you and Jackie have had the greatest impact in our lives. Not a day goes by that I don’t watch the video from our Roundtable recognition so that I can watch the grace and beauty of your wife, as well as set the standards to continue to be the woman she describes in the introduction from stage. We love you both… along with the kids…and look forward to our lives ahead following your lead and praying for God’s watch over you and the children and the future He has planned for you all. Her presence is missed so much but her legacy keeps her soul alive forever! Every day it gets easier to share her story and the impact she had on us both! Praising God for you, your family, Jackies family and the amazing friendships that have formed because of LIFE LEADERSHIP. I shudder to think what our life would be today without all of you in it… love you guys! To a million!

  10. Anything I could say would only repeat what you said so well.
    Thank you to all those mentioned!
    We love you, Bro!

  11. Bill, I met you and Jackie a couple of times, the one time that I remember most is at the retirement party in Lansing for Jason, you both are wonderful people and my heart goes out to you and your family, when Brenda and Roy told me about Jackie, I had all I could do to hold back the tears, for days after that I had you and your family in my prayers. I know what you are going thru and how you feel, you see I lost my husband of 44 years a year ago this month, what keeps me going is the memories of the years we were together and the family and friends support.
    Karen Hammock

  12. Bless you Bill… for sharing so openly what a real man feels, pain, anguish, anger, love, confusion and bewilderment, yet still knowing you will meet again in the forever. Jackie and you showed me and my husband it was ok to disagree, it was ok not to be perfect. Not to be the “Diamonds” we saw on stage, but real people, with real pain, anger, love and feelings. I cannot put in words what your family has done for us, and so many others. My background is just that, because of you and Jackie, my past is just that, because you taught me about layers and letting them go. I can and will forever carry her smile, her sparkle, forever in my heart, as your children do. How proud she is looking at them… right there watching, cheering, laughing and crying for them. What blessings they are to you, and us. Thank you again for it all.

  13. Bill, You and the family have been in my prayers ever since and will continue to remain at the top of my list. You don’t know me personally but I hope you know that your strength and perseverance has been a shining example to me and so many people. Keep being that light of Christ for others. Jackie’s legacy and ripple will never pass as long as we continue to shine brightly in her honor. God Bless you always!

  14. Bill, I will always be thankful for the special meeting I earned to attend here in Denver. Jackie had a moment that I could talk with her one on one. It was such a difficult time and she gave me such great insight. I cannot even begin to say everything that is in my heart for you and her. I am thankful that our Savior is comforting and strengthening you and your family! Be Blessed!

  15. I love you Bill. Thank you for accepting us as we are and allowing us to stay close. Thank you to everyone mentioned for your outpouring of love and support. Thank you to Raymond who responded with that powerful scripture. God is our Rock and our salvation. Jackie believed and grow in her relationship with him each day. She wanted to know him better and love him with her whole heart. She was an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister and most of all friend. Like Bill said the hole she left in my heart will never be healed but the promise that we will see her again is my joy.

  16. Thank you so much Bill for sharing this important day with so many!! Congrats Jake & Eli, I’m sure your mom is smiling down on you with pride!

  17. Thank you Bill, for leading with such strength and courage. For showing the world that emotion is something to share, not to hide. Your family will continue to be in all of our prayers, and forever in our hearts. God Bless!
    Tracey

  18. Thank you for sharing this great accomplishment with us! You & Jackie have impacted my life for the better! I will never forget!

  19. Bill, thank you for sharing your heart, Jackie and your family with us. Jackie touched so many lives. The two of you together were such an inspiring couple. Words can not convey how much we appreciate you continuing to lead and share your story with all of us. One day on stage, I believe my daughter will tell her story and of how God used Jackie’s life, death, testimony and CDs to change her life. But for now I can only say I thank God, LIFE Leadership, you & Jackie for giving me back my daughter and for giving me hope for the future. Thank you for being there in June – your talk touched so many people. Thank you Bill Lewis for being a man of integrity, a husband & father to follow, a Christian, a leader, a man of honor. Thank you, for being you. God Bless.

  20. Bill, Thanks for sharing your story with us. Somehow I feel closer now to Jackie than I ever was before. I often wonder what she thinks of our sin & silly little struggles and minute thinking now that she has a bigger perspective. She keeps my attitude in check, so to speak. She belongs to God and so do Jacob & Eli. God made them amazing men! Congrats to your family!

  21. Dear Bill THANK YOU for being you! Your a blessing to all!! Prayers to you and family and friends always !! I have Jackie on my kitchen wall …. I blow her kisses and I tell her I love her… I will never forget her friendship and yours how you always treated us like family!!!! Love always Kelly & Nick Johnson xxooooxx

  22. Bill,

    Thank you. I never have anyone influence in my life prior to this organization. Jackie was the first person to crack my walls down. I am forever greatful for your belief in me when there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to Jackie and yourself, I have been able to be a better mom. I shutter to imagine where I’d be and what is be without Jackie’s example I had the blessing to learn from and follow. My hearts over the bar. My die is cast. I will, forever, be in the battle to one million and more importantly, forever a disciple of Jesus.

  23. Bill – Thanks for sharing. What can I say but ‘ We love you’. Katie and I pray for your family and we look forward to that resurrection morning when the Lord shall bring Jackie Lewis back with him, unblemished and glorified to spend an eternity with you and her beloved kids. Maranatha!

  24. Bill i have not meet you and or have i even been in life leadership but a couple of weeks, but this is why I decided to be a part of this great family, community, I am sorry for your loss and know that we will never leave your side. John Cuschieri

  25. Bill, none of us can say, “I know how you feel”. Even in similar circumstances, they are all unique. You are a true hero to so many thousands of us and Jackie is so proud of you, I’m sure. We continue to share Jackie’s testimony, Tribute pack, CDs, stories, etc. Her influence has ripples that will go on to eternity. God bless you and your family for your special witness of God’s love and grace. We pray for you every day.
    Sabra Barnett

  26. Congratulations Jake & Eli.

    Bill, God Bless you for your strength and may he provide you with peace knowing that you and Jackie have touched so many lives for the better and for generations to come. It is clear that you both lived the life you talked about and it shows in the dedication and commitment that has brought your boys to achieving their black belts. Thank you for everything the two of you have done for the LIFE Community and the blessings it has brought all of us. You are always in our prayers.

  27. Bill, I have told you this before, but you and Jackie are the ones who got my wife and I in. It was an old “Chicken and Eagle” CD that made us open our minds to this opportunity. It was with much heartache that we witnessed (from afar) this tragedy rock LIFE to the core. But it was your strength throughout this time that has made the largest impact. Our prayers are with Jackie and you and your family. Keep up the work because you two have made a HUGE impact on us and countless others.

  28. Bill,
    There are no words to adequately express, so I will just say that my heart is with you and your family. You will continue to be in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you close as you begin your journey forward.

  29. May God continue to bless and keep you Bill. His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. Love always!!!

    P.S. Cinnamon rolls lol:-)

  30. I and my wife Christal want you to know you have been in thoughts and prayers, Jackie was a beautiful person one we will never forget. We only met you both once but will never forget the both of you. God bless you and your family.

  31. Bill,

    I am so proud to be part of a team of leaders that overcome! You and Jackie are very special people and you have truly made a difference in my life. I now know what is meant by the word ‘legacy’. Her character will continue to echo. What a great work God has accomplished in her life and thereafter!

    Matt

  32. Bill you were truly amazing tonight! Not a dry eye in the house. My first function with Life. I just listened to Jackie on CD talking about this night, she is so proud of you! Your family is in our prayers! Congrats to the team! Well done!

  33. Bill,
    You are a true hero and Jackie was a true heroine. Thank you for your transparency as a servant leader, husband, and father. Thank you for investing time meeting folks today after the service. Countless families are forever blessed and inspired by your example! I pray that the joy of the Lord fills you and sustains you as you continue leading!

  34. Bill,

    You are the toughest guy I know. Seeing your talk after being reconized as Life Coach 6 this past weekend was a very moving experience for everyone in the arena. It took an amazing amount of courage and strength to has the ability to get up there and we are all better people because you did. For me, seeing you overcome what is one of the most difficult things imaginable, it makes my worries, concerns, and problems seem minimal. It has given me the courage to get back out there and help other people.

    Hopefully now that the fog is lifting we will see much more of you at Life events.

    Thank you again.

    1. Thanks for the gracious comments. Im not out of it yet but I can feel the old drive I had starting to come back. Thanks for the words and continue to help others.

  35. BILL – YOUR TALK SATURDAY EVENING WAS SO INSPIRING. THERE WAS NOT A DRY EYE IN THE ARENA. MY HUSBAND AND I WATCHED YOU AND JACKIE GROW SO MUCH OVER THE YEARS. JACKIE WAS SO AMAZING & IS MISSED BY SO MANY PEOPLE. WE SHOULD ALL CONTINUE TO REMEMBER HER TALKS & CONTINUE TO GROW IN THE GRACE OF GOD AS SHE DID. WE THINK OF HER & MISS HER TOO. JACKIE IS SMILING DOWN ON YOU & THE CHILDREN & SO PROUD OF THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT.
    THANKS FOR THE EXAMPLES THAT YOU & JACKIE PUT FORTH TO EVERYONE IN LIFE.

  36. Bill, Thank you for sharing from your heart. We have been praying for you and your family, and are happy to hear that you’re coming out of the fog. You and your children are blessed to have the love of so many. We know you look forward to being with Jackie once again, and respect you so much for knowing there is more for you to accomplish before that happens. God bless you and your children. Pat and Mary Hermsen

  37. Bill,
    My heart goes out to you and your family. Around the same time that you lost Jackie I lost my mom to a brain tumor. I have never experienced so much pain, sorrow, love, and gratitude at the same time. It was during that time that I had time to reflect on my own and life and through a series of incredible events I got reintroduced to Life Leadership and was able to reignite that fire that has always been with me. I know Heavenly Father has a purpose for us, even if we don’t understand all of it now. I’m grateful that we all have the opportunity to see our loved ones in the next life because of our Savior Jesus Christ.
    Many blessings to you and your incredible family! Stay strong brother!

  38. Bill,

    I am unsure how to start this, so in hopes that my words wont fail me now here goes nothing.
    MY wife and i have been changed by your stories. I have met you a few times at majors. the most memorable experience i have of you is when my friend asked to see your policy counsil ring, and you took it off and handed it to him. it was a very surreal moment for me. i treasure that experience. although i never got the chance to meet jackie face to face i felt like i knew her i felt like hearing your stories i had shared a small part in your lives. walking down the hall jackie would probably never know who i was, but she touched my life as all the life founders has. her testimony gives me goosbumps. I hope that one day i get the chance to become friends with you as i am somewhere far down on your team, upline andy rockwell. your story continues to inspire me and to remind me all we have is today truly.i continue to think of you and your family. i hope hearing this will somehow bless your life. God bless you
    Dan Oleary

    1. Thank you for the words Dan. As much edification as we get we also get just as much criticism so it is always nice to hear from people that you have somehow touched. Keep growing and working and we will for sure be able to hang together with the other top leaders in Life. Stay tough!

  39. Thank you, Bill! Thank you, Jackie! You both mean the world to me! The positive influence you both continue to have in my life is amazing! I appreciate everything you have done, and continue to do, to lead by example! I am truly blessed to know you both! I offer my continued prayers for you and your family.

    Kim Morisett

  40. Bill,

    “I’m not gonna accomplish anything laying on my back…”

    You and Jackie will always continue to be a HUGE blessing and inspiration to my wife Melissa and me. It’s crazy how what she did in her life, God can use for eternity.

    Every 5th of March I will especially think of her legacy as she entered God’s arms on my birthday.

    What you continue to do, sir, gives so much courage to others.

    God bless you!
    We love you brother.

    Isaac and Melissa Barragan
    Koinonia

  41. Bill Lewis is back in the FIGHT!!! 😀 Truly enjoyed your talks at Winter LIFE Leadership 2015 in Moline. On to a million!

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