Remembering Will Green

Posted by Linda Werner, Founder of Circle Christian School, on Jun 28, 2015

Truths from a Young Man’s Funeral

This week has been a sad week for the Werner family as we learned of the tragic wakeboarding accident of Will Green.  Will, 23 years old, was a student at Circle from Kindergarten until 8th grade.  Will attended a private school for high school.

Scott and Jennifer, along with sons Will and Matt, were an engaged and vibrant homeschooling family.  Scott and Jennifer’s love for their boys and their love for Jesus was a priority that shaped their family story. Will and Matt spent their formative years learning to love each other well in their home, as well as in a community of believers that encouraged and inspired them to pursue their passion for the water.

Yesterday about 2,500 people gathered to celebrate and remember this amazing young man’s life.  As we listened to his brother, his cousins, his wakeboarding friends, his teacher, his pastors, and his youth camp leaders the story was the same.

  • Will loved Jesus and he loved wakeboarding.
  • He loved his family, his friends and his community deeply.
  • Will was a young man who walked out his faith in quiet reverence, and as a result God was honored.
  • He cared for the less fortunate.
  • Will led consistently.
  • He was a role model to his younger brother, his friends, his college wakeboarding team, and summer campers at Camp Cohutta.

Camp Cohutta is where he attended summer camp for the last 11 years.  What he learned and loved as a young teenager, he wanted to give back to the young campers.  They loved learning from this famous national champion.  He was not haughty or arrogant even though his accomplishments were great.  He had one overarching desire: he wanted people to know his Jesus.

Neither his titles (1st – 2015 USA Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals and 3rd – 2014 USA Wakeboard Nationals) nor his accomplishments kept him from giving back to others.

As we left his service, I was overwhelmed with several key truths that I have once again asked God to help me keep front and center in my life and story.  I want a funeral service like Will’s.

Here were some of my take-aways:
This family/ this young man was loved by many.  The Greens are being carried today by a deep and loving community.  Building our lives and our families require engagement in meaningful relationships around the gospel, around our passions, and around a community of like-minded friendships.  Never underestimate the power of a vibrant authentic Christ centered community.  Seek friendships.  Be a friend.  There is strength in this truth.

As homeschoolers our time is taken by school and family demands.  Make community connections a priority through your church and through your friendshipsat school.

The story in Mark 2 was on my heart this week as I watched the family’s friends rally and work to bring a God-honoring service together.  There were many carrying the family to Jesus. We will face days when we can’t carry ourselves and we will need our own “stretcher bearers.”  Who are they for you?

Will’s parents shared their passions with their boys and at a very young age introduced them to the water.  The story was told of Scott taking Will out and teaching him how to skim on the water when he was still in diapers.

What are your passions?  What is your family DNA that you want to share with your children?

A friend challenged me years ago when we were thinking about our family stories.  He said we are all responsible for our family name.  What will the Werner name be known for?  What will your family name be known for?

Yesterday it was loud and clear – the Green’s love Jesus and have a desire to make his name FAMOUS.   They love each other well, and they are alive with adventure!

Will Green’s life proclaimed his love for Jesus as many stories were told of his love for people and how he used his talents to glorify God.  This young man will be missed deeply, but the faith of his father and mother is great.  They are holding on to Jesus.

We will continue to be the “stretcher bearers” to Scott, Jennifer, and Matt so that one day soon they will be able to tell their “Only God” stories.

I’m reminded again today – I have no guarantee for tomorrow.  My children have no guarantee for tomorrow.  My grandchildren have no guarantee, so I will seek to be extravagant in expressing my love to my family, to my friends and to those I meet.

Will you pray for my friends?  Will you lift them to the Father and ask Him to comfort and heal their broken hearts?  If you do, I would be most grateful.

More information is available via Facebook, #livelikewill.