My life has been so enriched because I knew Aaron. I met Aaron in the Summer of 2009 (I think). Honestly I can’t even remember the year because it seems like I’ve always had the Kildows in my life. I met him one summer at church camp (he was still at Ramay at the time), and it was your typical church camp crush story. What most people don’t know is that with the exception of Bobby saving our cabin from terrifying raccoons the year before, Aaron was the first Kildow I met. God definitely has a funny sense of humor because what better way to get the attention of a teen girl than with a cute boy. So we met and we talked, we even went on a few dates- he introduced me to his family and over time our crush developed into a friendship. It helped that his sister and I are kindred spirits (which I think sometimes annoyed him since we would gang up on him, but he definitely got us back when we did).
Because of meeting Aaron that one week in 2009, my life was made better. If I had never met Aaron, I would’ve never met my best friend. If I had never met Hanna, I would’ve never attended ABS or Round Mountain. If I had never attended ABS, I never would’ve met Tyler. You see without Aaron in my life, I would not be the same person I am today. I thank God that he allowed Aaron to be a part of my story, even if was as unconventional as crushing on him first. 🙂
Let me just fill you in on some of my favorite memories of Aaron. -The very first day I met him I called him a liar and argued with him about how old he was. I just couldn’t believe that he was only 14 (or 15, I can’t remember the exact year). -Taking him an ice cream cake for his birthday while he was still at Ramay. -Telling him about my dad and his heart condition and that I had to pay my own way through college and him responded something along the lines of that he would help me pay for it (because that’s just the type of guy he was). -Him locking Hanna and I out of their house when we were running late and then mooning us through the window because he actually remembered to grab the spare key so we couldn’t use it. -Him telling me he surrendered to the ministry and how scared but excited he was. -Him talking about his family. He loved them so much. They drove him crazy, just like he drove them crazy, but oh how he loved them. -Him showing up late for his sister’s rehersal dinner because he had been noodling and had a HUGE scratch/bite/I don’t know what they call it on his arm from catching a big one. -All of his many stories (especially the noodling ones!) Man he could get worked up when he was telling stories, but that’s part of what made Aaron, well Aaron.
Today was Aaron’s funeral. I think Luke George said it best when he spoke of the way Aaron ministered to his friends. He had this beautiful way of holding people close to him, close enough to see the struggles and then point them to Jesus. I know there are people that came to Jesus because of Aaron and today over 250 people heard the Gospel and celebrated his life! (And quite honestly there were probably closer to 300+, the funeral home could seat 250 people and there was standing room only). What an amazing legacy to leave behind. Even in death, he is impacting people and I believe winning souls for Christ. I praise God for Aaron Jacob Kildow and will forever remember him as an amazing (but ornery) man with a huge heart that loved God.
And although I didn’t get the opportunity to know Kylee in this life, I am so thankful that I get to met her when I get to Heaven. Aaron found someone he loved that from what I hear gave him a run for his money at several things, fishing included. I am so thankful that they got to share life together and that they will spend eternity worshiping out Savior and King.
We haven’t lost Aaron, we know exactly where he is and that is at the feet of Jesus. Thank you God for you saving grace and drawing us to salvation in you. Tonight I pray that Aaron’s legacy will live on. I pray that everyone he touched would come to know you and that because of that his legacy will reach generations to come. I praise you for Aaron’s life and in his death because I know you are sovereign. I will praise you because I know you work things for good for those that love you and Aaron and the Kildow’s sure do love you. You can make good blossom out of this heartache. Finally I praise you because I know that “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (psalms 116:15).
Thank you Jesus for Aaron Kildow and the impact he had on my life.