I met Derek in 1989. He was just a punk kid. Wildly alive with creativity and an incredible passion for life, he was always up for a good debate and was determined to win every time. He spent hours in his room shut up writing music. His room smelled like a junior high locker room. He loved pushing the envelope in almost every area of his life- in relationships, in his spiritual life, and in his creative pursuits.
The day I met him, I had come to his house, invited by his older brother John, to a Bible study- the “safe” excuse for a first date. I could tell from the moment we said “hello” that this kid was full of it. He had that look in his eye that said, “Well see if you’re good enough for my brother.” Fortunately for all of us, I am not one who is easily intimidated, but I pity the other girls who tried to win the heart of John Loux. I hear that Derek scared many of them off.
At the time I started dating John, I was working a part time job at a juvenile detention facility to help pay my way through college. I remember one day coming over to John’s parents house for dinner after work. I was sharing that I had taken a class that day in physical restraint so that I could protect both myself and the kids in any kind of volatile situation. After hearing about my training, Derek chimed in that there was no way I could be strong enough to restrain a teenager like him. (I think at the time I was 5′ 2″ and barely 105 pounds.)
Because I was just as competitive and strong-willed as Derek, and just could not handle this punk telling me that I couldn’t, I challenged him to come at me and give it his best shot. As I recall, he threw a punch at me, and with in a seconds I had him face down on the family room carpet.
I won that day. Yes, his face hit the carpet, and I got to say “told you so,” but he also decide to give me a chance with his brother. And I am so glad.
That was 22 years ago and from that day on, Derek has never stopped challenging me. His very life was a challenge to be reckoned with. He challenged me to work hard in relationships, he challenged me in my pursuit of the Lord, and he challenged me to walk out my faith each day living with no regrets.
I want to love well. I want to live my life, fully knowing that when this life ends, I have done well.
Derek challenged me in life and still challenges me in death.
I miss him so much.